Victim Advocate Program
Message from Lynn
The criminal justice system should not only serve the public but the victims as well. As Prosecutor, I have a strong commitment to assisting victims of crime in understanding the criminal justice system and protecting victim's rights.
The Victim Advocate program of the Dearborn and Ohio County Prosecutor's Office is designed to provide information and support to victims. This following information provides a brief overview of the program, the court process, and the victim services available through the Prosecutor's Office.
Your Rights as a Victim
As a victim or victim representative of a serious crime, you have a right to be notified of and attend public court hearings involving the criminal case. You have a right to be informed of any release of the information and you have a right to confer with a representative of the Prosecutor after the criminal charges are filed and before final deposition. You have a right to make an oral or written statement at the sentencing when the Defendant is convicted by a trial or plea and you have the right to information on the conviction, sentence and release of the Defendant on request. You have a right to pursue restitution and other civil remedies. If the Defendant has posted bond while the case is pending there will be a protective order for you and any act of the Defendant that violates that order may result in the Defendant having bond revoked.
If the final disposition of the case should result in a dismissal of a felony offense or a sentence of less than the presumed time for the felony offense by a plea agreement you will have that discussed with you prior to that occurring and will have an opportunity to give your opinion to the court before such a plea would be finalized.
Our Victim Advocate program is here to help you. Your responsibilities are to let us know what, if any, of these rights you want to exercise and to keep our Victim Advocate informed of your current address and telephone number.
The Prosecutor's Victim Advocate Program is designed to provide information and support to victims, respond to emotional and physical needs, as well as aid in their understanding and participation in the Criminal Justice System. Our program may also assist in pursuing recompensation and coordinating oral and written statements from victims with court hearings.
1. Do I need to be at any hearings?
If your attendance is required at any hearing, we will let you know. The pretrial hearings are between the attorneys and you will not have to be present. At sentencing you will be able to come and make a statement in person or in writing that will be read aloud in court. If at any other hearing you are required to be there, our office will let you know
2. When will I receive my restitution?
After the case is concluded, the Judge will issue a Sentencing Order which will include the amount due to you. This amount also becomes a judgement in your favor, and you can pursue it in small claims court if you wish. Sometimes this is a part of the Defendant's probation conditions, and if it is not paid in the allotted time, the Defendant may be returned to jail.
3. Do I need to send in the restitution form even if I am not claiming any?
Yes. Please circle the "no" indicating you are not asking for any restitution and return it to our office. Otherwise, you will continue to receive letters regarding this issue. We need to document what you are requesting.
4. What if I change address of phone number?
Please contact us as soon as possible with this information so we may continue to keep you informed of the status of your case. You can call 812-537-8858 to update your information
5. What do I need to do if I want the No Contact Order to be lifted?
It is our office's policy not to get No Contact Orders lifted. The first step for you is to contact the Safe Passages Victim Assistance program at 877-733-1990
Nancy Cross, Victim Advocate