The State’s Attorney’s Office for Charles County is committed to assisting and supporting the victims and witnesses of crime. To provide a wide range of helpful and useful services to victims, we operate a specialized Victim Witness Assistance Unit staffed by experienced and trained professionals.
The Victim Witness Assistance Unit provides guidance to victims and witnesses throughout the criminal justice process in order to ensure that they are aware of their rights and the resources available to them. Services include safety planning, court accompaniment, and agency referrals.
The State’s Attorney’s Office for Charles County has no tolerance for attempts to intimidate victims, witnesses, or officers of the court.
If you have been threatened, intimidated, or influenced regarding a case, you should immediately contact the law enforcement agency that investigated the case, or the Assistant State’s Attorney handling your case. If you do not know the attorney handling your case, please contact our Victim Witness Assistance Unit at 301-932-3360.
In an emergency situation, call 911. Do so as soon as possible so that the threats can be documented and appropriate action taken.
VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a free service which allows crime victims across Maryland to receive automated, timely, and reliable information about criminal cases 24 hours a day – over the telephone, through the Internet, or by e-mail. Victims can also request to be notified about the current status of an inmate and can register to be notified immediately upon a change in the inmate’s status, such as a release, escape, or court appearance. For more information or to register for notification please call 1-866-634-8463 or click the following link:
Victim Notification information (1 of 2)
Victim Notification information (2 of 2)
- Obtain information about your case, including current status
- Participate in programs and services available in your local area
- Financial Assistance
- Crisis intervention services
- Domestic violence programs
- Crime victim advocates
- Support groups
- Receive and submit a “Crime Victim Notification Request and Demand for Rights Form”
- Attend all adult and certain juvenile criminal justice proceedings
- Request restitution
- Submit a written statement and speak at sentencing/disposition
- Be informed of the release, transfer, escape, or death of an inmate
- You can receive automated online notifications about offenders through VINElink
- Attend and testify at parole hearings
When you are summoned to Court, you need to be available for the entire day. It is difficult to determine how long you will be in court. You may be excused or you may be needed for more than a day. Often victims and witness have to wait until preliminary procedures are completed. You may want to eat before coming to court and remember to bring any medications that you are required to take throughout the day.
Food, beverages, radios, recorders, cameras, weapons, sharp objects, electronic games, and large bags are not allowed into the courthouse and will be confiscated upon entering.
If you need handicapped or other special arrangements made for the day of your testimony, please call the CCSAO’s Victim Witness Assistance Unit at 301-932-3360.
There are often last-minute cancellations or postponements to cases. For Circuit Court cases, you can call 301-932-3360 after 5 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to testify to listen to any cancellations. You can also call the State’s Attorney’s Office when you receive a subpoena or summons with any questions.
Because the State of Maryland is a party in every criminal case, the State’s Attorney’s Office makes the final decision about how to best proceed in cases. While the State’s Attorney’s Office will actively consult with victims in cases, just because a victim wants to “drop” a case does not mean that the case will be “automatically” dismissed. Do not simply fail to come to court; this can result in a body attachment, arrest, and incarceration.
- Be on time.
- Wear business attire to court.
- Avoid distracting habits such as chewing gum.
- Before testifying, try to recall information accurately in your mind.
- Tell the truth. Answer the question to the best of your memory. Do not exaggerate.
- Stop testimony immediately if the judge interrupts you or an attorney makes an objection.
- Speak loudly so that you can be heard. Physical gestures, such as nods of the head are insufficient. You must articulate your response.
- Listen carefully and answer only the question that is asked of you. Do not volunteer additional information.
- Do not give conclusions or opinions unless asked to do so.
Center for Abused Persons brochure (1 of 2)
Center for Abused Persons brochure (2 of 2)