Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

My father is on trial and being charged for PC288.5(A)

I am one of the many victims of the crime, but happen to be supposedly the "main victim" and without me they wouldn't have a case. The DA claims that I only have to testify 1, maybe 2 days, and I'll be completely done with everything. They originally told me I would never have to testify, they would take a statement and the detective that took the statement would testify on my behalf. How can I not be forced to relive this experience? What do I need to know prior to testifying or do I have the right to demand they have the detective testify on my behalf like they said he would? I saw something on marsy's law about refusal to be interviewed by the defense, does that mean that during the trial I don't have to deal with the defense at all? Or is that just something to do with pre-trial? I never wanted to be apart of this and it's a long and terrible story on how I ended up here, but I need guidance. I will not be a victim again, I need to be as informed as possible to preferably get out of this entirely (but realistically finish this with some dignity). Please help.

Asked on 11/06/13, 4:27 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

At the Preliminary Examination the investigator can testify based on his/her notes. But at trial your father has a constitutional right to confront his accusers which means you must testify in the courtroom. As to Marsy prior to trial you can refuse to talk to a defense investigator but at trial your father's right to confrontation gives him the right to have his attorney cross examine you. No defense attorney would pass up this opportunity.

You might attempt to talk the prosecutor into attempting to get your father to plead guilty by offering less time in exchange for a guilty plea.

If you have any questions you may call me at 415-336-7534.

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Answered on 11/06/13, 10:40 pm

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

The defense will object to the investigator's testimony about what you told him or her, on the grounds of hearsay. That is why the prosecutor wants your testimony.

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Answered on 11/07/13, 4:59 am

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