Crime Victim Rights

Crime Victim Rights

The police and DA have my property. They say they need it as evidence. When can I get my things back?

The police and DA have my property. They say they need it as evidence. When can I get my things back?

Law enforcement agencies and DA's shall promptly return property held for evidentiary purposes unless there is a compelling reason for retaining it relating to proof at trial.  The court will assist in and expedite the return of such property.

I may be asked to be a witness at a trial of the person accused of the crime against me, but I am afraid of seeing the defendant and others involved with the crime.  How can I go to the trial but remain safe?

I may be asked to be a witness at a trial of the person accused of the crime against me, but I am afraid of seeing the defendant and others involved with the crime.  How can I go to the trial but remain safe?

The victims and other prosecution witnesses must, when possible, be provided, when awaiting court appearances, a secure waiting area that is separate from all other witnesses.

I wish the person who committed this crime could understand what it has done to my life and the lives of my loved ones.  How can I explain this to him/her?

I wish the person who committed this crime could understand what it has done to my life and the lives of my loved ones.  How can I explain this to him/her?

In certain cases, the DA shall consult the victim to obtain the views of the victim regarding the disposition of the criminal case.  In addition, you may have the right to submit a "victim impact statement" in which your version of the offense and the extent of your injury out-of-pocket and other economic losses are summarized for the court.  In cases where the defendant is imprisoned, you will be notified of your right to submit a victim impact statement to the Division of Parole or to meet with a member of the Parole Board.  For specifics about your rights regarding victim impact statemen

Do I have the right to know what is happening to the person accused of committing the crime against me?

Do I have the right to know what is happening to the person accused of committing the crime against me?

Yes, you do have many rights to know about the status of the judicial proceedings for the person accused of committing the crime against you.  You have the right, too, to know the final disposition of the case and, in certain cases, you may be entitled to know of an inmate's release from jail.  Please see the Rights of Crime Victims pamphlet for a detailed answer to this and many other questions on victims' rights.  Also, to learn about the services of the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) program, see our Help for Crime Victims page or go to

Do I have any legal rights as a crime victim?  Do different victims have different rights?

Do I have any legal rights as a crime victim?  Do different victims have different rights?

Yes, you have many, many rights as a crime victim.  Child victims have additional rights beyond those of adult victims, and there are some specific rights afforded domestic violence victims and rape and sexual assault victims. Please see the Rights of Crime Victims pamphlet for a comprehensive answer to these questions.

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