VICTIM WITNESS PROGRAM

The Victim Witness Assistance Program, located in the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, was implemented for the benefit of crime victims and witnesses. This program helps to ensure that crime victims and witnesses receive fair and compassionate treatment while participating in the criminal justice system. Victims and witnesses are very important and are vital to the criminal justice process.

Courtroom Assistance

  • You may request a courtroom tour, escort to the courtroom, or moral support during a hearing or trial.
  • You may request that your address and telephone number be kept confidential, except when necessary for the conduct of the criminal proceeding.
  • You may request the services of an interpreter or handicap services.
  • Separate waiting areas are available for victims and witnesses who require privacy and protection from intimidation.

Financial Assistance

  • Compensation for travel may be available to victims and witnesses traveling from out of town who are subpoenaed by the Commonwealth. This can include payment for mileage, lodging, meals, and airfare for each day's attendance in court.
  • Restitution may be ordered to a victim of crime under certain circumstances for losses.
  • Victim compensation may be awarded to victims of crime who were physically or emotionally injured. Surviving parents, spouses, children, siblings, or legal guardians of homicide victims may be compensated for certain losses such as earnings, medical, or funeral expenses.

Notifications

  • Employer intercession is available. If you are subpoenaed to court and you give reasonable notice at your workplace, your employer legally may not fire you, discipline you, or require you to use vacation or sick leave in order to go to court. However, your employer is not required to pay you for your time in court.
  • Victim Witness can assist you in being notified of the release or change in status of the defendant in your case.
  • You can be notified of any court date changes and/or continuances or pleas. You must have your current phone number on file with Victim Witness or the Commonwealth's Attorney.