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Electronic Victim Resource Packet

For Law Enforcement:

LEO: Sample Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Packet

For Victims:

MS Attorney General's Office Crime Victim's Guide

Crime Victims' Bill of Rights

Section 26(a) of the Mississippi Constitution states:

“Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process; and to be informed, present and heard, when authorized by law, during public hearings.”

Summary of the Mississippi Crime Victims' Bill of Rights

The law enforcement officer assigned to your case will give you a packet of information telling you about:

  • The availability of emergency and crisis services;
  • Crime Victim Compensation Division services and benefits;
  • Contact information of the law enforcement officer and agency assigned to your case;
  • The steps involved in prosecuting a criminal case;
  • The rights of crime victims authorized by the Mississippi Constitution; and
  • The contact information of the prosecuting attorney.

The law enforcement officer will also provide you with a form to invoke your rights (Request to Exercise Victims’ Rights form). By completing, signing and mailing the form (See Request to Exercise Bill of Rights)  to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or prosecuting attorney and/or office, you are asserting the following rights:

  1. To receive a copy of the initial incident report at no cost
  2. To be notified of all charges filed against any person for the crime committed against you
  3. To be notified of any criminal proceedings, other than initial appearance, as soon as practical, and to any changes that may occur
  4. To talk with the prosecutor prior to the final disposition of your case, including giving your views on any “nol pros” (dismissal), reduction of charge, sentence recommendation, and pre-trial diversion programs
  5. To talk with the prosecutor prior to the beginning of the trial
  6. To receive a transcript of the trial, at your own cost
  7. To have the trial held without unreasonable delay
  8. To be present throughout all criminal proceedings, including any hearings, arguments or other matters scheduled by and held before a judge, but not including lineups, grand jury hearings or any other matter not held in the presence of a judge
  9. To be provided a waiting area at trial separate from the defendant, his relatives and his witnesses (if an area is available and the use of the area is practical)
  10. To have the prosecutor petition the court that you or any other witness not be compelled to testify at any pre-trial proceeding or at trial to any facts concerning your identity, residence or place of employment that could put you in danger if you have been threatened with physical violence or intimidated by the defendant or anyone connected with him/her
  11. To be present at any proceeding where the defendant is going to enter a guilty plea and be sentenced
  12. To be given the date of a conviction, acquittal or dismissal of the charges
  13. To be given, after a conviction, information about the function of a pre-sentence report and the name, address and telephone number of the probation officer preparing this report for the judge and about the right of the defendant to view the pre-sentence report
  14. To make an oral or written impact statement to the probation officer preparing the pre-sentence report for the judge
  15. To be present at sentencing and to give the judge an impact statement or any information that concerns the criminal offense or the sentence
  16. To be informed as soon as practicable of the sentence imposed on the defendant
  17. To be given the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the appropriate agencies and departments to whom further requests for notice should be provided
  18. To be given the Attorney General’s Office or the District Attorney, information about the status of any appellate proceeding and any appellate decisions within five (5) business days after the status is known or the decision issued
  19. To be notified upon any post arrest release of the defendant. Sexual assault or domestic violence victims are to be notified whether or not they have invoked their rights
  20. To be notified of any escape and subsequent recapture of the defendant
  21. To have any property belonging to you that was taken during the investigation returned as soon as possible
  22. To be notified within fifteen (15) days prior to the end of the sentence of the date the prisoner is to be released and to be notified of any medical release or death of the prisoner
  23. To be notified that you may submit a written statement, audio or video recording to be placed with the prisoner’s records and considered at any review for community status of the prisoner prior to release of the prisoner
  24. To be notified and allowed to submit a written or recorded statement when any change in custodial status is considered, whether such action be by executive order or judicial action
  25. To testify at a criminal proceeding or participate in the preparation of the trial without any loss of employment, intimidation or threat or fear of the loss of employment

These rights do not include the right to direct the prosecution. The district, city or county attorney has the responsibility to prosecute criminal cases. They will decide how the case will be handled, but they will confer with you and will consider your wishes and needs. Additionally, the exercise of these rights is at your discretion. The absence of the victim at the proceeding will not prevent the court from going forward. The duty of the prosecutor is to make reasonable attempts to keep you informed. You must do your part by keeping the law enforcement agency and prosecutor informed of any change in your name, address or telephone number(s).

Victim Compensation FAQs

Address Confidentiality Program

If you move to a new location to escape domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking, the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) can help keep your new address confidential. When you sign up for ACP, your first-class mail is sent to a secure substitute address and then forwarded to your new home. You can also use the substitute address for a variety of state and local government requirements such as:

  • Getting a Mississippi Driver's License
  • Registering to VOTE
  • Enrolling your children into public school

MS AGO Brochures on Crimes of Interpersonal Violence

Strangulation

Stalking

Dating Violence

Human Trafficking


State and National Resources

Law Enforcement Agencies Within the Care Lodge Service Area

Local Resources

  • The East Mississippi Hub connects volunteers and nonprofits with the resources they need to make a positive difference in our community.

  • The mission at United Way of East Mississippi is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community by giving, advocating, and volunteering.United Way of East Mississippi, serving Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale, and Neshoba counties, supports 22 local partner agencies and 7 community impact programs.

  • Wesley House is a member of the National Children’s Alliance, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi, and the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault. They provide a hand-up approach of assistance to our clients through four separate and distinct mission areas:
    - East Mississippi Child Advocacy Center
    - East Mississippi Sexual Assault Crisis Center
    - Educational Services
    - Christian Relief

Teen Dating Violence Resources

Our Contributors

  • United Way of East Mississippi
    United Way of East Mississippi