When someone is victimized by a wrongdoer, the state will often seek to punish the defendant by issuing criminal charges. The victim is not a party to the criminal case but has certain rights nonetheless. The goal is to make sure the defendant does not recidivate, or return to the bad behavior. Pursuing a civil claim as a crime victim is seeking justice for the victim as an individual and attempting to make the victim whole again. A civil lawsuit can hold all of those responsible for contributing to the crime responsible, including businesses, schools, clubs or other government bodies, such as the Department of Human Services. Different from the criminal realm, the civil justice system is designed to ensure a victim is compensated for the trauma the wrongdoer caused.
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
- The right to reasonable, accurate and timely notice of any public court proceeding or any parole proceeding involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
- The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court after receiving clear and convincing evidence determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
- The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing or any parole proceeding.
- The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the government in the case.
- The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
- The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.
In criminal prosecutions and juvenile court delinquency cases:
- The right to be present at and, upon specific request, to be informed in advance of any critical stage of the proceedings held in open court when the defendant will be present, and to be heard at the pretrial release hearing and the sentencing or juvenile court delinquency disposition
- The right, upon request, to obtain information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, criminal history and future release from physical custody of the criminal defendant or convicted criminal and equivalent information regarding the alleged youth offender or youth offender
- The right to refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request by the criminal defendant or other person acting on behalf of the criminal defendant provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph shall restrict any other constitutional right of the defendant to discovery against the state
- The right to receive prompt restitution from the convicted criminal who caused the victim’s loss or injury
- The right to have a copy of a transcript of any court proceeding in open court, if one is otherwise prepared
- The right to be consulted, upon request, regarding plea negotiations involving any violent felony
- The right to be informed of these rights as soon as practicable
For public protection from an accused person during criminal proceedings; denial of pretrial release:
- The right to be reasonably protected from the criminal defendant or the convicted criminal throughout the criminal justice process and from the alleged youth offender or youth offender throughout the juvenile delinquency proceedings
- The right to have decisions by the court regarding the pretrial release of a criminal defendant based upon the principle of reasonable protection of the victim and the public, as well as the likelihood that the criminal defendant will appear for trial