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New York - Crime Victims' Rights

Rights Granted to Victims of a Crime in New York

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  • Crime victims should receive information about their role in the criminal justice process.
  • Crime victims are entitled to receive a free copy of the police report relating to the crime.
  • Crime victims and their families have the right to consult with the prosecutor, to provide their views about the disposition of the case, the defendant's release and sentencing including restitution from the defendant.
  • Upon providing prosecutors with a current address and telephone number, victims are entitled to notification of judicial proceedings relating to their case, including the accused's arrest, arraignment, pre-trial release, entry of a guilty plea, trial, sentencing, final disposition, terms of imprisonment, parole, release and escape.

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE)

Crime victims can access information about custody and release data on all prison inmates by calling the Department of Correctional Services' (DOCS) toll-free Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) number at 1-888-VINE4NY.

When calling VINE, victims are required to provide the offender's name, NYSID number or DIN number, provided by the District Attorney's office, in order to access custody information.

Victim Impact Statement

  • Victims or their families have the right to address the court on any matter relevant to sentencing, when a defendant has committed a felony so long as the court has been given notice.
  • A judge cannot sentence a defendant convicted of any crime to 90 days or more or to a sentence of probation without having first received a pre-sentence investigation report prepared by the Department of Probation.
  • Where appropriate, the report may contain a Victim Impact Statement with information about the victim's version of the offense, the extent of injury or economic loss, the actual out-of-pocket loss, and the views of the victim relating to disposition, including the amount of restitution and reparation sought by the victim.
A crime victim or a victim's representative, including the victim's closest surviving relative, is entitled to submit a statement to the Parole Board, concerning threatening or intimidating conduct toward the victim, the victim's representative, or the victim's family, made by the offender. Where a crime victim submits a Victim Impact Statement concerning the release of an inmate, requires the Parole Board to keep that person's identity, including his/her name and address, confidential.

Crime Victims Board and Compensation

A Crime Victims Board is designated as an agency providing financial relief to victims of crime who suffer physical injury as a direct result of the crime. In addition, seniors, disabled persons and others who have not suffered physical injury as a direct result of the crime, also may be entitled to receive compensation.

All law enforcement agencies shall have available claim applications and brochures regarding crime victim compensation for every victim of a crime.

The claim must be filed in person or by mail not later than one year after the occurrence or discovery of the crime. This period may be extended beyond one year provided good cause is demonstrated.

Compensation

Compensation is to reimburse the crime victim for out-of-pocket expenses such as:
  • Indebtedness reasonably incurred for medical or other services, such as counseling, shelter services, or rehabilitative occupational training.
  • Loss of earnings or support not to exceed $30,000.
  • Burial expenses not to exceed $6,000 of a victim who died as a direct result of a crime.
  • The costs of crime scene cleanup and securing of a crime scene not exceeding $2500.
  • The unreimbursed cost of repair or replacement articles of essential personal property lost, damaged, or destroyed as a direct result of the crime, limited to an amount of $500.

Restitution and Reparation

In addition to compensation from the Crime Victims Board, victims should be informed of their right to seek restitution and reparation. Restitution restores the victim to the financial position he/she was at before the crime was committed; reparation is payment to the victim for damages caused by the crime.

Property Return

A victim's property held for evidentiary purposes must be promptly returned, unless there is a compelling reason relating to trial for retaining it.

For complete details of victims' rights in New York, visit the New York State Office of Attorney General web site.

Source: New York State Office of Attorney General

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