What Rights Do I Have If I Am The Victim Of A Crime?
Increasingly, the rights of victims are being recognized in a formal
fashion. There is a strong movement to formalize victim's rights, either
through statute or constitutional amendment. While the specific rights
afforded to crime victims will vary from state to state, typical victim's
rights laws grant victims the right to be informed of all court proceedings
relating to their case, the right to be informed of any plea offers extended
to the defendant, the right to make a statement to the court at the time
of sentencing, the right to an order that a convicted defendant pay restitution
for losses they suffered as a result of criminal activity, the right to
be informed of the sentence received by the convicted defendant, and,
if the defendant is sentenced to prison, the right to be informed if the
defendant is released on parole. You may be entitled to submit a statement
to the parole board.
Some states have victims' compensation funds, which provide some financial
compensation to crime victims, and which may provide funds for counseling.
What Happens When The Offender Gets Out Of Prison?
In some states, after conviction, you will have to request to be informed
of any parole proceedings or decisions, while in other states you will
be informed automatically. The prosecutor who handles your case should
be able to inform you of your specific, rights. Some prosecutors' offices
have "victims rights" officers, who are available to answer