P.O. Box 177
Jonesville, VA 24263
Donna D. Kolb, Director
Phone (276) 346-2689
- VIRGINIA 'S VICTIM "BILL OF RIGHTS
- Definition of a Victim
- VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION
- FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
- VICTIMS' COMPENSATION
- VICTIM INPUT
- VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
- CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION FUND
Rights of victims of crime. That in criminal prosecutions, the victim shall be accorded fairness, dignity and a respect by the officers, employees and agents of the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions and officers of the courts and, as the General Assembly may define and provide by law, may be accorded rights to reasonable and appropriate notice, information, restitution, protection, and access to a meaningful role in the criminal justice process. These rights may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- The right to protection from further harm or reprisal through the imposition of appropriate bail and conditions of release;
- The right to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness at all stages of the criminal justice system;
- The right to address the circuit court at the time sentence is imposed;
- The right to receive timely notification of judicial proceedings;
- The right to restitution;
- The right to be advised of release from custody or escape of the offender, whether before or after disposition; and
- The right to confer with the prosecution.
This section does not confer upon any person a right to appeal or modify any decision in a criminal proceeding, does not abridge any other right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or this Constitution, and does not create any cause of action for compensation or damages against the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, any officer, employee or agent of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, or any officer of the court.
- Anyone suffering physical, emotional or financial harm as a direct result of a felony or certain misdemeanors.
- The definition of victims includes the spouses and children of an actual victim.
- The parents and guardians of minor victims, mentally or physically incapacitated victims, or victims of homicide are also defined as victims.
A protective order is an order issued by judges, or in emergencies, magistrates, to protect a victim from abuse. These orders prohibit the accused from some or all contact with you.
If you are the victim of stalking, the judge or magistrate can issue an order prohibiting the accused from contact with you. Separate Waiting Areas
Whenever your case is tried in court, you can be seated in an area separate from that of the defendant. The victim-witness coordinator can assist you by taking you to this location and will notify you when it is time for your appearance in court.
Victims and witnesses traveling from out of town may be entitled to payment for mileage, tolls, meals and lodging for each day's attendance in court.
To assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain crimes, law enforcement authorities may hold your property as evidence. The law allows them to photograph and return certain evidence to you before trial. However, law enforcement may hold your property until after the trial and the time limit for all appeals has passed.
If you are a crime victim, the defendant may be ordered to repay you under certain circumstances, at least partially, for your loss.
If you are the victim of a crime in Virginia and if you were injured during the crime or you are the surviving spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling or child of a victim who was killed because of a crime, then you may be compensated for certain unreimbursed losses such as loss of earnings, medical expenses or funeral expenses.
The Commonwealth's Attorney and/or Victim-Witness Coordinator can advise you on how to apply for victim's compensation and, if necessary, assist you with the application. (See further information below).
If you are subpoenaed to court and you give reasonable notice at your workplace, your employer may not fire you, discipline you, or require you to use vacation or sick leave in order to go to court. However, your employer is not required to pay you for your time in court.
You must give the Commonwealth’s Attorney's Office or the Victim-Witness Office your current name, address and phone number, in writing, if you wish to be notified in advance of the scheduled court dates for:
- Preliminary Hearings
- Sentencing Hearings
You must give the sheriff, jail superintendent or Department of Corrections (DOC) your current name, address and telephone number, in writing, if you wish to be notified of the following events relating to the custody of the defendant:
- Escape from jail, prison, etc.
- Transfer from one jail or prison to another.
- Legal Change of Name.
- Release (including work release) from jail, prison, etc.
- Discharge from custody.
- Placement on parole.
To be notified of state prisoners' statuses, contact the Victim Services Section of the Department of Corrections, (800) 560-4292. You may be required to provide additional information (e.g., prisoner's name, date of sentencing, type of sentencing) when requesting notification.
The Virginia State Victim Notification Service (VINE) is a service through which victims of crime can use the telephone or Internet to search for information regarding their offender's custody status and register to receive telephone and e-mail notification when the offender's custody status changes. This service is brought to you by the Virginia Department of Corrections and the Virginia Sheriff's Association via a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for SAVIN that is managed by Virginia Center for Policing Innovation. The VINE toll-free number for Virginia VINE is 1-800-467-4943 and the website is https://www.vinelink.com/vinelink/siteInfoAction.do?siteId=47000
Victims have the right to remain in the courtroom during all court proceedings (bail or bond hearings, preliminary hearings, trials, etc.) which the defendant attends.
Additionally, in any case involving a victim who is under the age of 18, the court may permit an adult chosen by the victim to remain in the courtroom as a support person for the victim, if that person is not a material witness.
In certain cases and under specific circumstances, after the defendant is found guilty, the judge may consider a Victim Impact Statement(s) in determining the defendant's sentence. The Victim Impact Statement gives the victim the opportunity to tell the court, in writing, the impact of the crime(s).
Victims of crime who suffer from physical injuries as a result of the crime may be eligible for state compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund to cover medical expenses, psychological counseling, partial loss of earnings, or funeral expenses, which were incurred as a result of their victimization. Qualifications for Criminal Injuries Compensation are:
- The crime occurred in Virginia and resulted in physical injury or death.
- The crime was reported to law enforcement within 120 hours after it happened unless good cause for delay is shown.
- The victim cooperated with law enforcement and was willing to prosecute in court.
- The value of the claim, not paid by other services, must be at least $100.
- The crime did not involve a motor vehicle accident unless it was a result of a violation of the Drunk Driving Statute or the injuries were intentionally inflicted.
If you meet this criteria, please contact the Lee County Victim-Witness Coordinator or:
Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
100 DMV Drive
P.O. Box 5423
Richmond, VA 23220