What happens to a case when the alledged victim dies before trial?

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What happens to a case when the alledged victim dies before trial?

Asked on November 16, 2012 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A criminal case will typically go foward, unless the prosecutor decides that the alleged victim's testimony was so critical that it's pointless to continue without him or her. That's because in a criminal case, the state, not the alleged victim, is the party prosecuting the alleged criminal, so the state can go forward without the victim, and typically will, to punish the guilty and enforce the law. If the alleged victim died as a result of something the alleged criminal did (e.g. from injuries during a robbery or assault), the charges against the alleged criminal may be upgraded to manslaughter or murder.


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