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Crime Victim Rights

County Attorney Victim WitnessThe Victim Assistance Program is dedicated to ensuring that victim's rights are enforced, and victims and survivors have a meaningful voice within the state correctional system.       

Under Minnesota law, victims and witnesses of crimes have certain rights.  These rights include the right to be notified of certain court and correctional events, the right to participate in prosecution, the right to protection from harm and the right to apply for financial assistance.

The right to be notified includes notification of:

  • victim’s rights under Minnesota law;
  • the content of any plea bargain agreements;
  • changes in the schedule of court proceedings, including the date, time and place of sentencing;
  • final disposition of the case;
  • any pending appeals by the offender, including the right to attend the oral argument or hearing;
  • sentence modifications for the offender, including the date, time and location of the review;
  • release of the offender from prison or custodial institution;
  • transfer of the offender from prison or custodial institution;
  • escape of the offender from prison or custodial institution;

The right to participate in prosecution includes the right to:

  • inform the court of the impact of the crime at the sentencing hearing;
  • inform the court at the sentencing hearing of social and economic impact of crime on persons and businesses in the community;
  • provide input in a pre-trial diversion decision;
  • request a speedy trail;
  • bring a supportive person to the pre-trial hearing;
  • object to a plea agreement;
  • attend the sentencing hearing;
  • request a probation review hearing.

The right to protection from harm includes the right to:

  • request the victim’s address be withheld in open court;
  • a secure waiting area during court proceedings;
  • request law enforcement to withhold the victim's identity from the public.

The right to apply for financial aid includes the right to:

  • request the court to order the offender to pay restitution.

Victims may be eligible for financial assistance from the state if they have suffered economic loss as a result of a violent crime.  For more information, see the Financial Assistance/Restitution page on this website or contact the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, at 651-201-7300 or 888-622-8799, ext. 1.

Rights of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Harassment Victims:

  • Be informed of prosecutor’s decision to decline prosecution or dismiss the case along with information about seeking a protective or harassment order at no fee
  • Protection against employer retaliation for victims to take reasonable time off to attend order for protection or harassment restraining order proceedings
  • Domestic abuse victims have the ability to terminate a lease without penalty
  • Sexual assault victims can make a confidential request for HIV testing of a convicted offender
  • Sexual assault victims do not have to pay the cost of a sexual assault examination
  • Sexual assault victims may not be required to undergo a polygraph examination in order for an investigation or prosecution to proceed.

To review the Crime Victim Bill of Rights, click here

If you have concerns that you have not been afforded your rights as a victim, contact Crime Victim Justice Unit at 800-247-0390, ext. 3. 

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