Why is a lineup necessary?
A lineup is designed to provide a fair identification procedure for someone accused of a crime. Most requests for a lineup are made by defense lawyers before the preliminary hearing. The request is usually made in cases when the victim or witness did not identify the accused shortly after the crime was committed. The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) has a chance to respond to, and if appropriate, to argue against the request. The Municipal Court judge grants or denies the request. When the judge grants the request, the judge will postpone the preliminary hearing until after the lineup is held.
Why must I participate?
Your cooperation is important to the proper functioning of the criminal justice system. Your help at the lineup and at later court appearances is essential.
The lineup is conducted very carefully. This is done both to protect the rights of the accused and to insure that any possible identification is not "thrown out of court" at a later date because the lineup was not conducted properly.
What happens next?
You will be given a lineup admission certificate that admits you to the lineup and a subpoena for the next hearing date. If you are not in court, you will receive the lineup information by mail from the District Attorney's Office. The lineup is usually scheduled one or two weeks later.
Where does the lineup take place?
Lineups take place at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF), 7901 State Road in Northeast Philadelphia, starting at 5:30 PM. You may want to bring a friend or family member with you for company and support. For a brochure with map and directions click HERE
***It is important that you arrive at the CFCF no later than 5:30 P.M.***
***Please do not forget to bring the lineup admission certificate and picture identification (drivers license, school identification, employment identification, etc.)***
What takes place at the CFCF?
When you arrive at the main entrance to the CFCF, ask for the detective in charge of lineups. You will be asked to wait briefly in the main waiting area. When everything is ready, the detective in charge will instruct you to proceed to the lineup area. A security check is required of everyone entering the locked area. Handbags and briefcases are also inspected. This is done for the protection of everyone in the building.
What is the Dress Code?
Listed below is basic criteria that victims and witnesses must observe when entering the lineup facility:
What happens next?
When your lineup is ready, you will be escorted into the line-up room. The detective in charge, an Assistant District Attorney and a defense attorney will also be in the room. Their role is to observe the lineup to insure that it is conducted in the appropriate legal way for all parties involved.
What will I see in the lineup room?
You will be seated facing a glass-enclosed area. Before the lineup begins, you will be instructed not to say anything until asked to do so by the detective. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Six people will be standing behind the brightly lit glass. Each person will be identified to you by number from one to six. You will be given ample opportunity to observe them. The glass is a one way glass so YOU CANNOT BE SEEN by the people in the lineup. After you have a chance to observe all of the people in the lineup, the detective in charge will ask you several questions. You should answer truthfully.
What happens after the lineup?
The detective in charge will tell you when you may leave. If a police officer/detective has brought you to the lineup, you may have to wait until all the people he or she transported are finished.
***You are still required to attend the preliminary hearing, regardless of whether you identified anyone in the lineup unless instructed otherwise by the District Attorney's Office***
If you have any questions, before or after the lineup, need additional information or if you need transportation to the lineup, please contact the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office Victim Services Unit at (215) 686-8027 or email DA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility:
Mission / Services
Victims Bill of Rights
Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse
Victims of Elder Abuse
Victims of Identity Theft
Victims of Juvenile Offenders and Juvenile Victims of Adult Offenders
Survivors and Witnesses of Homicide
Services for Victims and Witnesses
Is Your Child Testifying in Court?
Lineup Information for Victims and Witnesses