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Statutory Rights Of Crime Victims

As a victim of a Federal crime, you have the following rights under 18 U.S.C. § 3771(a):

  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. However, be advised that the law does not require providing information that may endanger the safety of any person.
  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.

United States Attorney’s Office Role: Our role as employees of the United States Attorney’s Office is to inform you of your rights, explain the Federal criminal justice process and to provide you with notification of events in the pending criminal matter. We cannot give you legal representation and none of our actions on your behalf constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please be advised that the interests of the United States may occasionally diverge from your interests as a victim.

Additional Information: You may at any time seek the advice of a private attorney concerning these rights at your own expense and discretion. This office can not provide legal advice or representation. The Government is not your personal attorney.

Complaint Process

A crime victim may file a complaint against any employee of the Department of Justice who violated or failed to provide the rights established under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004. The Department of Justice has established the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman to receive and investigate complaints filed by crime victims against its employees and has implemented Procedures to Promote Compliance with Crime Victims’ Rights Obligations.

A crime victim includes any person who has been directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia. An employee of the Department of Justice includes any attorney, investigator, law enforcement officer, or other personnel employed by any division or office of the Department of Justice whose regular course of duties includes direct interaction with crime victims (not including a contractor).

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