Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

prosecutor should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case with you. If you understand these, you may be able to provide additional information that will be helpful to the prosecution. You may know of additional witnesses or have ideas about key evidence. Retaining Evidence Generally, you may assume that the investigating officers have collected all the evidence they need. However, it is wise to document everything about the crash at

the time it comes to your attention. You may think you’ll remember all the facts, but documentation will ensure a good recollection of all details. Additional witnesses

Document details about the crash as you go.

may come forth who were not interviewed by the investigating officer. If so, refer them to the officer or to the prosecutor who will take their statement. If you are aware of witnesses who do not appear on the crash report, you should immediately notify the investigating officer or the prosecutor. Photographs have probably been taken at the crash scene and at the medical examiner’s office. It is possible, however, that other pictures would be useful in both the criminal and civil cases. You may be able to take photos of the recovery process of the injuries sustained by the crash victim/ survivor. A recent picture of the victim/ survivor before the injury or death may be presented to the prosecutor to reinforce that this case involves a human life. It will personalize your loved one who is unknown to the court. If you take pictures that you


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