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Rights Of Crime Victims (English)

Victims and Witnesses: Rights of Crime Victims

A crime 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 the representatives of the crime victim's estate, family members, or any other persons appointed as suitable by the court, may assume the crime victim's rights.” If you are the victim of a Federal crime, you have the following rights, as set forth in the Justice for All Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. §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.

As a crime victim, you may seek the advice of an attorney with respect to the rights listed above.

If you have been identified as a victim and believe you were denied one or more of
the rights afforded by the Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004, you may file an
administrative complaint. The internet site of the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman contains information for victims of crime about the Crime Victims' Rights Act of 2004. This site includes policies and procedures implemented by the Department of Justice for filing complaints against Department of Justice employees who have failed to provide or have violated the rights of crime victims. If you wish to file a complaint, you must use this document: Complaint Form

Updated April 22, 2015

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