Victims and Witnesses
Victims and Witnesses
The State's Attorney's Office for Charles County is committed to assisting and supporting the victims and witnesses of crime. To provide a wide range of helpful and useful services to victims, we operate a specialized Victim/Witness Unit staffed by experienced and trained professionals.
Information for Victims and Witnesses:
- When you are summoned to Court, you need to be available for the entire day. It is difficult to determine how long you will be in court. You may be excused or you may be needed for more than a day. Often, victims and witnesses have to wait until preliminary procedures are completed. There are often last-minute cancellations or postponements to cases. For Circuit Court cases, you can call 301-932-3360 after 5 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to testify to listen to any cancellations. You can also call the State's Attorney's Office when you receive a subpoena or summons with any questions.
- When you come to Court, be sure to be on time and wear business attire. The most important thing is to tell the truth. Answer questions as best you are able. Do not exaggerate or speculate. If you do not know an answer to a question, do not guess; just say that you do not know.
- As the victim of a crime, you have certain rights. Those rights include: obtaining information about the status of your case, attending any adult proceedings and certain juvenile proceedings, requesting restitution, addressing the judge at the time of sentencing, and being informed of the release of a defendant. You can receive automated online notifications about offenders through VINElink.
- Some victims may be eligible for compensation by submitting a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
- Because the State of Maryland is a party in every criminal case, the State's Attorney's Office makes the final decision about how to best proceed in cases. While the State's Attorney's Office will actively consult with victims in cases, just because a victim wants to "drop" a case does not mean that the case will be "automatically" dismissed. Do not simply fail to come to court; this can result in a body attachment, arrest, and incarceration.