Information and Assistance for Federal Crime Victim and Witnesses in English by DOJ


									        I F Y OU A RE T HREATENED                              L IMITED C ONFIDENTIALITY S TATEMENT
               O R H ARASSED                                                                                                     Information And
                                                               We are here to assist you as you go through the criminal
If anyone threatens you or you feel that you are being         justice process. However, you should know that we work
harassed because of your cooperation with this case,
                                                               as part of a team with the criminal prosecutor and the                     Assistance
there are remedies available. Your safety is para-             investigative case agent. We do our best to keep sensitive
mount. Please contact the investigating agent or the
                                                               information confidential. As part of the team, there are
Victim-Witness Program immediately. They may dis-              times when we may need to share information you pro-                              For
cuss with you additional safety measures and assistance        vide with the other team members. This is especially im-
such as temporary restraining orders, possible reloca-         portant if you share information regarding your safety, a
tion, or other appropriate referrals.                          medical emergency, information that relates to child                  Federal Crime
                                                               abuse, and/or information that is critical to the investiga-
                                                               tion or prosecution of the case.
    O THER A SSISTANCE & S ERVICES                                                                                            Victims and Witnesses

If you are a victim, you are entitled to:                                 C ONTACT I NFORMATION

                    • Notification of case events,                                    Julia Landry
                    usually by letter or E-mail, through
                                                                               Victim-Witness Coordinator
                    the Victim Notification System. If
                    the defendant is convicted and sen-                           U.S. Attorney’s Office
                    tenced to the custody of the Bureau                        777 Florida Street, Suite 208
                    of Prisons, notification will continue
                                                                                 Baton Rouge, La. 70801
    regarding the defendant’s release date, furlough, or
    escape. REMINDER: please keep us informed                               (225) 389-0443 or 1-877-242-1884
    of any address, E-mail, or telephone number
                                                                              State Compensation Program
•   Referrals to other agencies or professionals for coun-                           1-888-6-VICTIM
    seling, shelter, and/or compensation.
                                                                       National Organization for Victim Assistance
If you are a victim or a witness,                                                    800-TRY-NOVA
you are entitled to:                                                      National Center for Victims of Crime                “Our Nation’s highest ideals of compassion and
• A separate waiting area                                                                                                     justice demand that we protect the welfare of all
     away from defendant and                                                                                                  victims.” - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
     defense witnesses.

•   Courtroom support.
                                        A Federal Courthouse
•   Information and assistance
    with travel, lodging, parking, and reimbursement for
                                                                                                                              Office of the United States Attorney
    mandatory court appearances and pre-trial inter-                                                                              Middle District of Louisiana
    views.                                                                                                                          Victim-Witness Program
     I NFORMATION FOR V ICTIMS AND                                         T HE C RIMINAL J USTICE P ROCESS                                       R ESTITUTION AND C OMPENSATION
                                                                  As the case moves through the Federal court system, there are sev-          Victim Compensation
                                                                  eral events that typically occur.
The following information has been prepared to help answer                                                                                    The Victim Compensation Program for the State of XXX
questions that may arise. We have included information                                     INVESTIGATION                                      helps cover expenses for victims of violent crime who have
which will give you an understanding of how the Federal                                                                                       suffered physical or psychological injury. The Crime Victim
criminal justice system works.                                                                                                                Compensation Program may be able to reimburse you for
                                                                               DETENTION HEARING (POSSIBLE)                                   crime related expenses such as medical care, mental health
The role of the United States Attorney’s Office is to prose-
                                                                                                                                              expenses, and lost wages due to crime related injuries. To
cute cases fairly and justly. Our actions on your behalf do       The Government is seeking to detain of the defendant and may do so
                                                                                                                                              obtain further information and an application, contact the
not constitute an attorney-client relationship and we cannot      based on the statement of the prosecutor or by presenting witnesses
                                                                                                                                              Victim-Witness Coordinator listed on the back of this bro-
give you legal advice. The interests of the United States may                                and exhibits.
occasionally diverge from your interests as a victim.
                                                                                     PRELIMINARY HEARING
                  V ICTIMS ’ R IGHTS                              A Judge determines if there is sufficient probable cause to charge the
                                                                                                                                              Under Federal law, restitution is mandatory for many (but
                                                                  defendant. This only occurs if the defendant has not been charged by
                                                                                                                                              not all) types of crimes. It is important for victims, who may
The Crime Victims’ Rights Act gives victims of                                              the grand jury.
                                                                                                                                              be entitled to restitution, to keep a record of their losses,
offenses charged in Federal court the following                                                      or                                       medical expenses, property damage and counseling ex-
rights:                                                                                                                                       penses, with receipts when possible. This information will be
                                                                                      GRAND JURY HEARING
• The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.                                                                                      needed by the probation department if the defendant is con-
• The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any      A Grand Jury hears evidence in a non-public proceeding and may             victed and ordered to pay restitution.
public court proceeding involving the crime or of any release                issue a formal charge called an Indictment.
or escape of the accused. • The right not to be excluded                     An Arrest Warrant may be issued at this time.
from any such public court proceeding, unless the court,
after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines                                  ARRAIGNMENT
                                                                                                                                                  T HE E MOTIONAL I MPACT O F C RIME
that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if        A defendant appears in court and hears the charge(s) against him/
the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding. • The        her. At this time, the defendant typically enters a plea of not guilty.     Many victims of and witnesses to crime are emotionally
right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the
                                                                       DISCOVERY, PLEA NEGOTIATIONS & MOTIONS                                 affected by their experience and although everyone reacts
district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any pa-
                                                                                                                                              differently, many people report common reactions such as:
role proceeding. • The reasonable right to confer with the        This may include hearings & rulings on motions concerning the ad-
attorney for the Government in the case. • The right to full      missibility of evidence, trial issues, or a possible guilty plea from the   •    Anger
and timely restitution as provided in the law. • The right to                                     defendant.                                  •    Feelings of panic and/or anxiety
proceedings free from unreasonable delay. • The right to be                                                                                   •    Nightmares and sleep pattern changes
treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity                                   TRIAL
                                                                                                                                              •    Feelings of self-doubt, shame or guilt
and privacy.                                                       The Government presents its case with witnesses, followed by the           •    Reliving what happened
We will make our best efforts to ensure you are pro-               defendant’s case. The trial generally results in a verdict by a jury.      •    Depression, difficulty concentrating
vided the rights described. You may seek the advice                PRE-SENTENCE INVESTIGATION & REPORT PREPARED                               •    Increased concern for personal safety and that of their
of an attorney with respect to these rights.                                                                                                       family
                                                                    After a finding of guilt, a pre-sentence report is prepared for the
If you believe that an employee of the United States              judge by U.S. Probation, at which time you have the right to submit
Attorney's Office failed to provide you with one or                                 written victim impact statements.                         Many people continue to have these responses for some time
more of these rights, you may file an administrative                                                                                          after the crime. The Victim/Witness Unit can assist you in
complaint, as provided under 28 CFR § 45.10. Please                                            SENTENCE
                                                                                                                                              finding appropriate support services.
contact the United States Attorney's Office to obtain                                            APPEAL
information about these procedures.

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