Since 1995 Georgia has a Crime Victims Bill of Rights. In July of this year the legislature updated and expanded these rights.
These rights include assistance to domestic violence victims to help them get away from their abuser and establish a new life in a safe environment.
These rights also establish that domestic violence victims are kept fully informed about the case and the abuser every step of the way. The victim must be consulted before any agreement is accomplished. The District Attorney's Victims Advocate (229-246-5222) can assist or answer question.
Whereas these can be help provide some comfort to domestic violence victims, the rights are for victims of specific crimes listed below. Several that may apply to domestic violence victims are Assault and Battery, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment and related offenses, Cruelty to Children, Stalking/Aggravated Stalking and Sexual Offenses.
The Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia Victims' Services provides information including information and forms to apply on their web site.
In general, after the crime occurs and is reported, and upon initial contact with a victim, law enforcement and court personnel must advise him or her of the following:
That it is possible that the accused may be released from custody prior to trial;
That victims have certain rights during various stages of the criminal justice system;
That additional information about these stages can be obtained by contacting the pertinent state and/or local agency involved, or by contacting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-559-4949;
That victims may have available to them monetary compensation for certain out-of-pocket losses incurred as a result of their victimization from the Stateís Crime Victims Emergency Fund (Crime Victims Compensation) which is administered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
That victims may have available to them community-based victim service programs and that more information may be obtained by contacting the Governorís Victim Assistance Helpline at 1-800-338-5745.
Victims of crimes further have the following rights:
- To be notified of each stage in the judicial process to include pretrial hearings, bond, arraignment, motions hearings, pleas of guilty, trial, sentencing and appeals
- To be notified of any arrest, release, possibility of release, or escape of the accused or any change in custodial status
- To give opinions regarding release from custody or bond issues
- To have access to a private waiting area during court proceedings
- To offer input on plea negotiations or sentence hearings or conditions
- To protection from intimidation and harm
- To receive compensation and/or restitution when eligible Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia
According to the Official Code of Georgia, Title 17, Chapter 17, the individuals who are victims of the following crimes receive benefits under the Crime Victims Bill of Rights:
Assault and Battery
Kidnapping, False Imprisonment and related offenses
Cruelty to Children
Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Homicide by Vehicle
Feticide by Vehicle
Serious Injury by Vehicle