Victim / Witness Division
The Victim/Witness Division provides assistance to victims and witnesses in both the adult and juvenile court systems. Victim assistance includes support and information for crime victims as their cases move through the criminal justice process.
The Victim/Witness staff provide crime victims with information about their legal rights and the criminal justice process, including ongoing information about the status of cases and scheduling of cases. They also provide referrals to appropriate service and support resources in the community.
Crime victims have a right to be notified about:
- Plea negotiations and agreements
- Changes in scheduling of court proceedings, including the date, time, and place of sentencing
- A decision not to prosecute a domestic assault or harassment case
- Final disposition of the case
- The release of the offender from prison or an institution
Crime victims have a right to protection from harm:
- Tampering with a witness is a crime in Minnesota.
- Victims/witnesses do not have to give their addresses in open court.
- Right to secure waiting area during court.
- Employers may not punish victims or witnesses who are called to testify in court.
- Right to request law enforcement to withhold their identity from the public.
Crime victims have a right to participate in the prosecution, including the right to:
- Inform the court of the impact of the crime, at pretrial and at sentencing or disposition hearings
- Have input in pretrial diversion programs for crimes against persons
- Object to a plea negotiation
- Request a speedy trial
- Bring a support person to the pretrial hearing
- Attend sentencing or disposition hearings
- Give written objections to plea negotiation agreement or final sentence
- Be notified of the outcome of the case
Crime victims have the right to apply for financial assistance:
- Victims may be eligible for financial assistance from the state if they have suffered economic loss as a result of violent crime.
- Victims can request the court to order the defendant to pay restitution.