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Texas - Crime Victims' Rights

Rights Granted to Victims of a Crime in Texas

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General Rights of Victims' of Crime:

  • The right to protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts.
  • The right to have your safety, and that of your family, taken into consideration when bail is being considered.
  • The right to be informed about court proceedings, including cancellations or rescheduling upon request.
  • The right to information about procedures in criminal investigations and in the criminal justice system.
  • The right to receive information about the texas crime victims compensation fund and referral to available social service agencies.
  • The right to provide information to a probation department conducting a pre-sentence investigation about the impact of the offense upon you and your family.
  • The right to have the law enforcement agency that requests a medical examination of a victim of an alleged sexual assault pay all costs of the examination only.
  • The right to be notified about parole proceedings, to participate in the parole process, and to be notified of the inmate's release.
  • The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, if the presiding judge approves.
  • The right to a safe waiting area before and during court proceedings.
  • The right to prompt return of any property that is no longer needed as evidence.
  • The right to have the prosecutor notify your employer that the need for your testimony may involve your absence from work.
  • The right to counseling, on request, regarding aids and hiv infection and testing for aids and hiv related infections, if the offense is a sexual offense or sexual assault.

Crime Victims' Compensation

Who May Qualify (TCCP, Art.56.32.)

  • An innocent victim of crime who suffers physical and/or emotional harm or death.
  • An authorized individual acting on behalf of a victim.
  • A person who legally assumes the obligations or voluntarily pays certain expenses related to the crime on behalf of the victim.
  • A dependent of a victim.
  • An immediate family member or household members related by blood or marriage who require psychiatric care or counseling as a result of the crime.
  • An intervenor who goes to the aid of the victim or a peace officer.
  • A peace officer, fire fighter, or individual whose employment includes the duty of protecting the public.

What Crimes Are Covered (TCCP, Art.56.32.4)

Crimes involving "criminally injurious conduct," which is defined as conduct that occurs or is attempted, poses a substantial threat of personal injury or death and is, or would be, punishable by fine, imprisonment or death. This includes sex offenses, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, assaultive offenses, arson, homicide and other violent crimes in which the victim suffers physical or emotional harm or death.

The following motor-vehicle-related crimes are also covered: Failure to Stop and Render Aid, DWI, Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter and Intoxication Assault.

What Expenses Are Eligible

Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. These funds may be paid to the victim/claimant or to service providers on behalf of the victim. Approved claims may be awarded compensation for the following expenses related to the crime:
  • Medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care
  • Psychiatric care or counseling
  • Loss of earnings or support
  • Loss of wages due to participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes, and travel
  • Care of a child or a dependent
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Crime scene clean-up
  • Replacement costs for clothing, bedding, or property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as a result of the investigation
  • Reasonable attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victims' Compensation application and in obtaining benefits, if the claim is approved
  • Loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment
  • One time relocation expenses for domestic violence victims or for those sexual assault victims attacked in their own residence
In the case of catastrophic injuries resulting in a total and permanent disability, the victim may be eligible for $50,000 in benefits for:

  • Making a home or car accessible
  • Job training and vocational rehabilitation
  • Training in the use of special appliances
  • Home health care
  • Reimbursement of lost wages
Reimbursement for property damage or theft is not an eligible expense.

For more information visit the Texas Attorney General web site.

Source: Texas Attorney General

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