Does the victim of crime have input on the criminal case?
Yes. The State’s Attorney's Office takes very seriously what the victim would like to see happen within realistic and legal boundaries or penalties allowed under the law. However each case is unique and has its own set of facts/evidence to consider. Prosecutors not only listen to victim input they must also factor in several things before determining a plea offer, such as: violent or non violent offense; the weaknesses and strengths of the evidence; potential witness testimony or cooperation; probability of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial; restitution; victim injuries; whether the defendant has a criminal history; defendant’s age; what the judge must consider at sentencing, etc. Although victim input is important, the final decision rests with the prosecutor after weighing in all factors how to proceed on a case. If you are a violent crime victim and have not been contacted please call the Lake County State’s Attorney office at 847-377-3000 with the offenders name and ask to speak to the prosecutor or coordinator who can assist you. If a coordinator has not been assigned request to speak to the Lead Coordinator Margarita Garcia for direction.

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1. What type of services and information can I get through Victim Witness Assistance Unit?
2. If I am the victim in a criminal case, do I need to hire an attorney?
3. Can I drop charges against the defendant/offender?
4. Are defendants required to attend all court dates?
5. Are crime victim(s) or witnesses required to go to all court dates?
6. Can victims attend court dates?
7. How do I find out the next court date?
8. Will a Victim Witness Assistance Coordinator be assigned to every case?
9. How can an offender plea not guilty if he/she made a statement to the police or there are witnesses to the crime?
10. Who decides if the defendant pleas guilty or request a trial?
11. Will I have to testify in court?
12. What do I do if I receive a subpoena to testify?
13. What should I do if the defense attorney or investigator contacts me?
14. How long will I be in court?
15. Can a friend or relative be in court when I testify?
16. Will the defendant be in the courtroom when I testify?
17. What time does court start?
18. Where do I park when I come to the court house or Lake County State’s Attorney Office?
19. Does the victim of crime have input on the criminal case?
20. What is a victim impact statement?
21. Who can present a victim impact statement (VIS) in court?
22. When should a violent crime victim prepare or write a victim impact statement (VIS)?
23. When does the victim present the victim impact statement (VIS) in court?
24. How many victim impact statements can be presented in court?
25. Is a violent crime victim required to complete a victim impact statement (VIS)?
26. Can I write and present a victim impact statement for a non-violent crime in court?
27. Is there money to help cover medical expenses as a result of violent crime committed against me?
28. Is there money to help violent crime victims and families of homicide with medical, counseling, and burial expenses?
29. What is the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Compensation Program and who is eligible?
30. Is counseling available to violent crime victims?