CRIME VICTIMS DIVISION-JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

Image: Crime Victims Division-Juvenile Justice System
Each Spring, Prosecutor Leyton holds a ceremony on the front steps of the Genesee County Courthouse to commemorate National CrimeVictims Week. Joining him in the picture above were Sheriff Pickell, several Judges and County Commissioners, and the
Reverend Kevlin and Iola Jones, Parents of a murder victim. The Genesee County Prosecutor's Office has crime victim advocates for both adult and juvenile cases.  We recognize that being a victim of a crime is a very painful experience for any person.  The Crime Victims' Services Division is designed to help crime victims return to their normal way of life, while offering guidance through the criminal justice system.  We are here to assist you.  Please bring your questions and problems to us at the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office, Crime Victim's Services Division at (810) 257-3493.

Our Basic Services

  • Orientation to the Criminal Justice System: Explaining subpoenas and court procedures; giving specific information about individual cases.
  • Court Support Services:  Escorting victims to court upon request; notifying victims of changes in court appearances.
  • Case Status and Disposition:  Informing victims of ongoing status and final disposition.
  • Impact Statement:  An opportunity to let the Judge know how this crime affected your life.
  • Referrals:  Directing victims to community resources for further assistance.
  • Crime Victims Compensation:  Helping qualified victims to apply for medical, funeral and counseling assistance.
  • Threat of Violence or Intimidation:  Please contact our office IMMEDIATELY for appropriate police agency referral.
  • Information on obtaining restitution.
  • Information on return of personal property.

Your Rights as a Victim of Crime

As a victim of a crime, you have the following basic rights as provided by Article I, Section 24 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan:

  • The right to be treated with fairness and respect for your dignity and privacy throughout the process.
  • The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the juvenile justice process.
  • The right to notification of court proceedings.
  • The right to attend court proceedings.
  • The right to confer with the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney assigned to the case.
  • The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing.
  • The right to restitution.
  • The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.

As a victim of crime, you also have the following rights under the Crime Victim's Rights Act of 1985.  In order to fully exercise these rights, and to be informed of the status of your case, you must complete and return the Victim's Rights Request form that is forwarded to you by the prosecutor's office.

You have the following rights prior to prosecution upon written request:

  • To be notified about victims compensation benefits and the address of the Victims Compensation Board.
  • To be given the telephone number of the Regional Detention Center to call to determine if the defendant has been released from custody.
  • To be instructed on court procedures.
  • To be notified of the procedures to follow if you are threatened or intimidated by the defendant.

Post-Sentence Rights Provided Only Upon Written Request

To take advantage of the post-sentence rights, you must notify the Department of Human Services or the juvenile detention center (if the defendant is detained), that you want to be notified of defendants release or placement change. It is your responsibility to keep them informed of your current address.

  • To receive within thirty (30) days of your request, a notice of the earliest possible release date for the defendant.
  • To be notified of a release or pending release of the defendant to a community residential program or transfer to community status.
  • To be notified of hearing on reprieve, commutation or pardon of sentence.

Your Obligations and Responsibilities to our Community as a Victim of Crime

As a victim of crime, your help is very important to our system of justice.  When victims report a crime and testify, they help to make the community a safer place to live. As a citizen of our community and as a victim of a crime, please be advised of the following obligations:

  • Cooperate fully with law enforcement officials
  • Cooperate fully with court officials
  • Testify honestly and completely
  • Immediately notify the Crime Victims' Services Division in the event of a change in your address or phone number

Testifying

Bringing a defendant to trial can be a lengthy process. Your cooperation and involvement in the justice system is the first step in successful prosecution. The following are suggestions to help you in the event that you are called to testify as a witness.

  • The most important thing is to tell the truth.
  • Dress properly and have a neat appearance.
  • Do not try to memorize your testimony.
  • Speak clearly and loudly enough so that all can hear.
  • Listen carefully to the questions that are asked and give thoughtful, considered answers.
  • Answer in a direct and simple manner.
  • Do not give your opinions or feelings unless you are specifically asked to do so.
  • Do not argue on cross-examination.
  • Stop instantly when a judge interrupts or an attorney objects to a question.

