Victims of many types of crimes have rights and responsibilities under a Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 17-17-1) called the Victim’s Bill of Rights. The purpose of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program is to educate and assist victims of such crimes.
As a victim, you have the right to be notified of: arrest of the accused; availability of victim service programs; availability of compensation for victims of violent crimes; any court hearings where release of accused will be considered; release of the accused; court proceedings during prosecution of the case; motion for new trial or appeal dates; and parole or change of status of defendant if you request this in writing.
A victim also has the right to: express opinions on the release of the accused pending court proceedings; express views on the outcome of the case prior to plea negotiations or sentencing of the accused; and complete a Victim Impact Statement.
It is the responsibility of the victim to provide the police their address and home and work phone numbers (not pagers) in order to be notified of various proceedings. If there is an arrest and the phone numbers change, the Solicitor-General’s Office must be notified.. Any of this notification or other rights provided may be waived.
If you are the victim of a violent (not property) crime, you may be eligible for victim compensation. You must have a completed application within six months after the date of the crime. There does not have to be an arrest in order to apply.
Compensation can help you with your out-of-pocket expenses not already covered by insurance, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, etc. Eligible expenses include medical, counseling, funeral and lost wages. The Victim-Witness Program has compensation applications and can help you apply.
If You Need Assistance
If you are threatened or intimidated by the offender, please immediately contact the Sheriff's Office to make a report. For immediate assistance, dial 911.
In order for you to be notified of various proceedings, you must provide law enforcement with your address and home and work telephone numbers (not pagers or cellular telephones).
If your phone number changes from the number you first gave the police, you must notify the Victim Assistance Program, Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office and/or the State Court Solicitor's Office. If there is an arrest, you can be informed of criminal proceedings.
If the defendant (accused) is convicted and sent to prison and you want to be notified of parole or want to express your opinions prior to a parole decision, you must contact the Board of Pardons and Parole in Atlanta. Also, if the defendant is sentenced to prison and you want to know of any change in his/her status while in prison (such as furlough, work release, escape), contact the Department of Corrections in Atlanta. The Victim Assistance Program can assist you with any of this communication.