Victim Witness Assistance Program

Often times the victims of crimes feel like only the accused has rights. The Solicitor-General’s Office strongly believes victims should have rights and are to be treated with respect.

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 in this office is to educate and assist victims of such crimes.

As a victim, you have the right to be notified of: arrest of the accused, the availability of victim service programs, the availability of compensation for victims of violent crimes, any court hearings where release of accused will be considered, the release of the accused, court proceedings during prosecution of the case, any motion for new trial or appeal dates if applicable, and parole or change of status of a 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 in order to be notified of various proceedings. If there is an arrest and the phone numbers change, the Solicitor-General’s Office should be notified. Any of these notifications or other rights provided may be waived.

If you are the victim of a violent 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 bills, counseling costs, funeral expenses, and lost wages. The Victim-Witness Program has compensation applications and can help you apply.

For assistance or more information, please contact a Victim-Witness Advocate in our office by calling 478-310-4726.