Victims have rights -- rights to information, to notification and, in some cases, compensation.
New York State has an entire article of law dedicated to serving the interests of crime victims. The Fair Treatment Standards for Crime Victims is contained within Article 23 of the Executive Law. The purpose of that act is to ensure that the State’s criminal justice system has appropriate standards for the treatment of innocent victims of crime. Much of the information contained in Article 23 is explained in OVS’s Rights of Crime Victims in New York State pamphlet which is designed to be an important resource for those who are facing the challenges associated with being a crime victim; it is an excellent source of information on victims’ rights relating to judicial proceedings, victim impact statements, restitution and much more.
A free copy of the police report
A free copy of the police report, even if there was no physical injury.
Payment waiver of fees
Payment waiver of fees for replacing driver’s license, permit, registration and license plates which were lost or stolen as a result of a crime.
Have Law enforcement & DA inform employers
Have law enforcement and the District Attorney inform employers that the criminal case may require work absences. They can also explain the circumstances of the crime to creditors.
Not to be penalized by an employer
Not to be penalized by an employer when appearing as a witness in a criminal proceeding, consulting with prosecutors or exercising other rights under the law. A violation of this law by an employer is a B misdemeanor. Employers, however, may withhold wages in these situations.
Notice of discharge, release or escape
Notice of discharge, release or escape of offender from a correctional facility. The District Attorney has a form to be completed in order to stay informed.
The New York Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system provides up to date information about the custody status of offenders via the telephone or internet. Crime victims and other New Yorkers can call 888-VINE-4NY (888-846-3469) or go to www.vinelink.com
to secure information about incarcerated defendants. By providing an inmate’s identification number or date of birth, which you can obtain from the District Attorney, you can learn sentencing and release information. You may also register with VINE for automatic notification by telephone when the inmate is released.
Be notified of criminal proceedings.
Be notified of criminal proceedings.Victims who provide a current address and telephone number to the District Attorney have the right to be notified of the accused’s: arrest; first appearance before a judge; release from jail while the criminal proceeding is pending; entry of a guilty plea, trial and sentencing; maximum and minimum terms of imprisonment if the offender is sentenced to prison and parole hearing date.
Freedom from intimidation, threats or harassment.
Freedom from intimidation, threats or harassment. Intimidating a victim or a witness is a felony, apart from any charges the accused may already face. If you are threatened or your property is damaged by anyone connected to your case, you should contact the District Attorney’s office and law enforcement immediately.
File for victim compensation and assistance
File for victim compensation and assistance with the New York State Office of Victim Services. Victims of physical injury or relatives of murder victims are entitled to out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the crime. These expenses may include the repair or replacement of Damaged property, loss of earnings or support, medical and counseling bills, crime scene cleanup or funeral expenses. Crime victims may also be eligible for transportation expenses incurred for necessary court appearances. Kidnapping, stalking and unlawful imprisonment victims may be eligible for an award to cover loss of earnings or support, unreimbursed costs for counseling, rehabilitative training and the costs of damaged essential personal property and security devices. Claims must be filed within one year of the crime or within one year of the victim’s death.
You can obtain a claim form from the police, the District Attorney, a hospital emergency room, the Office of Victim Services or from the Office of the Attorney General. Assistance is also available from other programs such as rape crisis centers and domestic violence and child abuse programs. Ask the District Attorney’s office for referrals.