Victim Witness Services FAQ

Once the case has been filed with our office you will be assigned to an advocate. The advocate’s job is to help you understand what is going on in this case as well as to refer you to resources within the community that will be able to serve you during this time. The advocate will contact you both by telephone and letter. They can also use email if that is your preferred communication method. Your advocate will mail you information about upcoming court dates as they are scheduled by the court. Your advocate will also make reasonable attempts to contact you by phone, email or postal service to notify you of various critical stage events during this process.

  • The filing of charges against a person accused of a crime
  • Decision not to file charges against a person accused of a crime
  • The preliminary hearing
  • Any bond reduction or modification hearing where the request is made for a bond lower than the scheduled or customary amount for the specific charges
  • The arraignment of a person accused of a crime
  • Any hearing on motions concerning evidence matters or pre-or post-plea relief
  • Any subpoena for a victim’s medical, mental health, education, or victim’s compensation records
  • Any disposition of the complaint or charges against the person accused
  • The trial
  • Any sentencing hearing
  • Any appellate review or appellate decision
  • Any subsequent modification of the sentence
  • Any probation revocation hearing
  • Any attack on a judgment or conviction
  • The filing of any complaint, summons, or warrant by the probation department for failure to report to probation or because the location of a person convicted of a crime is unknown
  • Any petition by a sex offender to terminate sex offender registration

The defense has a right to contact you in order to pursue their investigation. You have the right to speak with the defense, but are not obligated to. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your advocate.

You may either be subpoenaed by the prosecution or the defense. If you are subpoenaed by the defense, please let your advocate know. If you are subpoenaed by the prosecution, your advocate, along with our witness coordinator, will keep in contact with you to notify you of when you may need to testify in court and the amount of time your testimony may take. You will then come to our private Victim Witness Waiting Room where you may watch TV, talk on the phone, read books, play cards or simply hang out while waiting for your time to testify.

The deputy district attorney assigned to the case will make every effort to prepare you for testimony, should it be required. Many cases are resolved through the use of a plea agreement or “plea bargain” and will not require you to testify in court. However, should a case be set for a jury trial or a trial to the court, you may be required to testify.
If you are subpoenaed to testify in court, you will walk up to the witness stand, sit down and be sworn in by the judge. The witness stand is located in an area near where the judge sits, and close to where the jury sits when there is a trial. The defendant and his/her attorney(s) sit at a table nearby. The deputy district attorney also sits at a table nearby. While you are sitting in the witness stand, you do not need to look at the defendant but he/she will be present throughout your testimony. The defendant is not allowed to make any sort of contact with witnesses, verbally or through facial expressions, and will not be permitted to intimidate you in any way. If you feel as though you are being intimidated by the defendant, please tell your advocate or the deputy district attorney.
If you have to testify, here are a few things to remember:

  • Be Truthful

As a witness, your job is to just tell the facts as you know them, as simply and clearly as you can. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t guess. If you don’t understand a question, you can ask for the question to be repeated or for it to be explained.

  • Answer Only the Question Asked

The deputy district attorney will guide you through a sequence of questions, many of which can simply be answered “yes” or “no.” Do not try to say everything at once or and don’t volunteer information.

  • Remain Calm and Respectful

Slow down, breathe and take a minute to think before you answer a question. Wait until a question is finished before answering. Being respectful to the attorneys when they are asking you questions lets the jury and judge focus on your answers and not your attitude. Losing your temper or trying to guess what the attorneys are going to do with your answers may make it seem like you are not being truthful.

In many cases, a plea agreement can be reached. This means a child victim or witness will not have to testify in a court for a trial. However, in some cases testimony will be required for a child witness. If the child is very young or impaired, there may be some provision to allow a video of his/her interview to be used. Otherwise, the child witness will testify on the stand in court. If this should be required, the deputy district attorney, the advocate and the child’s parent or guardian will work closely with the child witness to prepare them to testify. Please contact the advocate assigned to your case with any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s involvement in the criminal justice process.

The idea of testifying in court can cause anxiety. The staff at the District Attorney’s Office will work with you to prepare you for what you might expect and help you understand the process. Please remember that once you’ve been served with a subpoena, you are legally obligated to appear and testify truthfully court, even if you don’t want to. The judge can issue a warrant for your arrest if you fail to appear for court after you have received a subpoena.

There are a number of possible outcomes or dispositions in a criminal case. A case may proceed to a guilty plea or a trial and then to a sentencing hearing. The defendant can only be sentenced after he/she has pled guilty or is found guilty at a trial (conviction). There are a variety of sentencing possibilities and ranges that are determined by law. The judge has to consider what crime(s) the defendant has pled guilty to or was found guilty of by the jury as well as the defendant’s criminal history. Within the sentencing range determined by law, the judge will decide upon the defendant’s sentence. Sentencing possibilities can include fines, time to be served at the county detention facility, a term of probation, community corrections or prison or some combination of all these possibilities.

Many convictions are the result of a plea agreement. A plea agreement is the result of negotiations between the deputy district attorney and the defendant that will achieve justice and may eliminate the need for witnesses to testify. You have the right to be consulted with by the deputy district attorney prior to the offer of a plea agreement to the defendant. Once the defendant agrees to the terms of the plea offered, the plea agreement is presented to the judge for approval.

The District Attorney’s Office is legally responsible for treating cases with similar facts in a fair and equal way. Sometimes that results in a plea agreement that you do not agree with. The deputy district attorney can meet with you, at your request, in order to answer any questions you may have about the plea agreement and explain how he/she arrived at the offer. Please consult the advocate assigned to your case if you’d like to schedule a meeting with a deputy district attorney.

There are several RTD routes that provide transportation to the Adams and Broomfield County Justice Centers.

Click Here for RTD Schedule

It is possible the defendant and the defense attorney may choose to enter a guilty plea or the case may be continued at any point prior to the start of a scheduled court hearing. This could occur even minutes before your appearance is required. The District Attorney’s Office provides two ways to check on the status of your subpoena. You may call 303 659-7735 after 5:00 P.M. and before 8:00 A.M. weekdays to hear a listing of court hearings scheduled for the next day. You may also contact the advocate assigned to the case to get the most updated information about a scheduled court hearing. Calling may save you a trip to the Justice Center.

If you have questions concerning your subpoena, please contact the advocate assigned to the case at 303-659-7735 in Adams County or at 720-887-2199 in Broomfield County during office hours (8am to 5 pm, Mon-Fri). You may also contact the deputy district attorney assigned to the case at these numbers.

No, if you have been subpoenaed by the prosecution, your travel will be coordinated with a member of the District Attorney Office staff to make and purchase arrangements such as lodging, airfare, shuttle or similar assistance. You will be contacted directly by a member of the District Attorney’s Office making your travel arrangements, by the deputy district attorney and by the assigned advocate closer to the scheduled court hearing date. This provides a much better chance the travel will actually be needed since court hearing dates can change. If you have questions, please contact the advocate assigned to your case at 303-659-7735 in Adams County and at 720-887-2199 in Broomfield County.

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