Threats

If you, as the victim of a crime, receive a threat from the defendant or from any other person in relation to your case, you should immediately report it to your local police agency.  Be sure to explain that you have been threatened in relation to the crime.

Subpoena Witness Fee

A subpoenaed witness will receive $6.00 for each half day and $12.00 for each full day that he or she is called to testify.  The witness will also be paid .10 per mile. These amounts are set by law.

Victim Parking

You may park at meters around the courthouse. Victim Services cannot pay parking tickets.

Click here for directions to the Genesee County Circuit Court.

To locate the accused or defendant in your case, you may click on the following links: OTIS (Offender Tracking Information System)

JUVENILE COURT TERMS

Listed below are brief explanations of some of the hearings and other terms associated with Juvenile Court.   Any hearing at any time can become a final disposition of the case.  Therefore, if you wish to address the court regarding your case, you need to attend all hearings. In addition, if you wish to obtain restitution you need to submit documentation as soon as possible.

INQUIRY HEARING - An informal hearing held before a Referee. Audio or videotape is not used to tape this hearing. The Referee keeps track of the decision by completing an order. If the defendant denies the charge it is scheduled for a Contested Pre-Trial Hearing in front of an assigned Judge. The victim or their representative can appear for the hearing and are allowed to address the court regarding their concerns. If the defendant takes responsibility for the charge the case is set for a formal hearing or the referee can proceed to disposition.

PRELIMINARY HEARING - An informal hearing held before a Referee. A court clerk uses both audio and videotape to record this hearing. The victim or their representative can attend this hearing., but are not allowed to address the court regarding their concerns. They are only allowed to observe. If the defendant denies the charges it is scheduled for a Contested Pre-Trial Hearing in front of an assigned Judge. If the defendant takes responsibility for the charge the case is set for a formal hearing or the referee can proceed to disposition.

CONTESTED PRE-TRIAL – This is a formal hearing held in front of an assigned Judge. The Assistant Prosecutor and the Defense Attorney try to resolve the case and/or any pre-trial issues. If the defendant denies the charges the case is set for a Final Pre-Trial and a Jury/Bench Trial. If the defendant takes responsibility for the charge the case is set for a dispositional hearing or the Judge can proceed to disposition.

FINAL PRE-TRIAL – This is when the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and the Defense Attorney get together before the trial in order to resolve the matter without having a trial. This can be accomplished with a plea bargain, dismissal, or a plea of charge. If there is a plea the case can be set for a dispositional hearing or the Judge can proceed to disposition.

JURY TRIAL/BENCH TRIAL – This is a trial to determine the defendant’s- guilt or innocence. This is the next step after a contested pre-trial if the defendant denies the charges at the CPT. The victim and witnesses have to be sequestered from the courtroom during the trial. This is to prevent witnesses from influencing each other’s testimony. If the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty a dispositional hearing is scheduled.

FORMAL HEARING/DISPOSITIONAL HEARING – Equivalent to the sentencing in the adult system. The victim or their representative is given the opportunity to address the court on how this crime has affected them and their family. Possible sentences are – community service, counseling, consent calendar probation, or placement outside the home.

REVIEW HEARING – A review hearing can either be a paper review (no one attends court) or an actual in person review.  The Referee does most reviews. Reviews are when the Judge/Referee looks at the recommendation submitted by the Juvenile probation officer or juvenile justice worker and then continues the probation, changes the condition of probation, dismisses the case, or places the Juvenile outside the home.

CONSENT CALENDAR PROBATION – If a Juvenile is placed on consent calendar probation they must follow all the rules of that probation, if there are no further incidents involving this juvenile during the CCP then the case will be dismissed without a hearing and the juvenile will not have a record.

EVIDENTIARY HEARING – This is a hearing to resolve issues prior to trial. Hearing to decide what evidence or testimony the court will or will not allow at trial. Can decide if someone else’s testimony can take the place of the child’s when the child is not old enough or capable of testifying (such as Dr.’s report of injuries).

CRIME VICTIMS' SERVICES DIVISION-JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

STAFF LIST

NAME TITLE TELEPHONE EMAIL ADDRESS
Lisa Baker Crime Victims' Rights Advocate 810.257.3493 lbaker@co.genesee.mi.us
Nikki Fargo Secretary 810.257.3493 nfargo@co.genesee.mi.us