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Victim Witness Assistance

The Victim Witness Assistance Program in each United States Attorney's Office was established to carry out the mandates of the Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 and subsequent legislation. These victim/witness assistance and protection laws apply to all victims and witnesses of federal crime who have suffered physical, financial, or emotional trauma. A variety of notification and assistance services are provided to victims and witnesses of federal crime. This office is committed to treating victims and witnesses with fairness, respect and dignity.


Victim Rights

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims. If you are a victim of a crime being prosecuted by this office, the Victim Witness Coordinator can make sure that you are notified of important stages of the case and can help refer you to other agencies that provide important services, including compensation and counseling. [Learn more]


Witness Information

If you are a witness for the United States government and have questions regarding the status of the case in which you are involved, you may contact the case agent or the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case.

The federal justice system cannot function without the participation of witnesses. You may be subpoenaed at some point for a federal criminal proceeding, whether it be grand jury, trial or another type of hearing. Witnesses who receive a subpoena and appear for a court proceeding are entitled to certain reimbursements. Generally, each witness receives a $40 fee for each day’s attendance, parking and mileage reimbursement, travel provided by the least expensive method, and a specific meal and lodging allowance if you are required to stay overnight. Once you receive a subpoena, you should contact the Victim-Witness Coordinator about arrangements and assistance.

The United States Attorney's Office understands that being a victim and/or witness in a federal case may cause concerns for the safety of you and your family. If an emergency situation arises, call 911 or your local emergency number to reach law enforcement immediately.

It is a federal offense to threaten, intimidate, harass or mislead a witness in a criminal proceeding. If you feel you have been threatened or harassed due to your involvement as a victim or witness in a federal case, contact the case agent or the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case.


Restitution & Asset Forfeiture

Under federal law, restitution is mandatory for many types of crimes. While there is no guarantee that payment will be made, it is important for those victims who may be entitled to restitution to keep a record of their losses, medical expenses, property damage, and counseling expenses, with receipts when possible. This information will be needed by the probation department if someone is convicted and ordered to pay restitution. [Learn more]


Victim Resources

Many national organizations assist crime victims and provide great resources for victims and their families. Contact an organization for more information. [Learn more]



If you believe a Department of Justice employee failed to provide crime victim rights, you may submit a complaint.  [Learn more]


Case Updates (Multi-Victim Cases)

In general, the Government attempts to identify each victim in a given case, and to provide those victims with the information relevant to the case through the Department of Justice's Victim Notification System. In cases where, due to the number of victims involved, or for other reasons, such notification is impracticable, the Government may use other methods to communicate with victims, including posting relevant informatoin online. Click on the links below for more detailed informatoin about specific cases. [Learn more]


link to Victim Notification System Brochure link to Coming to Court link to Preparing to Testify  
VNS SystemLink to PDF Coming to
Link to PDF
Preparing to
Link to PDF


Updated May 23, 2022