Crime Victims’ Rights Act
Federal crime victims* have the following rights, as set forth in the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
- 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.
- The right to be informed in a timely manner of any pleas bargain or deferred prosecution agreement.
- The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice. The Victims’ Rights Ombudsman may be contacted at usaeo.VictimOmbudsman@usdoj.gov if you believe a Department of Justice employee has failed to provide you rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
We will make our best efforts to ensure you are accorded the rights described.
You can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights, Section 3771(c)(2).
* According to the act, a victim is " a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia. In the case of a crime victim who is under 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the legal guardians of the crime victim or representatives of the crime victim's estate, family members, or any other persons appointed suitable by the court, may assume the crime victim's right under this chapter, but in no event shall the defendant be named as such guardian or representative."
* Please be aware that most criminal cases are resolved by a plea agreement between the Department of Justice and the defendant. You should also know that it is not unusual for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement shortly before a trial is scheduled to begin. Plea agreements can be made at any time and as late as the morning of trial, leaving little or no opportunity to provide notice to you of the date and time of the plea hearing. If the court schedules a plea hearing in this case, we will use our best efforts to notify you of available information as soon as practicable. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please contact the designated victim/witness liaison’s office for each case.
For further information please visit the website of the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime at https://ovc.ojp.gov/