I am facing felony ID theft charges but the complaintant is out of state. How does this affect me and my case? Does the state pay for the complaintant to come to pre-trial and trial? Can the detective testify on this persons behalf? How does this effect my right to confront my accusers in court? Does this make ut harder to prosecute me?
5 Answers from Attorneys
For purposes of preliminary hearing, the prosecution doesn't have to bring in the victim, and could just have law enforcement testify on the alleged victims behalf. After prelim, the victim generally has to be present for trial. If you have further questions, contact me. ........ David Wallin
You have the right to confront the witnesses against you at trial, but not before. Note that many cases can be prosecuted without testimony from the victim. That is why homicide cases don't automatically fail. If other witnesses can prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then the victim's testimony is not necessary.
I can't tell you whether the alleged victim's testimony will be necessary in your case. If it is, the prosecutor will make sure she comes to trial to testify.
I vigorously disagree. IN THE PAST, the prelim was one where the officer testified and could go into the allegations of the victim. That area of law is rapidly changing, especially in the new Bullcoming case. Although these deal with trial rights, I expect the protection of the right to confrontation to bleed over to prelims, and soon prelims will require live witnesses just like trials, as has occurred where chemical tests came in (OVER MY OBJECTION) without live supporting testimony.
Mr. Fleetwood's prediction may prove correct in time. Because you have already been charged, your prelim will probably happen fairly soon. The law will not have changed by then. Your lawyer can argue for the change Mr. Fleetwood predicts; perhaps your case will be the one that makes it happen. Either way, though, it may be unnecessary for the victim to appear even at your trial, let alone at your prelim, for the reasons I explained above.
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