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Victims' Rights And Safety

Rights of Crime Victims Rights

As a federal crime victim, you have the following rights pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 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 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 by 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 plea 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.

We will do our best 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.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act Complaint Form

If you are a victim of a crime being prosecuted by our office and you believe that you have not received all of the rights listed above, please call the victim witness contact to discuss how we can assist you in obtaining your rights. If you believe one of our employees has violated or failed to provide you with one or more of your rights, you may file a complaint with the Department of Justice.
The complaint process is not designed for the correction of specific victims’ rights violations, but is instead to request corrective action against Department of Justice employees. If you wish to file a complaint, complete a Victim Complaint Form. Please review the complaint form carefully and provide as much information as you can. Your complaint must be filed within sixty (60) days of your knowledge of a violation by a Department of Justice employee, but not more than one year after the actual violation occurred. 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.

Updated July 18, 2016

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