Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

think may be helpful, have someone witness you taking the photographs. You and the witness should sign and date the photos on the back, and take them to the prosecutor. Ask for the return of clothing or personal effects of your loved one that may be in the investigator’s office, the hospital or the medical examiner’s office. Some of them may need to be retained for the trial, but you

should be given those that are not essential to the case. Ask about the condition of these things before you look at them. It

Have someone view photos or evidence before you to help prepare

can be very upsetting to open a package of torn and blood-stained clothing when you are not prepared. Keep all bills and receipts for expenses you for what you may see. resulting from the crash. Begin a chronological record of all financial expenditures or losses due to the crash. These may include medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, and costs of counseling. This information will be critical if the offender is found guilty and is ordered to pay restitution. It is also necessary in filing for State Crime Victims Compensation or insurance benefits and will be essential if a civil suit is filed. Witness Testimony Witnesses whose testimony can substantiate the elements of a case should be contacted early in the process. They may include bartenders, wait staff, bar patrons or party attendees, any passengers in the defendant’s car, other persons involved in the crash, eyewitnesses, medical personnel, law enforcement officials, and

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