How Do I?
Click to Home
Go To Search
Photo Gallery
Citizen Service Center
Graphic Links

Advice for Victims & Witnesses
Crime Victim and Witness Rights
As a victim or witness of crime, you have certain rights under Virginia's Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act. There are specific steps you must take to receive these rights. For detailed information contact your local Victim/Witness Assistance Program, Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Police or Sheriff's Office or the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.
As the victim of a crime, you may be entitled to:

Information about:
  • Protection
  • Financial assistance and social services, including the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
  • Address and telephone number confidentiality
  • Closed preliminary hearing or use of closed-circuit television, if you were the victim of a sexual offense
  • Separate waiting area during court proceedings
  • The right to remain in the courtroom during a criminal trial or proceeding

Assistance in:
  • Obtaining protection
  • Obtaining property held by law enforcement agencies
  • Intercession services with your employer
  • Obtaining advanced notice of court proceedings
  • Receiving the services of an interpreter
  • Preparing a Victim Impact Statement
  • Seeking restitution

Notification of:
  • Changes in court dates
  • Changes in the status of the defendant, if he/she is being held in a jail or a correctional facility
  • The opportunity to prepare a written Victim Impact Statement prior to sentencing of a defendant

As the witness to a crime, you may be entitled to: 

Information about:  
  • Protection
  • Address and telephone number confidentiality 
  • A separate waiting area during court proceedings

Assistance with:
  • Obtaining protection
  • Receiving intercession services with your employer
  • Receiving the services of an interpreter

Steps you need to take to receive confidentiality, notification or release information:
  • Confidentiality: To request confidentiality, you must file a Request for Confidentiality Form (DC-301) with the magistrate, court, commonwealth's attorney, or law enforcement agency in the locality where the crime occurred.
  • Court Dates: You must give the commonwealth's attorney your current name, address, and telephone number in writing, if you wish to be notified in advance of the scheduled court dates for preliminary hearings, trials, sentencing hearings and other proceedings in your case.
  • Information about release or status of defendant: You must give the sheriff, jail superintendent, or Department of Corrections your current name, address, telephone number and defendant name, in writing, if you wish to be notified about the changes in the status of the defendant or inmate.