Victim Services

Steps in the prosecution of a criminal case:

1. The Arrest

After an arrest, the law enforcement officer prepares a written report of the incident, collects evidence, takes statements, etc. Once the investigation is completed, all of the information is forwarded to the District Attorney's Office and assigned to an Assistant District Attorney (ADA).

2. Screening

The ADA will review all of the information. If it is determined that the evidence is sufficient on which to base prosecution, formal charges will be filed against the defendant. 

3. Grand Jury

A Grand Jury is a closed hearing not open to the public. The Grand Jury is made up of normal citizens that hear testimony and decide what the defendant's formal charge, if any, will be. 

4. Arraignment

After formal charges are filed, the defendant will be arraigned. At an arraignment, the defendant pleads "guilty" or "not guilty" and a pretrial motion hearing is scheduled. If the defendant pleads guilty, he will be sentenced by a judge at that time. If he pleads not guilty, a trial date will be set.

5. Pre-Trial Motion

In a criminal case, one or more pretrial motion hearings may be scheduled. A motion is a written or verbal request by the defendant's attorney for the judge to issue a ruling or an order. A common motion in criminal cases is a preliminary exam in which a judge determines whether or not probable cause exists. Usually an officer will testify as to why the defendant was arrested. If the judge does not find probable cause, the defendant will be released from his bond obligation or from jail. 

6. Trial

There are usually several cases set for trial on the same day or in the same week. Subpoenas are issued for the witnesses, and in felony cases, a jury is selected. A felony criminal trial can last up to a week, and a misdemeanor trial will last about an hour or more. All trials consist of opening arguments, testimony and closing arguments. In most felony trials, the jury will decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty. In misdemeanor trials, the judge will decide. 

7. Sentencing

If a defendant is found guilty by a judge or jury, he may be sentenced that day. A judge is responsible for sentencing the defendant. Some judges order a presentence investigation in which the defendant's prior  offenses, severity of the crime and impact on the victim are examined. The judge will schedule sentencing at a later date once the presentence investigation is complete.

Victim Assistance Coordinators

Pam Hawkins


Karen Dobbins-Brown


Faith Benton


Evelyn DeLeon


Kristin Lestage


Lisa Stewart


Laura Guidry


Update Victim Contact Info

If you are a victim in a case with in our office and would like to update your contact info to ensure you receive updates on your case, please fill out the information below. 

Note: Please fill out the fields marked with an asterisk.

Victims of most felony crimes qualify for certain rights under the Victim's Rights Act 783 enacted by the Louisiana Legislature.


These rights include:

  • The right to reasonable notice and to be present and heard during all critical stages or pre-and post-conviction proceedings;
  • The right to confer with the prosecution prior to final disposition of the case;
  • The right to refuse to be interviewed by the accused or a representative of the accused;
  • The right to review and comment on any pre-and post-sentence report;
  • The right to reasonably prompt conclusion of the case;
  • The right to seek restitution;
  • The right to be informed upon the release from custody or the escape of the accused or the offender.

To determine if your case qualifies for these rights, please contact your Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC).

 Domestic Violence Crisis Line

1 (800) 915-0045


Sexual Assault Crisis Line:

1 (800) 777-8868





Victim Crime Reparation's Board:



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