Victim Rights

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Victims' Rights Brochure [PDF]

The Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights, O.C.G.A. 17-17-1, et seq., provides individuals who are victims of certain crimes specific rights. These rights include:

  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any scheduled court proceedings or any changes to such proceedings;
  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of the arrest, release, or escape of the accused;
  • The right not to be excluded from any scheduled court proceedings, except as provided by law;
  • The right to be heard at any scheduled court proceedings involving the release, plea, or sentencing of the accused;
  • The right to file a written objection in any parole proceedings involving the accused;
  • The right to confer with the prosecuting attorney in any criminal prosecution related to the victim;
  • The right to restitution as provided by law;
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and
  • The right to be treated fairly and with dignity by all criminal justice agencies involved in the case.

The Crime Victims Bill of Rights specifically applies to victims of the following crimes:

  • Homicide
  • Assault and Battery
  • Kidnapping, False Imprisonment and related offenses
  • Reckless Conduct
  • Cruelty to Children
  • Feticide
  • Stalking/Aggravated Stalking
  • Cruelty to a Person 65 Years of Age or Older
  • All Sexual Offenses
  • Burglary
  • Arson, Bombs and Explosives
  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Forgery, Deposit Account Fraud, Illegal Use of Financial Transaction Cards, Other Fraud Related Offenses, Computer
  • Crimes, & Identity Theft
  • Sale or Distribution of Harmful Materials to Minors
  • Elder Abuse
  • Homicide by Vehicle
  • Feticide by Vehicle
  • Serious Injury by Vehicle

In general, after the crime occurs and is reported, and upon initial contact with a victim, law enforcement and court personnel must advise him or her of the following:

  • That it is possible that the accused may be released from custody prior to trial;
  • That victims have certain rights during various stages of the criminal justice system;
  • That victims have the right refuse or agree to be interviewed by the accused, the accused’s attorney, or anyone who represents or contacts you on behalf of the accused;
  • That additional information about these stages can be obtained by contacting the pertinent state and/or local agency involved, or by contacting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-559-4949;
  • That victims may be eligible for monetary compensation for certain out-of-pocket losses incurred as a result of their victimization from the State’s Crime Victims Emergency Fund (Crime Victims Compensation) which is administered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council;
  • That victims may have available to them community-based victim service programs and that more information may be obtained by contacting the Governor’s Victim Assistance Helpline at 1-800-338-6745.

Victim's Rights Services & Services Provided by the Victim Witness Program

  • Give moral support by having someone available to you
  • Help if you are intimidated, harassed or afraid
  • Inform you or the status and progression of the case
  • Assist you in preparing for court appearances and proceedings
  • Attend court with you
  • Assist you in getting back your property that is being held as evidence by police
  • Refer you to social service agencies to help you deal with issues resulting from the crime
  • Intervention with employer when necessary for you to miss work due to court appearances
  • Provide you with information regarding probation and/or parole
  • Protect address, phone number and place of employment information from the accused
  • Notification of proceedings and victim's role
  • Notification of pre-trial release possibility, victim rights, compensation and services.
  • Express opinion and file complaint of accused's threatening behavior after release
  • Express opinion regarding disposition, plea negotiations and diversion programs
  • Separate waiting area during court proceedings
  • Notification of appeal/new trial
  • Notification of parole or clemency proceedings

You also have the right not to talk to a defense attorney or any representatives of the defendant before the trial.

Rockdale County Taskforce Against Family Violence
Breaking the silence to stop family violence.

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