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Yes. Courtrooms are open to the public with the exception of juvenile court. Victims are welcome to attend court proceedings but their presence is not required at all court dates. Victims will be subpoenaed or notified if their testimony is needed. Since victim presence is not required on all court dates, it is suggested victims call the working day before attending court to check if the case is still scheduled. Call the State’s Attorney's office at 847-377-3000. If you do not know the assigned prosecutor or victim specialist, please have the name of the defendant and/or case number available.
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Yes, unless their presence on a particular court date has been waived (excused) by the judge.
No. Victims and witnesses will be notified by subpoena to testify if the case goes to trial or contacted if there is a hearing requiring their presence. It is very important you notify the State’s Attorney's Office of any changes in address or phone numbers from the time of the original police report.
Contact the Lake County State’s Attorney's Office 847-377-3000 and request to speak with the assigned victim specialist or prosecutor of the case. If you do not know who the victim specialist or prosecutor is on the case, please have the defendant’s name and/or case number when you call. If you do not have a contact person at the State’s Attorney's Office, ask to speak to the Chief of Victim Services, Jacqueline Herrera-Giron.
To determine whether your testimony will be needed, please call the State's Attorney's Office at 847-377-3000 and ask to speak to the prosecutor or the victim specialist assigned to the case. When you call, have the subpoena at hand because it contains the defendant’s name, case number, courtroom, and other important information you will need. If you are needed to testify, the State’s Attorney’s Office will work with you as best as possible to keep to a minimum your time away from work, school, or other obligations. If you receive a subpoena and do not make direct contact with our office, then you must appear at the date and time the subpoena indicates.
Court usually begins at 9 a.m. Lunch breaks are generally noon to 1:30 p.m. Court hearings can be specially set by the court and vary in time. If you plan to attend any court dates, please call the Lake County State’s Attorney's Office one working day before the court date with the defendant’s name and case number to check on the courtroom, time, and date. If there is a victim specialist assigned to the case, check in with them. If they are aware you plan to attend the court date, the victim specialist may be available to give additional assistance.
There are two main parking facilities near the Courthouse and Lake County Administration Building. Both parking facilities must be entered through County Street. One lot is attached on the north side of the 10-story Lake County Administration Building. Public parking is on the ground level. If this lot is full go half block further north on County Street and park in the red brick city facility on the east side of County Street. Please bring your parking vouchers inside with you.
Your testimony may be required during a trial, or possibly at another type of hearing. However, only a small percentage of criminal cases actually go to trial. The majority of defendants eventually admit guilt in criminal cases and plead guilty. Usually, this occurs in one of two different ways: in a negotiated plea, the prosecutor and the defense agree to a sentence, and they present the plea to the judge for approval. Alternatively, defendants sometimes simply plead guilty and the judge determines the sentence. If the defendant maintains his or her innocence in court and requests that the State prove criminal charges at trial, then victims and witnesses are subpoenaed to testify in court. Even if there is no trial, however, witness testimony is sometimes necessary or appropriate. For example, if the defendant pleads guilty to a crime, the victim of a violent crime may want to present a victim impact statement at the time of the plea or at the sentencing hearing. Another time witness testimony may be necessary is at a restitution hearing. Restitution hearings are sometimes necessary to determine the amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses or other damages that a defendant caused a victim to incur.