A Criminal Lawyer in Rochester MN Can Protect Victims’ Rights

by | Sep 14, 2017 | Lawyers

Crimes occur when people break the laws put in place by the government. While victims aren’t directly involved in these cases, they do have certain state and federal rights. Read on to learn more about how a Criminal Lawyer in Rochester MN can help victims protect their rights.

The Victims’ Rights Movement

The movement began in 1973 as the Supreme Court decided that a victim couldn’t force prosecutors to file criminal charges. Although victims were denied that right, Congress was allowed to pass laws creating rights for victims of violent crimes. Since that time, state and federal governments have enacted laws that establish and safeguard these rights.

Participation in the Legal Process

Under federal law, a victim has the right to be told about any parole or court hearing involving the perpetrator of the crime. Victims are allowed to attend hearings, make statements in public, and speak with prosecutors. State courts have similar rights, although they vary by jurisdiction. Consult a local lawyer for advice and advocacy.

Eligibility for Financial Compensation

Federal and state laws have established compensation programs for crime victims. These programs are intended to reimburse victims for expenses related to violent crimes, and most courts require defendants to pay restitution as part of their punishment. Victims can sue defendants in civil court, but they may have difficulty getting compensation if the perpetrator has few assets.

The Right to Self-Protection

By federal law, victims are guaranteed the right to protection from a criminal defendant. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a plaintiff may be able to get a police escort to and from the courthouse, a secure waiting room in court, residence relocation, and even enrollment in the witness protection program. Courts may also issue orders preventing employers from terminating a victim who has taken time off to participate in the legal process.

Criminal Lawyers Can Help Victims

The laws on victims’ rights are quite complex, and each case’s facts are unique. The information given here is meant as a brief and general introduction to this topic. Call a Criminal Lawyer in Rochester MN or Click Here for case-specific advice.

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