What if a defense attorney or private investigator contacts a witness about a case?

A witness may be contacted by defense attorneys or investigators working for the defense attorney to discuss the case. While a witness is free to speak to about the case with anyone they chose, they are not required to do so. If a witness decides to discuss the case with the defense attorney or investigator, the prosecutor would like to have someone from our staff present during the interview.

A witness may refer the defense attorney to the prosecutor assigned to the case for any information he wants and may decline to discuss the case. If the person claims to be with law enforcement or the District Attorney's Office, please ask them to show some identification or for their telephone number to use to be sure it is a law enforcement number.

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1. What happens when a law enforcement agency files a case with the District Attorneys Office?
2. What happens once a case is indicted?
3. What is a plea bargain and how does the process work to resolve a case?
4. How often are criminal cases disposed of through the plea bargain agreements?
5. How does as a victim fit into the prosecution of a criminal case?
6. How can charges be dropped in a criminal case?
7. Can a witness refuse to testify?
8. What if a defense attorney or private investigator contacts a witness about a case?
9. How long will a witness have to be at the courthouse?
10. When a case goes to trial, who determines if the defendant is guilty or innocent?
11. The defendant has been found guilty, now what?
12. Once the defendant's punishment had been decided, is that the end of the case?
13. Are all cases argued before the appellate court?
14. If the defendant’s conviction is affirmed, may he seek other relief?
15. Do most defendants convicted in a trial appeal their conviction?