Victim's Bill of Rights
If you are a victim of crime in Pennsylvania, you have the following rights:
- To receive basic information concerning the services to assist you.
- To be notified of certain significant actions and proceedings pertaining to your case, including, in personal injury crimes, the arrest of the suspect and escape from police custody.
- To be accompanied at all public criminal proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate or another person.
- In cases of personal injury crimes, burglary, or driving under the influence involving bodily injury, to submit poor comment to the prosecutor‘s office on the potential reduction or dropping of any charge or changing of a plea.
- To offer prior comment or to submit a written victim impact statement for the judges consideration at sentencing.
- To recover your losses, to the extent possible, through restitution, compensation through the crime victim's compensation program and the return of property which was seized as evidence when it is no longer needed by the prosecutor.
- In personal injury crimes where the offender is sentenced to a state prison, to provide prior comment on and to receive notice of release decisions, and to be immediately notified if the offender escapes.
- In personal injury crimes where the offender is sentenced to a local correctional facility, to receive notice of release decisions and to be immediately notified if the offender escapes.
- To receive immediate notice of release on bail where the offender is committed to a local correctional facility for violation of a protection from abuse order.
- To receive notice when an offender is committed to a mental health facility from a state prison and of the discharge, transfer or escape of the offender from the mental health facility.
- To have assistance in the preparation of, submission of and follow-up on the final assistance claims to the Crime Victim's Compensation Board.
Responsibility of the Victim
In order for you to receive information and/or notice on matters concerning your case, you must provide a valid address and telephone number to the requesting agency. You are also responsible for providing timely notice of any changes in that information. The victim’s responsibility falls to the parent or legal guardian for child victims and to surviving family member in the case of a homicide.
The information that you provide is confidential and may not be disclosed to any person other than a representative of a law enforcement agency, prosecutor’s office or correctional agency, without your written prior consent.