In the present day and age, the chances of being victimized are quite high. Crime rates are on the rise and accidents are an all-too-frequent occurrence. Thankfully, there are a special set of rights designed to protect victims of crimes and accidents. Here are 5 important facts you need to know about victim’s rights.
Access to necessary information
Whether you are a victim of a crime or an accident, there are services out there to help you cope. As a victim, you have the right to access information about these services, including counselling sessions. It is very common for victims to be unaware of this and it may lead them away from services that can be incredibly helpful. If you seek out the necessary information, no one can deny you the right to know about or access these critical services. Victims who hire a law firm are generally made aware by their lawyers about this basic right.
Constant updates from the authorities
Whenever a crime or accident gets reported, the police jump into action and begin investigations. Depending upon their findings, the state prosecution may soon get involved, especially if a crime has been committed. Victims and their lawyers have the right to be informed about every proceeding carried out by the authorities. You also have the right to let the authorities know if you feel something is amiss or if you are unhappy with any of the decisions being taken.
Being present at all proceedings
If you are the victim of an accident or a crime and the case does reach court, you have the right to be present at every hearing and trial. Legally, it is not mandatory for you to attend and your lawyer can often file a plea to have your presence in court excused, especially if you have a valid reason. However, there is no law that prevents you from attending the trials and hearings, if you wish to do so. When in court, you have to maintain decorum and obey the rules, but entry into the courtroom cannot be denied to the victims or the victim’s lawyers.
Keeping track of the offender’s whereabouts
In case of a trail, the victim has every right to about the whereabouts of the perpetrator. Authorities have to inform the victim or the victim’s lawyer about any proceedings with regards to the offender’s status. This includes bail hearings and if the bail has been approved or denied, upcoming parole hearings, transfer from one facility to another, and when the offender will be released. If an offender is out on bail, the victim’s lawyer can get in touch with the parole officer to ensure that the offender continues to meet his or her parole conditions. If an offender is convicted, the victim can keep tabs on the offender only as long as the offender is serving the sentence, either in prison or out on parole.
A right to restitution
In many cases, the victim of an accident or a crime is entitled to restitution. The eligibility criteria and amount varies from state to state, but usually does take into factor any physical and emotional trauma the victim may have suffered. It is a misconception that restitution is due only when physical damage to property occurs.
Since laws can vary quite a bit from state to state, do not hesitate to call a local law firm and let the lawyers explain to you your rights as a victim.
This article is authored by Sylvester Baines. He is a freelance writer, professional blogger and an expert chess player. He writes articles on a wide variety of subject. He recommends the Philadelphia personal injury attorney to his readers who are in need of some excellent legal representation.