The judge is the person who presides over the courtroom. The judge will sit at a bench on an elevated platform. This platform stands above the rest of the courtroom. The judge has a large number of responsibilities in court. Fairness is essential to what a judge does in a courtroom. The judge has to make sure that proceedings are fair to both the prosecution and the defendant. Also, a judge has to make determinations of admissibility of evidence. This basically refers to what evidence can or cannot apply in your case. The judge also has to determine what law applies to each case. If there is a conviction of a defendant, or a defendant pleads guilty to a charge, the judge has to issue a sentence of punishment for the defendant.
In Connecticut, the State’s Attorney’s Office is where the prosecutors work. These attorneys are responsible for prosecuting people accused of crimes in Connecticut. The State’s Attorney represents the government. It looks to convict on pending charges. Also, defendants should interact with the prosecutor in court, in a polite and respectful manner.
In Connecticut, judicial marshals are sworn peace officers. Their responsibilities include transporting and processing prisoners, acting as bailiffs and providing judicial and courthouse security. They get stationed at the entrances to all courthouses in Connecticut. They provide mandatory metal detector services.
Police officers are the first law enforcement agency involved in an arrest. They do not have to appear in court for pretrial court hearings. But, they could appear at DMV hearings, motion hearings, or a trial. They often act as witnesses for the prosecution at trial.
In the context of criminal law, the term “lay witness” is a phrase for a witness who is not an expert, unlike doctors or police officers. In a DUI case, lay witnesses may include any eyewitnesses to a car accident, passengers in the car, complaining parties, or anyone else involved in the case.
If a blood sample is involved in a DUI case, the State’s Attorney’s Office will likely have one or more lab technicians involved. These scientists do blood testing at forensic laboratories relating to the collection and storage of samples.
In the context of legal jargon, an expert witness is not an eyewitness to the case. It is a person who gives an opinion based on advanced knowledge and expertise in a particular area. In order for a party to call an expert in a case, the judge has to find that the specific witness is qualified to give an opinion on the subject. A common example of an expert witness is a toxicologist. Experts are expensive, but can add a significant amount of substance to the defense.
A court clerk sits next to the judge and assists in running the courtroom. Clerks are the second-most important person in the room. Only judges have more power over courtroom proceedings. Lawyers and clients should act respectful and patient with the court clerk. I always make sure to know who the clerk is when I am at court.
If convicted of an offense, a defendant goes on probation as part of the sentence. They get assigned a probation officer. Probation officers work for the court system. They make sure the terms and conditions assessed by the court are being followed. If the terms of probation are violated, the probation officer will let the judge and prosecution know what happened. The violator will have to return to court to respond to the allegation.
Investigators may be a part of either the defense or prosecution. They basically investigate legal cases. They try to find out information to assist either side in our adversarial-based legal system. Investigators perform such tasks as locating witnesses, serving subpoenas, and finding evidence.