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Serving the Northern District of Texas

Lisa Shedden Dallas and Wichita Falls Divisions Telephone: 800-496-8341

Cynthia Hood Abilene, Amarillo, Fort Worth, Lubbock and San Angelo Divisions Telephone: 888-781-2577

Victim Witness Program

Mission: Provide victims with information, notice of case events and referrals to victims service providers. Assist witnesses with all necessary arrangements to facilitate their travel to court.


● enhance and protect the necessary role of crime victims and witnesses within the Federal criminal justice process;

● form partnerships with State and local communities to establish and provide important victim services and rights; and

● ensure that the Federal Government does all that is possible within the limits of available resources to assist victims and witnesses of crime without infringing on the constitutional right of defendants.

Goal: The goal of the Federal Victim-Witness Program is to ensure victims and witnesses of federal crimes are treated fairly, their privacy is respected, and they are treated with dignity and respect. The United States Attorney’s Office Victim-Witness Program addresses the needs of crime victims during the prosecution stage of the federal court process. The program was established to provide resources to victims of crime through a variety of notification and assistance services.


● information regarding the prosecution stage and processes

● notification regarding major case events during the prosecution stage through the Victim Notification System

● court accompaniment

● information and referrals to victim-service providers

● community education

● witness management

Crime Victims Rights under 18 USC § 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, [or] 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.

Advice of an Attorney:

We will make our best efforts to ensure federal crime victims are provided the rights described above. While our office cannot act as a crime victim’s attorney or provide legal advice, a crime victim can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights or other legal matters.

Crime Victims’ Right Act Complaint Form:

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, you may complete the Complaint Form. 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.

Viewing Notice: Portable Document Format (".PDF") files may be viewed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Department of Justice / Victim Rights Ombudsman