Fair treatment of victims and witnesses
Victims and witnesses in sexual assault cases are afforded the following rights.
• Informed as to the status of investigation.
• Informed as to criminal charges filed. The prosecuting attorney also must provide information on the procedural steps involved in the processing of a criminal case.
• Notice of pretrial release. If the offender is being held, the victim has the right to know when they are released, and be informed as to the level of protection available from law enforcement in the case of harm, threats or intimidation.
• Notice as to the victims’ and witnesses’ participation in court proceedings.
• Services available. Victims must be informed 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.
• Employer Intercession. Upon request, victims must be provided appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize employee’s loss of pay or other benefits.
• Witness fee. Witnesses must be informed to apply for and receive any witness fee to which they are entitled under law.
• Return of property. Victims 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.
• Waiting area. Victims and witnesses must be provided a waiting area separate from the defendant and those there to support the defendant. If a waiting area is not available, other safeguards must be provided.
• Protection of identifying information. Victims and witnesses may not be compelled to testify any identifying information except for name.
• Right to be present throughout the trial. The victim must be informed of the right to be present throughout the trial of the defendant.
• Prompt disposition of case. Victims must be informed of right to a prompt disposition of the cases in which they are involved.
• Notice as to scheduling of hearing. Victims 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.
• Victim impact statement. Victims have the right to submit or make a written impact statement to the court in any criminal case. The victim may also appear in court to make an oral statement under oath and is subject to cross-examination.
• Notice of final disposition and parole procedures. Victims must be informed of the parole process and the pardon process.
• Prompt notice of custodial release. Victims must be informed whenever a criminal defendant receives a temporary, provisional, or final release from custody.
• Participation in parole board and pardon decision. Victims may submit a written statement for consideration by the parole board, or a pardon advisory board. This statement is confidential record.
• Victims and witnesses of crimes committed by juveniles are entitled to the same right under this chapter in juvenile delinquency proceedings as in any other proceeding.
Victims and witnesses all have these responsibilities under this law:
• To make a timely report of the crime;
• To cooperate with law enforcement authorities throughout the investigation, prosecution and trial;
• To testify at trial;
• And to notify law enforcement authorities and all appropriate persons of any change of address. This information is kept confidential.