The decisions relating to the actual handling of a criminal case, including but not limited to whether to file charges, terms of a plea agreement offer, whether to offer a plea agreement at all, and whether to go to trial or dismiss a case, are ultimately left to the prosecuting attorney. However, all of those decisions are made with respect for the following victim’s rights.
- A victim has the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect throughout the criminal justice process.
- A victim has the right to be informed, upon request, when a person who is accused of committing or convicted of committing a crime perpetrated directly against the victim, is released from custody, or has escaped. This includes release or escape from mental health facilities.
- A victim has the right to have the victim’s safety considered in determining release from custody of a person accused of committing a crime against the victim.
- A victim has the right to information, upon request, about the disposition of the criminal case involving the victim or conviction, sentence, and release of a person accused of committing a crime against the victim.
- A victim has the right to be heard at any proceeding involving sentence or post-conviction release decision. A victim’s right to be heard may be exercised, at the victim’s discretion, through an oral or written statement, or submission of a statement through audiotape or videotape.
- A victim has the right to make a written or oral statement for use in preparation of the pre-sentence report. The victim also has the right to read pre-sentence reports relating to the crime committed against the victim in order that the victim can respond to the pre-sentence report.
A victim has the right to confer with a representative of the prosecuting attorney’s office after the crime allegedly committed against the victim has been charged; before the trial of a crime allegedly committed against the victim; and before any disposition of a criminal case involving the victim. This right applies in any of the following situations:
- The alleged felony was directly committed against the victim; or
- The alleged felony or misdemeanor was an offense against the person, which includes the crimes of Battery, Domestic Battery, Aggravated Battery, Battery By Bodily Waste, Criminal Recklessness, Intimidation, Harassment, Invasion of Privacy, or Pointing a Firearm, and the alleged felony or misdemeanor was committed against the victim by a person who
- Is or was a spouse of the victim,
- Is or was living as if a spouse of the victim, or
- Has a child in common with the victim.
- For other misdemeanors, a victim must file a request for notice, which includes a current telephone number and address.
- A victim has the right to pursue an order of restitution and other civil remedies against the person convicted of a crime against the victim.
- A victim has the right to be informed of the victim’s constitutional and statutory rights.