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Information for Bereaved Families and Friends Following Murder or Culpable Homicide

DescriptionPractical information, particularly about the criminal justice system, for families bereaved by homicide.
Official Print Publication DateNovember 2006
Website Publication DateNovember 30, 2006


Please note this leaflet has been updated and a newer version is available.

ISBN 0 7559 5205 7
This document is also available in pdf format (212k)
Polish version also available in pdf format (827k)
Urdu Booklet (pdf 1M)
Hindi Booklet (pdf 931k)
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Cantonese Booklet (pdf 606k)
Punjabi Booklet (pdf 821k)
Hungarian Booklet (pdf 699k)



Your Notes

Section 1 Important contacts
1.1 Key contacts for keeping in touch
1.2 The police Family Liaison Officer ( FLO)
1.3 The Victim Information and Advice ( VIA) Officer

Section 2 What you need to know now
2.1 Identifying the person who was killed
2.2 Seeing the body
2.3 Telling people about the death
2.4 Personal possessions and property
2.5 The post mortem examination
2.6 Coping with the media
2.7 Funeral arrangements

Section 3 The criminal investigation
3.1 The police investigation
3.2 Gathering evidence
3.3 How long will the police investigation take?
3.4 The police report
3.5 The role of the Procurator Fiscal ( PF)
3.6 Deciding on charges
3.7 Definitions of murder and culpable homicide
3.8 After a decision to prosecute is made

Section 4 The criminal prosecution
4.1 Attending court
4.2 What happens before the trial
4.3 Bail
4.4 The High Court
4.5 The trial
4.6 If you are asked to be a witness
4.7 Support from the Witness Service
4.8 What to expect from a court case
4.9 Witness intimidation
4.10 Special measures for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses
4.11 Expenses to attend court
4.12 Verdicts
4.13 Sentencing
4.14 Mentally disordered offenders
4.15 Victim statements
4.16 Appeals by a convicted person
4.17 Appeals by the prosecution
4.18 Bringing a private prosecution
4.19 Civil action

Section 5 What happens after the sentence has been passed?
5.1 The Victim Notification Scheme
5.2 How long will the offender be in prison?
5.3 Consideration for release
5.4 Concerns after the prisoner has been released

Section 6 Practical issues
6.1 How to register a death
6.2 Murders committed in other countries
6.3 Claiming criminal injuries compensation
6.4 Legal aid
6.5 Benefits
6.6 Wills
6.7 Who do you need to tell about the death?
6.8 Stopping unwanted mail
6.9 Debts
6.10 If you have any concerns about the criminal justice system

Section 7 Useful organisations and support
7.1 Services provided by Victim Support Scotland
7.2 Self-help and other support groups
7.3 Religious organisations
7.4 Other sources of help

Section 8 Understanding the legal process and terms
8.1 Flowchart showing the investigation and prosecution process
8.2 Explanation of legal terms

Further copies of this document are available, on request, in audio and large print formats and in community languages.
Please contact 0131 244 2213