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What should I know about the Georgia Crime Victims' Bill of Rights?

Authored By: GeorgiaLegalAid.org
Read this in: Spanish / Español

Georgia Crime Victims' Bill of Rights

Contents


What is the Georgia Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights?

The Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights give people who are victims of certain crimes rights. These rights are constitutionally protected under the Georgia Constitution. 

 

These rights apply to victims of:

  • Homicide

  • Assault and Battery

  • Kidnapping, False Imprisonment and related offenses

  • Reckless Conduct

  • Cruelty to Children

  • Feticide

  • Stalking/Aggravated Stalking

  • Cruelty to a Person 65 Years of Age or Older

  • All Sexual Offenses

  • Burglary

  • Arson, Bombs and Explosives

  • Theft

  • Robbery

  • Forgery, Deposit Account Fraud, Illegal Use of Financial Transaction Cards, Other Fraud Related Offenses, Computer Crimes, & Identity Theft

  • Sale or Distribution of Harmful Materials to Minors

  • Elder Abuse

  • Homicide by Vehicle

  • Feticide by Vehicle

  • Serious Injury by Vehicle

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What are my rights as a victim of crime?

Under the Georgia Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, you have the right:

  • To be treated fairly and with dignity by all criminal justice agencies involved in the case,

  • To proceedings free from unreasonable delay,

  • To be notified of the availability of Victims' Compensation under the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program, 

  • To be notified of the Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights,  

  • To be notified of community based victim service programs,  

  • To reasonable, accurate and timely notice of the following: 

    • An arrest warrant being issued for the accused 

    • The accused’s arrest 

    • The condition that the accused is prohibited from contacting the victim 

    • The accused’s release or escape from custody 

    • Any court proceeding where the release of the accused will be considered 

    • Any scheduled court proceedings or any changes to such proceedings, including restitution hearings 

    • The accused’s release on an electronic release and/or monitoring program  

  • To be present at all criminal proceedings in which the accused has the right to be present, 

  • To NOT be excluded from any scheduled court proceedings, except as provided by law,

  • To a waiting area, during judicial proceedings, that is separate from the accused and his or her relatives, friends, and witnesses,  

  • To be reasonably heard at any scheduled court proceedings involving the release, plea, or sentencing of the accused,  

  • To complete a Victim Impact Statement and have it presented to the court prior to the trial or plea of the accused,  

  • To restitution as provided by law,  

  • To refuse to submit to an interview by the accused, the accused’s attorney or agent of the accused,  

  • To a requirement by court that defense counsel not disclose victim information to the accused, 

  • To be notified by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) if the accused is committed to the DBHDD for an evaluation, as mentally incompetent to stand trial or as not guilty by reason of insanity at the time of the crime. Upon the written request of the victim, at least ten days before the release or discharge, the department shall mail notice to the victim of the accused’s release from such facility. 

  • To request not to receive any form of written, text, or electronic communication from an inmate who was convicted of a criminal offense against the victim,  

  • To be advised on how to file a complaint with the Judicial Qualification Commission if a judge denies the victim’s right to be heard.

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Contents


How can I get notifications under the Georgia Victims’ Bill of Rights?

To get notifications under the Victims Bill of Rights you must give your current address and telephone number to: 

  • The law enforcement agency that investigated the crime,

  • The prosecuting attorney,

  • The facility where the defendant is held. This may include the sheriff or Department of corrections. The prosecutor can tell you where to give notice. 

  • The State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

 

If you are physically unable to participate in court proceedings, you can designate a spouse, adult child, parent, sibling or grandparent to act on your behalf. You must make this request in writing. Notifications about the defendant will still only come to you.

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Last Review and Update: Apr 08, 2022
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