The United States Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program was developed to ensure that victims of federal crimes are treated with fairness and respect as they journey through the federal criminal justice system. This program carries out the mandates of the Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982, the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, the Justice for All Act of 2004 and other victim related 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.
When a federal criminal case reaches the prosecution stage of the criminal justice process, notification services are provided concerning the status of the case involving the victim. Victims are notified of all case events through the Department of Justice Victim Notification System (VNS). Our victim witness program staff also provide referrals for recovery services, personal support and assistance to victims and witnesses during court appearances by assisting with travel and lodging arrangements, court orientation and trial preparation.
The Victim Witness Specialists for our district provide assistance to victims and witnesses of federal crimes while they are involved with the criminal justice system. Services include:
- Information on court proceedings and case status
- Referrals to counseling, medical and other social services
- Court accompaniment
- Special services for child victims, the elderly, and handicapped victims
- Crime victims compensation claims assistance
- Assistance with completing victim impact statements
- Assistance with travel and lodging for out of town witnesses
- Support witnesses throughout court proceedings
- Assistance with restitution issues
Cases that are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney are referred to our office by investigative agencies. The U.S. Attorney’s office begins its responsibilities to victims and witnesses once federal charges are filed, and the charges are made public.
If you have been subpoenaed by the U.S Attorney's Office to testify in Federal Court or Grand Jury, please contact the Victim Witness Specialist listed in the Addendum attached to your subpoena.
Federal Crime Victims’ have rights as set forth in the Justice for All Act of 2004:
RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS
18 U.S.C. 3771 (a)
A victim of a crime has the following rights:
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.
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.
As a crime victim, you can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights.
This law is effective October 30, 2004.
National Organization of Victim Assistance
National Center for Victims of Crime
Office for Victims of Crime
Domestic Violence Victims
National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Federal Trade Commission
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
National Fraud Information Center
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund