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Victims’ Bill of Rights

Pa. Victims’ Bill of Rights

You have rights as a victim of crime. In addition, there are standards of service that you can expect to receive as a victim of crime. The standards help ensure that you receive information, practical and emotional support, and are able to participate fully in the criminal justice system. These standards were created to make sure that you are treated with dignity and respect at all times, regardless of your gender, age, marital status, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or religion.
Your rights will be provided to you by several different agencies, which include a state or local law enforcement agency, the prosecutor’s office, local correctional facility, Board of Probation and Parole, the juvenile probation office or the Department of Public Welfare. Who provides specific notifications to you depends on where the case is in the criminal or juvenile justice system.

There are some rights that you will need to request in order for them to be provided to you. Some of your rights are listed below:

You have the right to be told…

  • about basic services available to you in Washington county
  • about certain court events, including information on bail, escape of offender, release of an offender
  • about the details of the final disposition of a case

You have the right to receive…

  • notice of the arrest of the offender
  • information about restitution and assistance with compensation
  • accompaniment to all criminal proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate or a support person

You have the right to provide input…
  • into the sentencing decision and to receive help in preparing an oral and/or written victim impact statement
  • into post sentencing decisions

If you think one or more of your rights were not provided to you or that you were not treated with dignity or respect and you would like to file a complaint, please contact the District Attorney’s Office of Victim Services.

You may want to talk to a victim advocate to learn more about your rights. A victim advocate is responsible for providing them to you and to explain the services that are available for you.