Information Center

Victims Rights

Introduction

Victims of crime are guaranteed certain notification rights and participation in the criminal justice system under an amendment to the Missouri Constitution and laws that took effect in 1993.

The rights discussed here automatically apply to victims of "dangerous felonies" (which may include: arson in the first degree, assault in the first degree, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, murder in the first or second degree, manslaughter, elder abuse in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, statutory rape and sodomy in the first degree (victim under 12 years old), abuse of a child, child kidnapping and parental kidnapping, or an attempt to commit one of these crimes). Victims of other crimes and witnesses to crimes may take advantage of these rights by written request to the appropriate agency.

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Notification Rights

The following agencies and individuals are required automatically to inform dangerous felony crime victims of certain rights and information. Victims of other crimes and witnesses to crimes may take advantage of these rights by written request to the appropriate agency. Here is a list of agencies and information they can provide:

REQUIRED VICTIM ACTION

Note that all victims may unintentionally waive their rights to be notified if they fail to provide the appropriate agency or individual with their current address and telephone number or the address and phone number at which they wish to be notified.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, JUVENILE AUTHORITIES

  • Case status, availability of victims' compensation services, emergency crisis intervention services, assistance in obtaining loss documentation, releases on bond or for any other reason, and any escape (within 24 hours) or recapture.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS

  • Case status (including submitted cases before a charging decision has been made, charged cases, and any final decision not to file charges), filing of charges, preliminary hearing dates, trial dates, continuances, and final disposition (within five days).
  • Bail hearings, guilty pleas, pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity, hearings, sentencing and probation revocation hearings.
  • Availability of victim services (including compensation, financial assistance, and emergency crisis intervention).
  • Right to restitution and the availability of, and application process for, any witness fee to which a victim is entitled.

To make a written request to receive these rights from our office please fill out and return your Victim Impact Statement and check the box requesting notification of all proceedings and return it to the below address:

DOWNLOAD VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT

Please mail the Victim Impact Statement to:
Greene County Victim/Witness Services Office
1010 Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802

CUSTODIAL AUTHORITIES

  • Upon written request to the appropriate custodial authority, including municipal or county detention or jail facilities, juvenile detention facilities, correctional facilities operated by the Department of Corrections, mental health facilities, and the Division of Youth Services.
  • A defendant's projected release date and actual release date - on bond, work release, trial release or for any other reason, or escape (within 24 hours).
  • Parole or release hearings, rescheduling of any hearings (no hearing shall be conducted without giving the victim a 30- day advance notice), and decision by a parole board, juvenile releasing authority, or circuit court presiding over releases for persons found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  • Decision by the governor to commute a sentence or grant a pardon, or death of a defendant (must be notified within 30 days).

BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE

  • Probation and revocation hearings initiated by the board, and parole hearings.
  • Final decisions to release the defendant made by the board.

MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL

  • Case status information throughout the appeal process. Crime victims and witnesses to crimes can, on request, obtain case status information throughout the appellate process from the Missouri Attorney General's Office.

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General Rights

  • To be present at all criminal proceedings where the defendant has that right, even if the victim is called to testify or may be called to testify as a witness in the case.
  • To confer with the prosecutor regarding bail hearings, guilty pleas, pleadings of insanity, hearings, sentencing and probation revocation hearings.
  • To be present at any hearing in which the defendant is present before a probation and parole hearing officer and to full participation in all phases of parole hearings or probation revocation hearings.
  • To be heard at juvenile probation revocation hearings, probation revocation and parole hearings initiated by the board of probation and parole, and release proceedings for persons found not guilty by reason of insanity. Victims may offer a written statement, video or audio tape in lieu of a personal appearance.
  • To protection from harmful threats from a defendant, or persons acting on behalf of defendant, for activities arising out of cooperation with law enforcement officials, and the right to a secure waiting area during a court proceeding.
  • To speedy disposition of cases and speedy appellate review.
  • To fair employment rights (including the right of a victim, witness or member of a victim's family not to be discharged or disciplined by an employer for honoring a subpoena or for participating in the preparation of a criminal proceeding).
  • To regain property from a prosecutor or law enforcement officer once it is no longer needed for evidence or retention during an appeal (within five working days upon request) unless it is contraband or subject to forfeiture proceedings.
  • To creditor intercession services by the prosecuting attorney if the victim is unable, as a result of the crime, to temporarily meet financial obligations.
  • To limited compensation for out-of-pocket loss and for qualified medical care necessary as a result of the crime.

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Compensation Fund

The state of Missouri has a fund to reimburse some crime victims for certain financial losses. You may be eligible for benefits if:

  • You are a victim of violent crime and suffered personal bodily injury;
  • You are a relative who requires counseling to better assist a sexual assault victim with recovery;
  • You are a spouse, child or other dependent of a victim who has died as a direct result of a crime, or you assumed financial obligations incurred as a result of the victim's death; or
  • You are a Missouri resident who suffered personal injury in a state that does not have a crime victims' compensation program and the injury would be covered if the crime had occurred in Missouri.

COMPENSATION FUND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible, you must have:

  • Reported the incident within 48 hours to the proper law enforcement agency or had a good reason for delay;
  • Filed the compensation claim within two years of the crime or discovery of the crime; and
  • Incurred medical expenses and lost time from work, or incurred no medical bills but lost at least two weeks' wages. The rate of compensation is $40 a day or $200 a week.

COMPENSATION
Depending on the case, victims' compensation may be available for medical care, psychiatric treatment or other counseling, funeral expenses and wage loss reimbursement for the victim. Total recovery may not exceed $25,000.

FILING FOR CLAIMS

DOWNLOAD PAMPHLET

DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST

If you have determined that you may be eligible under the Missouri Crime Victim Compensation fund, please submit the following application attention

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION

Crime Victims Compensation Program
P.O. Box 1589
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 526-6006
(800) 347-6881

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Disclaimer

The above information is published by the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. It contains general information about the law. It does not contain a complete statement of the law in this area and is not a substitute for legal advice.

If you need legal advice, contact a lawyer. If you do not know a lawyer, call the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association referral service (417) 831-2783 or http://www.smba.cc/LawyerReferralService.cfm.

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