1) When crimes are committed, even though you are the victim here (well your father's estate is the victim as are you because you are the heir) the state prosecutes the case because it is a crime against the state. This is why it is the State v. your neighbor.
2) The continuances are part of the criminal court process, they are controlled by the court and the DA and defense attorney
and you as a victim, unfortunately, do not have anything you can say or do about them. The DA, if they are conscientious will keep you informed reasonably as to what is happening, but many times they are just too busy and do not have any legal obligation to do so.
3) You are asked to testify at the preliminary hearing to establish probable cause. You are the heir of the estate and representative of the estate and will be asked questions surrounding giving the neighbor any permission to cash the checks and this is done to establish the elements of the crime.
4) If you have asked for restitution to be ordered in criminal court, then you do not need an attorney, the DA is representing you as the victim. You would need an attorney if you choose to file a civil suit against the neighbor to recover the money he unlawfully took from you. However, you cannot collect both a civil award and restitution from the criminal court, you only get one or the other. Also, they would likely hold the civil case proceeding until the criminal case were completed even if you did file a civil suit.
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