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Victim/Witness


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Every U.S. Attorney's Office has a Victim/Witness Assistance Program to assist victims of federal crimes. The Victim/Witness Assistance Programs are a part of federal efforts to provide information on rights and services to victims and witnesses of federal crimes, as well as to encourage the participation of victims in the criminal justice system to the extent that they wish, in accordance with federal law.

To Contact Our Office:
Victim/Witness Assistance Information

U. S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Central District of California
888-228-0315
213-534-7375 (Fax)

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To contact the Victim/Witness Assistance Program at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, call toll free at 1-888-228-0315, and listen to the instructions on how to reach a specific staff person or service. Please leave a message, your name and phone number, as well as the name of the defendant and/or case number if you are calling on a specific case.

If you wish to attend a sentencing, please be sure to provide information including the name of the defendant, the case number, your phone number and information sufficient to let program staff know that you want to attend a specific hearing. Cases are often postponed at very short notice, and every effort will be made to keep you informed, if you let us know you want to attend.

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As a crime victim, you have the following rights under 18 United States Code Section 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, 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.

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We will make our best efforts to ensure you are accorded the rights described above. You may also seek the advice of a private attorney concerning these rights and your assertion of these rights in federal district court. Be advised that the law does not require providing information that may endanger the safety of any person.

Victim/Witness Assistance Programs within the U.S. Attorney's Offices primarily work with victims involved in indicted cases, however, program staff works closely with Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff from various other federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, or U.S. Immigration Service who provide services to federal victims for cases under investigation.

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While each District may differ in how each program is run, the Central District's Federal Victim/Witness Assistance Program within the U.S. Attorney's Office offers a variety of services to eligible victims, which may include:

Crisis intervention and support services.

Information about the status of a victim's case in the criminal justice process.

Registry with the Bureau of Prisons to obtain information about an inmate's release date.

Accompanying victims to court for trials and sentencings, upon request, when staff is available.

Referrals to appropriate community agencies and programs, including information on how to apply for victim compensation for victims of violent crimes.

Information about a victim's rights and role in the federal criminal justice process.

Information about the victim impact process, the restitution process, and the right to allocution at sentencing where permitted.

Act as a victims' liaison with investigative agencies, U.S. Probation Department, the Bureau of Prisons and the assigned prosecutor.

Assist victims in obtaining release of their property after a case has been completed.

Explaining court and/or case related information to employers of victims or witnesses.

Crime prevention tips, especially for victims of financial crimes such as telemarketing, mail theft and identity theft crimes.

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