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Victim Witness Assistance

The Victim/Witness Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office provides services for victims and witnesses of federal crimes. Our staff provides services in both the Baltimore and Greenbelt offices to include notification of a victim’s rights; case status information; travel arrangements for witnesses; education regarding the federal criminal justice system; referrals to various social service and medical organizations; special services for child victims, the elderly and handicapped victims; court accompaniment; and compensation claims assistance.

Victims and witnesses serve a vital role in the prosecution of federal offenses. Without their assistance, prosecuting federal offenders would often prove difficult. It is our goal to ensure that victims and witnesses are treated fairly and with dignity, and that they are fully afforded all rights provided to them under both federal and state law.

From Victim to Survivor Conference Flyer - Tuesday May 13, 2014 - DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Annapolis, Maryland

A federal crime victim has the following rights, as set forth in 18 U.S.C. §3771:
  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  • The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  • The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  • The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

Please understand that these rights apply only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus you may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime to which you are a victim was not charged. For the victims of the counts which are charged, the rights listed above may be enforced in court and you can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights. As the victim of a charged offense, if you believe that your rights have been violated by a Department of Justice employee, you may be able to file a complaint with the Department’s Office of Victims’ Rights Ombudsman.

For more information, see http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/vr/

If you are a victim who was injured during a crime you may be eligible to file a claim with the Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Board may compensate victims who suffer physical injury for uninsured or un-reimbursable medical expenses, loss of earnings, and counseling service in some cases. There are specific filing deadlines that apply. Each application is evaluated separately and filing a claim does not guarantee an award.

For more information, contact the Criminal Injuried Compensation Board at www.dpscs.state.md.us/victimservs/vs_cicb.shtml or call 410-585-3010 or toll free 1-888-679-9347.

If you are a victim of a federal crime charged and filed in U.S. district court, we can notify you of:

  1. the nature of the charges against a suspected offender;

  2. the scheduling of each court proceeding that you are either required or entitled to attend;

  3. the pre-trial release on bail or detention status of a suspected offender;

  4. the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or the rendering of a verdict after trial; and

  5. the sentence imposed on an offender.

If you have any questions at any time during the process, please contact our Victim Witness Staff at 410-209-4800 in Baltimore or 301-344-4433 in Greenbelt.

For additional victim services or other community services, you may contact the Maryland Community Services Locator at:

http://www.mdcsl.org/advantagecallback.asp?template=map_search

For victims of Identity Theft, important information about what to do if your identity is stolen can be found at the following Federal Trade Commission web site.

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0274-immediate-steps-repair-identity-theft

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