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How do I present myself best in the Criminal Indecent Assault case wherein I am the Victim Witness next week?

Berkeley, CA |

I am the Victim Witness (the victim) in a Criminal Sexual Assault (Indecent Assault on a person over 14) case next week and have never even spoken to the DA who is supposed to support my side. He has not informed how I should present myself verbally or physically. I would like to go prepared and have no idea what to expect. Please inform?

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Attorney answers 3


Are you sure you are supposed to go to court next week? Usually the only time a victim shows up for court is to testify at trial. And you will have spoken to the DA and been prepped by the DA long before trial starts. Otherwise you don't appear in court for most appearances. In addition, most DA's offices have a victim witness advocate program, where a person from the DA's office is assigned to accompany the victim to court and to act as a go between the DA's office and the victim. I would call the DA's office and ask to speak to the DA assigned to your case and/or the victim witness advocate for more information.


Mr. Farina is correct: verify your court date and contact the District Attorney's office.

How to present yourself? Honestly. Do not volunteer anything. Answer only the question posed to you; don't go off on a tangent because you don't know what is significant and what is not. I always tell people to dress like you're going to church/synagogue/etc. Or the way you would go to your grandmother's 80th birthday party with all the relatives there.

But call the DA.



I am positive I have to go to the Criminal Trial - if I don't, I have been informed, the case will be dismissed. I agree, the fact that I have not yet been in contact (but, indeed and briefly, with the Victim Witness Advocate) a week from the trial is ludicrous. I feel VERY uninformed and even more unsupported.

Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst

Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst


Let me point you to a fairly new California constitutional provision: When you speak to the DA's Office, refer to it.


District Attorney for Alameda County Nancy E. O'Malley has a Victim & Witness Services website:

Educational purposes answer. | | | | | Non-privileged answer.

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