If you have had a person in your family become the victim of a homicide, you are likely going through a complicated grieving process. It might seem like too much to deal with the court proceedings on top of trying to pick up your life and move on. However, you might need or want to stay active in order to make sure that you are able to get justice for your loved one. Here are some tips for getting through the court process and making it go a little bit more smoothly.
1. Get To Know the Victim Coordinator
In the prosecutor's office, there will often be a person who is specifically in charge of helping those who were connected to the victim of a homicide stay involved in the judicial system, even if it is just keeping you up-to-date with regards to changes in court dates, location of the various trials, or even just how the judicial system is going to work in order to get justice for your loved one. In order to contact the victim coordinator, call up the office of the prosecuting attorney who is handling the case. He or she will be able to put you in touch with the coordinator by either giving you his or her phone number or email address. Send a message to the coordinator identifying yourself, how you are related to the case or to the victim, and your contact information. He or she will then contact you and answer any questions that you might have.
2. Get a Transcript
In certain cases, family members of the person who has been a victim of a homicide will not be allowed into the court room. This can be frustrating because you might want to know exactly what is going on. In order to stay involved, you can always contact the court and ask for a copy of the transcript. This will allow you to know exactly what is being said and allow you to make sure that the case is being handled properly. There may be a fee for the transcript.
3. Prepare a Victim Impact Statement
Finally, make sure that you stay abreast of the court proceedings in case they want you to give a victim impact statement. If the defendant is found guilty, you will have the chance to go before the judge and the jury and talk about how the murder of your loved one has affected you financially, emotionally, and in any other way. This can have an impact on the sentencing of the defendant.
For more information, talk to a homicide lawyer today.