In order to question a victim, do you have to be hired by the defense in order to have it considered as evidence for the case?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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In order to question a victim, do you have to be hired by the defense in order to have it considered as evidence for the case?

I want to question the victim of a case, where my fiance is the suspect. I have done a lot of investigating and research of the case; after my research and reading of the police reports I have done, there is a lot of contradictions. Do I have to be hired by the defense attorney to question the victim? If I could not question the victim myself can I hire someone to do it for me?

Asked on August 27, 2011 Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Don't do this...raise your concerns to your fiance's defense attorney, and let him or  her take action.

First, anyone other than the state or the defence attorney has no right to question a crime victim; you can, of course, ask if they'll talk to you, but they are under no obligation to do so. And even the authorities and the defense attorney would have to resort to legal process--e.g. a subpoena--if the victim doesn't want to talk to them.

Second, and more importantly, you are involved with alleged perp. If you try to talk to a witness in the case, especially the victim, it could be taken as an attempt to tamper with or threaten a witness. That could result in criminal liabilty for you and possibly additional liability for your fiance, if they believe he was involved, too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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