Victims’ Bill of Rights
On July 23, 1992, Governor Michael N. Castle, signed the Victims’ Bill of Rights into law. This law mandates that victims are informed about the criminal process and extends notification and participation rights to them. The statute was amended by the 137th General Assembly and Governor Thomas R. Carper signed and made law, new requirements to the Victims’ Bill of Rights on July 16, 1993.
THE LAW PROVIDES THAT YOU SHOULD BE NOTIFIED OF THE FOLLOWING:
- How criminal cases go through the system.
- After a defendant is released on bail including the amount of bail and any conditions.
- Court events, possible plea agreements, outcome of the case, projected prison release dates and any sentence modification.
- If the conviction is reversed on appeal.
- Parole and pardon hearing dates, early release to community based on programs or if the offender escapes from a correctional facility.
- Procedures to be followed if the offender threatens or intimidates you.
- Services available for victims of crime.
VICTIM SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
Most crime victims suffer from distress and/or confusion after victimization and experience difficulty dealing with the criminal justice system. These programs provide a wide range of services to help you during this time.
To help crime victims, these programs usually provide victim advocacy, crisis intervention, information about the case, referrals to social/community resources, assistance in filing Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program forms, help with understanding the criminal justice system, and court accompaniment
Delaware has a Victims’ Bill of Rights which entitles you to be notified of and participate in all major phases of the criminal case process. You will be notified of the progress of the case in which you are the victim. This booklet will help you better understand what is happening in court by telling you the meaning of court terms you may not know. It also gives you other information you may find helpful.
NOTE: YOU MUST FILE WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR OF THE CRIME TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ASSISTANCE.
If you have had property stolen and the police recover it, the police will keep the property as evidence until after the trial.