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?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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