Crime Victim's Rights Law and Legal Definition

Crime victim’s rights refer to the rights offered by state and federal laws to a person who has become a victim of any crime. Almost every state in the U.S. has passed laws protecting the victims of crime. Although the specifics vary from state to state, generally most victim rights laws provide the following rights to the victims: the right to be treated with dignity and compassion; the right to protection from intimidation and further harm; the right to be informed about the progress of the case through the criminal justice system, including notice of a plea bargain; the right to receive compensation for damages; the right to equal treatment in court and the right to have their property returned promptly, if found by the police.

The following is an example of a federal statute on crime victims rights:

According to 18 USCS § 3771, a crime victim has the following rights:

1.The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.

2. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.

3. The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.

4. The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.

5. The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.

6. The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.

7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.

8.The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.