Know Your Rights
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you have the right to file for a protection order to help keep you safe. A protection order may restrain the perpetrator from further abuse of, or contact with you, excluding the perpetrator from your residence, and/or awarding custody or temporary visitation rights for minor children. If a protection order is violated, the perpetrator is subject to arrest. If you are in danger or would like to file for a protection order, please contact your local crisis intervention center. A complete list of centers can be found here.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, North Dakota state law explicitly states that you have the following rights:
•You have the right to be informed as to the status of the investigation
•You have the right to be informed as to criminal charges filed. The prosecuting attorney must also provide information on the procedural steps involved in the processing of a criminal case.
•You have the right to notice of pretrial release. If the offender is being held, you have the right to know when they are released, and to be informed as to the level of protection available from law enforcement in the case of harm, threats or intimidation.
•You have the right to be notified of secondary witnesses’ participation in court proceedings.
•You have the right to be informed of services available. You must be informed by law enforcement of all appropriate and available public or private programs that provide counseling, treatment, or support for victims and witnesses, including rape crisis center, victim and witness assistance programs, elderly victim services, victim assistance hotlines, social service agencies and domestic violence programs.
•You have the right to employer intercession. Upon request, you must be provided appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize your loss of pay or other benefits.
•Any witnesses in the case must be informed to apply for an receive any witness fee to which they are entitled under law.
•You have the right to return of property. You shall have any personal property that was stolen or taken for evidentiary services, except property subject to analysis and disputed property, returned by the court within ten days of its taking or recovery if it is not needed for the purposes of the case.
•You have the right to a separate waiting area. You must be provided a waiting area separate from the perpetrator and those there to support the perpetrator. If a waiting area is not available, other safeguards must be provided.
•You have the right to protection of identifying information. You may not be compelled to testify any identifying information except for name.
•You have the right to be present throughout the trial.
•You have the right to a prompt disposition of any cases in which you are involved.
•You have the right to notice of scheduling of hearings. You must be informed of the time and place of a hearing at which a plea of guilty or not guilty will be entered and of a sentencing hearing.
•You have the right to submit or make a written impact statement to the court in any criminal case. You may also appear in court to make an oral statement under oath and be subject to cross-examination.
•You have the right to notice of final disposition and parole procedures. You must be informed of the parole process and the pardon process.
•You have the right to prompt notice of custodial release. You must be informed whenever a criminal defendant received temporary, provisional, or final release from custody.
•You have the right to participation in parole board a pardon decision. You may submit a written statement for consideration by the parole board, or a pardon advisory board. This statement is confidential record.
•If you have been a victim of crimes committed by juvenile, you are entitled to the same right under this law in juvenile delinquency proceedings as in any other proceeding.
Under the law you also have the following responsibilities:
- To make a timely report of the crime.
- To cooperate with law enforcement authorities through the investigation, prosecution, and trial.
- To testify at trial.
- To notify law enforcement authorities and all appropriate persons of any change of address. This information is kept confidential.
This law also creates the statewide automated victim information and notification system (SAVIN), which you are entitled to register for. This system informs you either by telephone, mail, or email of any of the following events:
•The offender is transferred or assigned to another facility.
•The offender Is transferred to the custody of another agency outside the state.
•The offender is given a different security classification.
•The offender is released on temporary leave or otherwise.
•The offender is discharged.
•The offender has escaped.
•The offender has been served with a protection order that was requested by you.
SAVIN also notified when the offender has a scheduled court proceeding at which you are entitled to be present, a scheduled parole or pardon hearing and change in the offenders’ parole or probation status (including change of address). Registered victims are also informed when a registered sex offender has updated information or failed to comply with the registration requirement.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, please seek assistance from a local crisis intervention center. For a complete list of centers, click here.
If you are a victim of stalking, keep a detailed log of each incident with the perpetrator. You have the right to report the stalking behavior to law enforcement. The more detailed of a stalking log you keep the easier it will be to press charges for stalking. For more about how to keep a stalking log, click here. Contact your local crisis intervention center for more assistance. For a complete list of centers, click here.