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Tennessee - Crime Victims' Rights

Rights Granted to Victims of a Crime in Tennessee

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Program Services Information

  • Assistance in understanding the way the criminal justice system works;
  • Assistance during court proceedings;
  • Referral to community agencies;
  • Notification of parole hearings, release dates, or other information available concerning inmate status;
  • Communication with employers about court appearances;
  • Assistance for eligible victims in filing petitions with the criminal injuries compensation program;
  • Assistance in obtaining restitution to victims of crime directly from the perpetrator of the crime when possible;
  • Assistance to victims in becoming more involved in the processes which affect the perpetrator of the crime such as the plea negotiation process and the sentencing process including pre sentence reports and the sentencing hearing itself.

Overview Of Tennessee Victim Rights -- Constitution

  • The right to confer with the prosecution.
  • The right to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse throughout the criminal justicesystem.
  • The right to be present at all proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.
  • The right to be heard, when relevant, at all critical stages of the criminal justice process as defined by the General Assembly.
  • The right to be informed of all proceedings, and of the release, transfer or escape of the accused or convicted person.
  • The right to a speedy trial or disposition and a prompt and final conclusion of the case after theconviction or sentence.
  • The right to restitution from the offender.
  • The right to be informed of each of the rights established for victims.

Rights of Victim and Prosecution Witnesses

  • Dignified and compassionate treatment.
  • Protection from intimidation/retaliation by the defendant and/or defendant's family.
  • Separation from defendant and family at court (when possible).
Victims shall upon request have a right to information about:
  • Court processes
  • Continuances
  • Plea Negotiations
  • Court times, dates, locations
  • Victim's role in each stage
  • Service agency referral
  • Victims Compensation
  • Voicing an opinion on a defendant's
  • Sentence or plea
  • Recovery of property as soon as legally permissible
  • Restitution (information about how to obtain restitution directly from defendant)
  • Priorty to victims of violent crime (due to legal requirements and limited resources)

Tennessee State Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund

You may apply if..
  • You have been a victim of a crime and you suffered a personal injury.
  • You were injured trying to stop a crime.
  • You were injured trying to catch a criminal you saw commit a felony. Felonies are serious crimes. If you don't know if the crime was a felony, ask the District Attorney General or police.
  • Dependents. You may apply if you are a dependent of a victim who died as the result of a crime. A dependent is a relative who relies on another person for money or support. Children are dependents of their parents. Sometimes a husband or wife is a dependent of his or her spouse.
  • Legal Representatives. You may apply if you are a legal representative who helps with a victim's estate. For example, if you paid funeral and burial expenses of a victim of crime, you may apply.
  • Persons Responsible for the Maintenance of the Victim. You may apply for compensation for your expenses for taking care of an injured victim if you are a person who is responsible for the care of the victim.
  • Family Members. A member of the victim's family who provided substantial support or needed services to the victim may apply for expenses for grief counseling. The victim must have been killed and must have been a family member who was unmarried and under 24 years old.
You may receive money to help pay for:
  • Hospital bills, doctors bills, and medicine bills.
  • Lost wages from work missed because of injuries.
  • The cost of injuries that caused permanent disabilities (total or partial).
  • Loss of life. (If you are a dependent of a victim who died as a result of a crime.)
  • Pain and suffering. If the crime was rape or another sexual crime, you may receive money for pain and suffering.
For more information visit Office of the Attorney General and Reporter

Source: District Attorney General - 7th Judicial District of Tennessee

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