Many innocent persons or their dependents may suffer disability, incur financial hardships, become dependent upon public assistance, or suffer personal physical injury or death as a result of criminal acts. Aid, care and support is provided by the state for such victims of crime, through the NYS Office of Victim Services.
As a witness or victim of a crime, you should know:
- You can be helped by Local Victim Assistance Programs in Suffolk County.
- You can get a free copy of the police report.
- Your local police department or district attorney can explain what your role is in the criminal justice process, the significant stages of this process and how to obtain information about these stages.
- There are laws to protect you if you are being threatened or intimidated by the alleged offender or the offender's family or friends.
- You have a right to be involved in certain stages of the criminal justice process. Local police departments and the district attorney can explain your role in the criminal justice process, the important steps in the process, and how you can get information about those steps, and if you supply the district attorney with your current address and telephone number, it is possible to be notified of the important steps in the process.
- You should be contacted by the district attorney to discuss the outcome of the suspect’s case, if you are the victim of certain felonies.
- You have the right to make a statement at the time of the defendant’s sentencing, if you are the victim of a felony.
- You have the right to request HIV testing for the convicted defendant, if you are the victim of a felony sexual offense.
- You have the right to be notified of the defendant’s incarceration status. Call the Division of Parole at 1-800-639-2650 to provide your contact information , or see VINE Program information below.
- You have the right to submit a written victim impact statement to the Parole Board or make an oral presentation before the Parole Board when the decision on the inmate’s release is being considered.
- You should be contacted by the district attorney or probation before sentencing to discuss restitution that can help cover your out-of-pocket losses.
- You should be provided with a separate secure waiting area for court appearances, if possible.
- Your property held for evidence should be returned to you as soon as possible.
- Your district attorney or local police department can step in if you are having difficulty with your employer or creditor because of your cooperation in the prosecution of a criminal case.
For more information please see The Rights of Crime Victims in New York State (16 pp) booklet, or contact the
New York State Crime Victims Board
1 Columbia Circle, Suite 200
Albany, NY 12203-6383
office - 518-457-8727
fax - 518-457-8658
Crime Victims toll free number - 1-800-247-8035
The Crime Victims Board also maintains a list of Local Victim Assistance Programs in Suffolk County, which include: