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Victims of Misdemeanors

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If you wish to report a crime, please immediately contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. The DA's Office does not investigate crimes. All investigations are conducted by local law enforcement. For a list of law enforcement agencies in Mecklenburg County, visit our helpful links page.
The District Attorney’s Office is committed to seeking justice for crime victims and protecting the community. The DA’s Misdemeanor Team, which prosecutes more than 200,000 misdemeanor and traffic offenses each year, works every day to make Mecklenburg County a safer place to live, work and raise a family.

If you are the victim of a misdemeanor offense, an Assistant District Attorney will speak with you about the case in the courtroom on the day of the defendant’s court date. Please see the frequently asked questions below for more information about your role in the case.

Misdemeanor cases are tried in Mecklenburg County District Court. If a defendant enters a plea of not guilty, the case will proceed to trial in District Court, where a judge will issue a verdict of guilty or not guilty. (There are no jury trials for criminal cases in District Court.) If a judge finds the defendant guilty, the defendant may appeal the decision for a jury trial in Superior Court, as allowed under North Carolina law.

Citizens Court, also known as private warrant court, is utilized for cases in which victims go to a magistrate and file misdemeanor charges against another person. In Citizens Court, which is held in courtroom 4330, the victim and the defendant attempt to achieve a resolution with the help of mediators provided by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dispute Settlement Program. This court aims to help the parties, who are often neighbors or family members, address underlying issues through mediation. Citizens Court also allows the DA’s Office to more efficiently prosecute and resolve cases involving private warrants. If you have gone before a magistrate to obtain a private warrant, the case may be assigned to Citizens Court. Please follow up with the DA’s Office or the Clerk of Court’s Office regarding your court date. Citizens Court will not hear serious or violent misdemeanors, such as domestic violence cases, sexual battery, incidents that involve serious injuries or incidents that involve victims who are children.

ATTENTION ALL VICTIMS AND WITNESSES: If your address or phone number has changed since that information was provided to police and there has been an arrest in your case, please immediately call the DA’s Office at 704-686-0700 and provide the new information. If the police have not yet made an arrest, please continue to keep the police (not the DA’s Office) updated with your contact information. Visit our helpful links for contact information for law enforcement agencies in Mecklenburg County and North Carolina.

Frequently asked questions from victims of misdemeanors
+When will there be a court date?

Once a defendant is arrested or served with a warrant, an administrative court date is set. Victims do not need to be present on this date. Following that initial date, another court date will be set. A trial date is typically set one to two months after an arrest. Victims will be subpoenaed by phone by a representative of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office two to three weeks before that court date. Because all subpoenas for misdemeanor court dates are done by telephone, it is very important that you contact the DA’s Office if your phone number changes. If anyone tells you that the court date has changed, you should contact the DA's Office at 704-686-0700 to confirm that information.

+Do I have to come to court? What happens if I don’t come to court?

If you are subpoenaed, you must come to court as directed. The judge has the authority to issue an order for your arrest and an order for you to show cause as to why you did not appear as directed by the court through the subpoena.

+What if I want to dismiss or "drop" the charges?

The DA's Office does not dismiss charges at the request of a victim or witness. The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) assigned to the courtroom on your court date will make all decisions regarding whether to proceed with the prosecution of the defendant. You should come to court as subpoenaed, and you will then have an opportunity to discuss the matter with the ADA. The ADA represents the State of North Carolina. Because he or she works in this capacity, the ADA is not your attorney, however the ADA works to seek justice in every case.

+What should I bring to court?

Unless you’ve been asked to bring documents or other items, you are not required to bring anything with you on the court date. However, you are welcome to bring anything — or anyone — you think may help your case. On the court date, an Assistant District Attorney will review any documents, evidence or witnesses available to determine how to proceed with the case.

 
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