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Victim/Witness

Victim Witness Assistance Program


SECTION OVERVIEW

The United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California is committed to ensuring that federal crime victims are afforded all rights to which they are entitled by law. The role of the Victim Witness Assistance Program is to ensure that victims and witnesses of Federal crime, who have suffered physical, financial, or emotional trauma, are informed of their rights, receive the assistance and protection to which they are entitled under the law.

The Victim Witness Assistance Program provides a variety of services and assistance to victims and witnesses. One of the functions of the program is to provide education regarding the criminal justice process and its participants. Victim Witness staff can also notify victims and witnesses of case events, is able to provide courtroom orientation, and can accompany victims to court proceedings if desired.

Staff members primarily work with victims involved in indicted cases, however, program staff also works closely with Victim Assistance staff from various federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who also provide services to federal victims for cases under investigation.  Referrals to appropriate community organizations can be provided that can help victims access the services they need to recover from crime.

VICTIMS’ RIGHTS

As a crime victim, you have the following rights under 18 United States Code § 3771:

  1. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
  2. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
  3. The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
  4. The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, [or] sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  5. The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  6. The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
  7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  8. The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

We will make our best efforts to ensure that you are accorded the rights described. You can seek the advice of a private attorney with respect to these rights.

If you have been identified as a crime victim under 18 U.S.C 3771 (e) “a person directly or proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense,” and believe you were denied one or more of your rights afforded by the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004, there is an administrative complaint procedure, as provided under 28 CFR, § 45.10.  To file a complaint, you may complete the Complaint Form (PDF) or (Microsoft Word)(also available in Spanish). This form cannot be completed on-line; the form must be printed and completed then mailed or faxed to the designated contact person on the form.  You may also contact the Office of Victims' Rights Ombudsman website for further information: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/vr/index.html

PENDING CASE UPDATES

In general, victims are provided individual notice of case updates through the Department of Justice’s Victim Notification System.  In cases where the number of victims is so large as to make individual notice to victims impractical, the Government may use other methods to communicate with victims, including posting relevant information online.  Click on the links below for more detailed information about a specific case:

VICTIM RESOURCES
SECTION CONTACT INFORMATION

The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Attn: Victim Witness Assistance Program
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Telephone: 1-888-228-0315 (toll-free)
Fax: (213) 534-7375

Updated January 5, 2016