During & After Trial
If the defendant pleads not guilty, a trial may be held. The victim is usually the state's most important witness and along with other witnesses will be subpoenaed for trial. Your testimony may be necessary even if you have given a previous statement or deposition in the case. The rules of court are such that these statements cannot be substituted for live testimony.
In most cases, the assistant state attorney will want to meet with you prior to the time you testify to review the questions that they may ask you. Please make sure to ask any questions you may have about your testimony at that time.
Every effort will be made to avoid having you wait too long to testify once you arrive at the courthouse. During the trial you must be very careful not to discuss the case with anyone outside the courtroom. Sometimes circumstances make this impossible and you may have to wait. We suggest that you bring a book or some other item to occupy your time. Be sure to dress appropriately.
In misdemeanor cases, sentencing of the defendant usually occurs immediately after a guilty plea or a finding of guilt by the jury after a trial. In felony cases, a defendant who has pled guilty or been found guilty after a trial may be sentenced at a later date. The victim will be advised of the sentencing date.
At sentencing, the court can order the defendant to make restitution (pay for the victim's losses caused by the crime). If you are seeking restitution, you must itemize and document your losses, damages and injuries on the victim impact statement provided by the State Attorney's Office. Please attach bills, receipts and estimates to support your claim. These documents must be given to the State Attorney's Office prior to sentencing.
Types of Sentences
Community Control is usually referred to as house arrest. The defendant is allowed to remain in the community and work but must be home during non-working hours. A community control officer will supervise the defendant
This entails confinement in the county jail for a term of one year or less.
If the court has ordered restitution and the defendant is sentenced to probation or community control, payment of restitution will be monitored by the probation department assigned to the defendant's case.
The defendant is allowed to remain in the community and move freely under the supervision of his or her probation officer.
Special conditions of community control and probation may include restitution, drug/alcohol treatment, mental-health counseling and community service (a public service assignment to aid the community).
State Department of Corrections
This entails confinement in a state prison for a term exceeding one year.