When you’re charged with a juvenile crime, all of a sudden you need the help of a lawyer, an investigator, and more professionals. On top of this, when you go to court, there are all of these different types of people involved in your case. Feeling overwhelmed by it all? You can learn about the professionals involved in your case here.
The court clerk in your case will sit beside the judge and help run the courtroom. Court clerks are the second most important person in the room, only second to the judge in power over your case. You should always be respectful to the court clerk.
An expert witness is a person that gives an opinion based on expertise in a particular area. In order for someone to be considered an expert, the judge in your case has to find that the specific witness is qualified to give an opinion of weight on the subject at hand. Expert witnesses can be expensive, but they can be essential to a juvenile defense.
Investigators can act on behalf of the prosecution or the defense. They investigate legal cases and try to find out information to assist either the defense or the prosecution. Investigators locate witnesses, find evidence, and serve subpoenas, among other tasks.
Judicial Marshals are sworn peace officers responsible for transporting and processing defendants, acting as bailiffs, and providing security in the courthouse.
The judge is the person that presides over the courtroom and the one who will be determining the outcome of your case. Among the judge’s responsibilities are: treating the defendant with fairness, making sure that the proceedings are fair for both the defense and the prosecution, determining what evidence can be admissible in court, determining what laws apply to each case, and, in juvenile proceedings, determining the outcome and penalties of the case.
If a blood sample is involved in your case (oftentimes in a drug or alcohol related case), the State’s Attorney’s Office will have a lab technician draw, test, and store the blood sample.
Anyone that is not an expert witness is considered a lay witness. Lay witnesses can include eyewitnesses, character references, and other ordinary people called to testify.
Police officers are the first law enforcement agents that you will encounter if you are charged with a crime. Police officers don’t have to appear in pretrial hearings, but they can testify at your trial. They will act as witnesses for the prosecution.
If you are placed on probation, you will be under the supervision of a probation officer. Probation officers work for the court and make sure that the conditions of release are being followed by the defendant in a case. If probation is violated, the probation officer will report this to the court.
In Connecticut, prosecutors work at the State’s Attorney’s office. These attorneys will prosecute people accused of a crime in Connecticut. The State’s Attorney represents the government and looks to convict defendants on pending charges.