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Victim-Witness: Victim Rights And Safety

Rights of Crime Victims
If you are a victim of a federal crime that has been charged in a federal court and were directly or proximately harmed as a result of that 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.
  3. The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that the 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 victims’ dignity and privacy.
  9. The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement.
  10. 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 United States Attorney’s Office will make our best efforts to ensure federal crime victims are accorded the rights described above. This office cannot, however, provide victims with legal advice or representation and none of our actions on behalf of a crime victim constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please be advised that the interests of the United States may occasionally diverge from the interests of a victim. Victims may at any time seek the advice of a private attorney concerning these rights at the victims’ own expense and discretion.

If you are a victim of a crime being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio and believe that you have not received all the rights listed above, please contact the Victim-Witness Assistance Unit at (216) 622-3803. We will work with you to see that you receive your rights. If you believe that an employee of the United States Attorney’s Office failed to provide you with one or more of the federal rights listed above, you may file an administrative complaint, as provided under 28 CFR Part 45.10. You may download an administrative complaint form here or you may contact this office and request that it be mailed or faxed to you. For more information, please visit the website for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman.

Victim-Witness Safety
The United States Attorney's Office understands that being a victim and/or a witness in a federal case may cause concerns for your safety and/or the safety of your family. If an emergency situation arises, call 911 or your local emergency number to reach law enforcement immediately. If you feel you have been threatened or harassed due to your involvement as a victim or witness in a federal case, you should contact the federal investigating agent with whom you have had prior contact. The federal agent will evaluate the situation and discuss available protective measures with you. There are penalties for threatening or harassing a federal witness. It is important to report any such incidents as soon as possible.

Crime Victim's Rights Complaint Forms

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Updated March 6, 2024