Rights & Post-Conviction Rights of Victims
Rights of Victims
Victims and witnesses of the crimes listed have a right to:
- Be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse.
- Be informed about what steps can be taken for protection against intimidation and harm.
- As a victim or witness, the right to have your social security number excluded or redacted from a criminal justice document or record created or compiled as a result of a criminal investigation when the document or record is released to anyone other than the victim, the defense attorney or record, the defense attorney's agent, or a criminal justice agency.
- Be kept informed about various phases of their case, including investigation, filing of charges, prosecution, trial, and sentencing.
- Be present and provide information and input (written, in person, or by phone if unavailable to appear) into the criminal justice process, especially at key points such as bond hearings, plea-bargaining, sentencing, and parole release hearings.
- Restitution as a condition of sentencing or another civil remedy such as a civil lawsuit.
- The quick return of their property used for evidence when it is no longer needed.
- Notification from officials about arrest, release of defendants, time and location of legal proceedings, time and location of trials, continuances or delays in trial proceedings, sentencing and parole hearings.
- Be informed about eligibility for victim compensation, when applicable, and the right to be helped in completing application forms in a timely manner, when applicable.
- Employer intercession. (A person cannot be fired or displaced from a job for participating in an investigation or court process.)
- Information about victim assistance and other community resources.
- A quick and fair resolution.
- At the discretion of the District Attorney, to view all or a portion of the pre-sentence report of the probation department.
- Be informed of the results of any HIV testing that is ordered and performed.
- Receive information concerning any change int he status of a cold case and, upon written request, shall be provided with an update at least annually. A cold case is defined as a felony crime reported to law enforcement that has remained unsolved over one year after the crime was reported to law enforcement, and for which the applicable statute of limitations has not expired.
Post Conviction Victim Rights
After a suspect has been convicted of a crime against a victim, regardless of when the crime occurred and upon written request of that victim, state and local correctional authorities must notify the victim of:
- The institution where the person is incarcerated or otherwise being held.
- The projected release date of the person from confinement.
- Any release of the person including furlough, work release, or community corrections, in advance of the projected release date.
- Scheduled parole hearings for the person and any changes in hearing schedules.
- Any escape of the person from a correctional facility, program, or state hospital, and any subsequent recapture.
- A permanent transfer/placement in a non-secure facility.
- Any release or discharge from confinement of the person, or any decision by the governor to commute the sentence of, or pardon, such person.
- The death of the person while in a correctional facility or program.
- DNA testing ordered or performed to determine innocence of the person incarcerated.
If you are contacted by anyone who works on behalf of the defendant's legal team, it is your right to be informed of that person's name and the fact that they are working for the defendant. It is your choice whether or not to speak with a representative of the defendant's legal team.
Following a sentence to probation and upon the written request by a victim, the probation department shall notify the victim of the following information regarding any person who was charged with or convicted of a crime against the victim:
- The location and telephone number of the probation department responsible for the supervision of the person;
- The date of the person's termination from probation supervision;
- Any release of the person in advance of the originally imposed sentence;
- Any probation revocation or modification hearing regarding the person, and any changes in the scheduling of the hearing;
- Any change of venue, jurisdiction, or transfer of probation supervision from one jurisdiction to another;
- Any complaint, summons, or warrant filed by the probation department for failure to report to probation or because the location of a person convicted of a crime is unknown;
- The death of the person while under the jurisdiction of the probation department.