CRIME VICTIM INFORMATION
CRIME VICTIM INFORMATION SHEET AND VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT PACKET
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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS
1. CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS: You have crime victim rights if you are a:
· Parent/Guardian of a victim, or
· Close relative of a deceased victim.
2. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION SHEET:
· Used by criminal justice professionals to contact you throughout the process.
· Used to elect and exercise your rights to notification of court proceedings, probation, parole and release.
· Used to notify if you want to refuse any contact with the defendant.
You must notify your Victim Assistance Coordinator if any of your contact information changes to make sure you are kept informed.
After the defendant is convicted and sent to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility (prison), notify the Victim Services Division of any new contact information at 1-800-848-4284 or email@example.com.
3. VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT: Victims have the right to submit a Victim Impact Statement. The Victim Impact Statement is a written, detailed account of the emotional, physical, psychological, and financial impact the crime has had on the victims and family members. This document can be used to explain your feelings of loss, frustration, and fear. Only you can provide this vital information. The Victim Impact Statement has become a significant tool in the criminal justice process.
HOW YOUR VIS IS USED:
· Considers your Victim Impact Statement before entering into a plea arrangement.
· Considers your Victim Impact Statement to determine the restitution amount (if requested).
· Considers your Victim Impact Statement before imposing a sentence; however, the Victim Impact Statement is not considered by a jury.
· Considers your Victim Impact Statement before accepting the plea.
Your Victim Impact Statement, excluding Section 2 of the Confidential Information Sheet, becomes a formal part of the court record and can be seen by the defendant and his attorney. The defendant or his attorney may comment on the Victim Impact Statement and, with approval of the court, introduce evidence or testimony in regards to its accuracy.
Community Supervision (probation):
· Community Supervision officers have access to your Victim Impact Statement for notification purposes.
Board of Pardons and Paroles:
· Considers your Victim Impact Statement prior to voting whether or not to release the offender or to impose special conditions of release.
If the defendant is sentenced to prison, your Victim Impact Statement goes with his or her court records to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
For additional information visit the Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse website at: www.tdcj.state.tx.us/victim/victim-clearinghs.htm
Article 56.01 - DEFINITIONS
(1) “Close relative of a deceased victim” means a person who was the spouse of a deceased victim at the time of the victim’s death or who is a parent or adult brother, sister, or child of the deceased victim.
(2) “Guardian of victim” means a person who is the legal guardian of the victim, whether or not the legal relationship between the guardian and the victim exists because of the age of the victim or the physical or mental incompetency of the victim.
(2-a) “Sexual assault” includes an offense under Section 21.02, Penal Code.
(3) “Victim” means a person who is the victim of the offense of sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of persons, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual or who has suffered personal injury or death as a result of the criminal conduct of another.
Article 56.02 - CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS
(a) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:
(1) the right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;
(2) the right to have the magistrate take the safety of the victim or his family into consideration as an element in fixing the amount of bail for the accused;
(3) the right, if requested, to be informed:
(A) by the attorney representing the state of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed if those proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled prior to the event; and
(B) by an appellate court of decisions of the court, after the decisions are entered but before the decisions are made public;
(4) the right to be informed, when requested, by a peace officer concerning the defendant’s right to bail and the procedures in criminal investigations and by the district attorney’s office concerning the general procedures in the criminal justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and parole process;
(5) the right to provide pertinent information to a probation department conducting a presentencing investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and his family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner prior to any sentencing of the offender;
(6) the right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by Subchapter B, including information related to the costs that may be compensated under that subchapter and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that subchapter, the payment for a medical examination under Article 56.06 for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, to referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;
(7) the right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole proceedings concerning a defendant in the victim’s case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant’s file information to be considered by the board prior to the parole of any defendant convicted of any crime subject to this subchapter, and to be notified, if requested, of the defendant’s release;
(8) the right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the offender and relatives of the offender, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim’s contact with the offender and the offender’s relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings;
(9) the right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for that purpose;
(10) the right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim’s cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
(11) the right to counseling, on request, regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and testing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS, if the offense is an offense under Section 21.02, 21.11(a)(1), 22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code;
(12) the right to request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the victim services division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;
(13) the right to be informed of the uses of a victim impact statement and the statement’s purpose in the criminal justice system, to complete the victim impact statement, and to have the victim impact statement considered:
(A) by the attorney representing the state and the judge before sentencing or before a plea bargain agreement is accepted; and
(B) by the Board of Pardons and Paroles before an inmate is released on parole;
(14) to the extent provided by Articles 56.06 and 56.065, for a victim of a sexual assault, the right to a forensic medical examination if, within 96 hours of the sexual assault, the assault is reported to a law enforcement agency or a forensic medical examination is otherwise conducted at a health care facility; and
(15) for a victim of an assault or sexual assault who is younger than 17 years of age or whose case involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code, the right to have the court consider the impact on the victim of a continuance requested by the defendant; if requested by the attorney representing the state or by counsel for the defendant, the court shall state on the record the reason for granting or denying the continuance.
(b) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in the case.
Please keep in touch with the Coordinator or Prosecutor for the status of your case.
Please fill out the
rest of the form and return it to the District or County Attorney's Office -
Victim Assistance Coordinator.
YOUR VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR IS:
Rachel Leal -- Felonies
Ginger Allen -- Protective Orders - 409-766-2365
Linda Telfah -- Misdemeanors/Juveniles/Family Law - 409-770-6239
Please keep in touch with the Coordinator or Prosecutor for the status of your case,
Texas Crime Victim Rights and Rights of Victims of Juvenile Crime
Crime Victim Impact Forms
Para Mirad Delaracion de Impacto de Victima en Espanol
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