Can a crime victim be at a trial if they have been subpoenaed as a witness? Does a victim’s right to attend all public hearings supersede an attorney’s request for separation of witnesses in a trial?
Victims are explicitly excluded from the separation of witnesses' rule (Evid. R. 615), even prior to Marsy’s Law. Marsy’s Law provides new constitutional support for victims’ right to be present. The separation of witnesses' rules does not apply. A crime victim may be present for the entirety of a trial, including voir dire, even if they are subpoenaed and testify. However, a victim cannot be present at grand jury proceedings. If a victim has been denied the right to be present, the victim can object to this in court either pro se or through counsel. The victim can also request that the prosecutor act protect the victim’s right to be present. A victim who anticipates being denied, or has been denied, their right to be present can contact Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center for assistance as soon as possible.
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