Municipal Court Advocate

 

A Guide for Victims 

The Huron County Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance program was established to inform victims of crime of their rights. It provides quality supportive services, information, and court appearance accompaniment to those who have been affected by criminal acts

 

SERVICES OFFERED 

●   INFORMATION AND REFERRALS TO COMMUNITY SERVICES

●   INFORMATION ON CASE STATUS

●   COURT ACCOMPANIMENT

●   NOTIFICATION OF CASE STATUS

●   ASSISTANCE IN FILING FOR

     TEMPORARY AND CIVIL

     PROTECTION ORDERS

●   CRIME VICTIM COMPENSATION

     ASSISTANCE

●   ASSISTANCE IN PREPARING

     TO TESTIFY IN COURT

●   SUPPORT GROUPS REFERRALS

●   24 EMERGENCY ON-CALL

     HOTLINE REFERRALS

VICTIMS OF FEDERAL CRIMES WILL BE SERVED.

 

AN EXPLANATION OF COURT

HEARINGS/PROCEDURES

ARRAIGNMENT

The initial court appearance of the accused. The judge will read the charge and the defendant will enter a plea of guilty, no contest or not guilty. If the plea is guilty or no contest the victim is able to address the court at this time. The victim, if present, will tell the judge what he/she would like in the outcome of the case. If a not guilty plea is entered, the victim may not address the court at this time. A court trial or pre-trial hearing will be set, depending on whether or not the defendant retains an attorney.

 

PRE-TRIAL

A meeting before trial between the prosecutor and defense attorney. They discuss the case and try to work out a plea agreement. The victim may or may not be subpoenaed to be there, but has a right to be present. It is possible the case may be resolved at this time.

 

PLEA

The defendant has agreed to plead guilty or no contest to the charges or a reduced charge. If a plea is made, the trial would not go forward.

 

TRIAL

The prosecutor and defense attorney will present evidence and the testimony of witnesses to support their case before a judge or jury. After hearing all of the evidence, the judge or jury will decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the crime.

 

PRE-SENTENCE INVESTIGATION (PSI)

A report prepared by the adult probation department to help the judge determine the appropriate sentence for the defendant. This is usually done if the defendant enters a plea of guilty or no contest at the arraignment and the victim is not there to address the court. The probation officer contacts the victim and the defendant.

 

SENTENCING

At this hearing the court will enter its judgment concerning the punishment of the offender.  The victim does not need to attend, but has a right to be present and to make a statement.

 

TEMPORARY PROTECTION

ORDER

A hearing is held shortly after a complaint is filed at the request of victim of certain crimes. This order advises the abuser to refrain from further abusive behavior. This order is in effect as long as the case is pending.