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Your Rights As A Victim

As a victim of crime in New York State you have the right to know:

  • You can be helped by victim service programs in your community. Local police departments, district attorneys (DAs), and the NYS Office of Victim Services can direct you to these programs.
  • You can get a free copy of the police report (NYS Exec. Law ยง646)
  • You are protected by law from threats or intimidation from the suspect or the suspect's family. Local police departments and DAs can explain these laws to you.
  • You have a right to be involved in certain stages of the criminal justice process. Local police departments and DAs can explain your role in the criminal justice process, the important steps in the process, and how you can get information about those steps.
  • You can be notified of certain steps in the criminal justice process if you give the DA your address and phone number. Always notify the DA of any change in your address. You can also be notified about:
    •   Suspect's arrest
    •   Suspect's first appearance before a judge
    •   Suspect's release while waiting for the next steps in the court process
    •   Status of the suspect's prosecution
    •   Final outcome of the suspect's case (in some cases this notice is automatic)
  • You should be contacted by the DA to discuss the outcome of the suspect's case, if you are the victim of certain felonies.
  • You have the right to make a statement at the time of the defendant's sentencing, if you are the victim of a felony.
  • You have the right to request HIV testing for the convicted defendant, if you are the victim of a felony sexual offense.
  • You have the right to be notified of the defendant's incarceration status. You can call the Division of Parole at 1-800-639-2650 to provide your contact information.
  • You have the right to submit a written victim impact statement to the Parole Board or make an oral presentation before the Parole Board when the decision on the inmate's release is being considered.
  • You should be contacted by the DA or probation before sentencing to discuss restitution that can help cover your out-of-pocket losses.
  • You should be provided with a separate secure waiting area for court appearances, if possible.
  • Your property held for evidence should be returned to you as soon as possible.
  • Your DA or local police department can step in if you are having difficulty with your employer or creditor because of your cooperation in the prosecution of a criminal case.

For more detailed information on your rights as a crime victim, please contact our office's Victim/Witness Bureau to speak with an advocate.

Victim/Witness Bureau
25 Delaware Avenue, 6th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 858-4640 

To obtain a copy of "The Rights of Crime Victims in New York State" booklet, contact the New York State Office of Victim Services at 1-800-247-8035.