If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, there are some victims’ rights that you should be aware of. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office works to educate crime victims on services that are available to them, continue to the information below for a brief overview. Contact The Shelter 800-931-7233 to speak with a trained advocate who can help and connect you with additional resources. Visit our Sexual Assault Response Team page to learn more about the services we offer to survivors.
Click to download the full brochure Attorney General-Ohio-Victims-Rights Brochure
Compensation for economic loss program:
Eligible offenses include crimes that cause a substantial threat of personal injury or death,
Examples: Assault, sexual assault, domestic violence, homicide, menacing and stalking
Expenses the program can cover:
Medical, counseling, transportation, or mileage costs for medical appointments or to attend certain court hearings, work loss, protection orders that separate the victim from the offender.
Visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Victims for more information
Right to Fairness, Dignity, and Respect
“Victims of criminal offenses shall be accorded fairness, dignity, and respect in the criminal justice process, and, as the General Assembly shall define and provide by law, shall be accorded rights to reasonable and appropriate notice, information, access, and protection and to a meaningful role in the criminal justice process.” [Constitution of Ohio, Article I, Section 10a]
Right to a Victim Representative
“If a victim is a minor or is incapacitated, incompetent, or deceased, or if the victim chooses to designate another person, a member of a victim’s family or another person may exercise the rights of the victim under this chapter as the victim’s representative.” [ORC 2930.02]
Right to Receive Criminal Investigation Information
“As soon as practicable after its initial contact with a victim of a crime, the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating the crime shall give to the victim all of the following information: 1. The business telephone number of the law enforcement officer assigned to investigate the case; 2. The office address and business telephone number of the prosecutor in the case; and 3. A statement that, if the victim is not notified of the arrest of the offender in the case within a reasonable period of time, the victim may contact the law enforcement agency to learn the status of the case.” [ORC 2930.04(B)]
Right to Notification
Notification When a Suspect is Arrested or Released
Within a reasonable time after a suspect is arrested or detained, a law enforcement officer must give a victim: • Name of the person arrested or detained • Information on whether the suspect is eligible for pretrial release • The law enforcement agency’s phone number • Information on how to check the status of the suspect’s bond and custody. [ORC 2930.05]
Notification if a Violent Offender Escapes Custody Before Trial or Sentencing
The county prosecutor must notify the victim if a person indicted or charged with a violent offense escapes custody before trial or sentencing. [ORC 309.18]
Notification of Substantial Delay
If there is a motion or request to substantially delay prosecution of the case, the prosecutor must inform the victim. If the victim objects, the prosecutor must inform the court, and the court, to the extent possible, must consider the objection in ruling on the motion or request. [ORC 2930.08]
Notification of Criminal Case Results
Upon request, the victim will be notified of the results of the case. If charges against the suspect are proven, the prosecutor will provide: • Crimes the defendant was convicted of • Date, time, and location of the sentencing or dispositional hearing • Explanation that a victim may make a victim impact statement, which may be made available to the defendant • Address and phone number of the probation office or person preparing a presentence or disposition investigation and victim impact statement • Any sentence imposed, including judicial release or modification after an offender’s successful appeal. [ORC 2930.12]
Right to Attend Court Proceedings
A victim has the right to attend the trial and any related hearings or proceedings (except for grand jury proceedings) unless the court finds that the victim’s presence interferes with the suspect’s right to a fair trial. A victim may request that an advocate or support person accompany him or her to the court hearing.
The court must make a reasonable effort to minimize contact between the victim, victim’s family, victim’s representatives, or witnesses for the prosecution and the defendant, defendant’s family, or witnesses for the defense before, during, and immediately after court proceedings. [ORC 2930.09 and 2930.10]
Note: Ohio Rule of Evidence 615(B)(4), Separation and Exclusion of Witnesses, does not authorize excluding a victim of the offense from the hearing.
Right to Confidentiality and Anonymity
A victim has the right to ask the judge to order that the information included in the police report not be released. If such a request is granted by the judge, all names and details will remain confidential until after a preliminary hearing or an arraignment or until the case is dismissed. The agencies involved, as well as the media, have adopted policies that may prevent the release of a victim’s identity. [ORC 2907.11]
You do not have to be a resident of Ohio, if the crime occurred in Ohio and the victim is a resident of the United States or a foreign country that compensates United States’ residents. Visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Victims or call 800-582-2877 for assistance