The Knox County Prosecutor's Office
wish to make the experience of crime victims with the criminal
justice system as comfortable and understandable as possible.
For this reason, the Knox County Victim Assistance Program
The mission of the Victim Assistance Program is to provide
crime victims with the information and emotional support necessary
to make their way through the process of seeking justice.
Our services are free of charge, confidential, and provided
only at the victim's request.
The Victim Assistance Program works to ensure that victims'
rights are enforced and protected. As a part of this work,
we make every effort to personally and promptly inform interested
victims about charges filed, hearings scheduled and the outcome
of those hearings.
YOU A VICTIM?
THE RIGHTS OF A VICTIM
UNDERSTANDING THE STEPS OF A PROSECUTION
SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Victim
117 East High Street, Suite 234
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
Telephone: (740) 397-3404
Fax: (740) 397-3405
YOU A VICTIM?
A crime victim is an individual who suffers physical, financial
or emotional harm as the result of the commission of a crime.
A victim includes an individual who has suffered the death
of a loved one as the result of a violent crime.
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OF A VICTIM
All crime victims have a right:
*to be treated with dignity and compassion.
*to protection from intimidation and harm
*to be informed concerning the criminal justice process
*to information about the offense charged, arrests, bond,
and services available to them
*to information from and meaningful discussions with
*to attend criminal court hearings
*to participate in criminal proceedings without jeopardizing
*where applicable, to apply for compensation through
the Ohio Court of Claims
Victims of felony crimes, upon request, have a right
to be timely notified:
*of the date, time and place of all hearings
*of the results of all court proceedings, including convictions,
dismissals, sentences, appeals and early release hearings
Victims may choose someone else to get these notices,
or not to receive notices.
Right to be Heard at Sentencing
If a defendant is convicted, victims of felony crimes
have a right:
*to complete a victim impact statement regarding how
the crime has affected them, physically, financially and emotionally
*to make a statement at sentencing about the impact of
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THE STEPS OF A PROSECUTION
INITIAL APPEARANCE: (usually held within
72 hours of arrest): A court hearing at which the defendant
(the person charged with the crime) is informed of the charges
and of constitutional rights. Bond is also set. It is not
necessary for the victim to be present.
PRELIMINARY HEARING: A hearing, much like
a trial, at which witnesses are called to testify about the
crime. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether
there is enough evidence to prove the defendant PROBABLY committed
the crime charged. This decision is made by the Mount Vernon
Municipal Court Judge. If the Judge finds that there is enough
evidence, or PROBABLE CAUSE, then the case is bound over to
the Knox County Grand Jury.
GRAND JURY: A secret proceeding in which
evidence is presented to nine jurors by the prosecutor to
determine which charges, if any, to prosecute. These charges
are called an INDICTMENT.
ARRAIGNMENT: A court appearance at which
a defendant pleads either guilty or not guilty to the indictment.
Bond will also be set or reexamined. The arraignment usually
takes place within 2 weeks after grand jury. On the advice
of their attorneys, almost all defendants plead not guilty
at the arraignment.
PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: A meeting between the
prosecutor and the defense attorney during which the evidence
and legal issues are discussed. The possibility of a guilty
plea is also discussed.
TRIAL: A trial takes place if the defendant
does not plead guilty. A defendant must be found guilty beyond
a reasonable doubt by all twelve jurors (or the judge if the
defendant chooses not to have a jury trial).
SENTENCE: Decided upon by the judge after
considering nature of the crime, the background of the defendant
and the impact on the victim.
APPEAL: Usually filed only after a trial,
a procedure in which legal issues are reviewed to make sure
the trial was fair. No witnesses are required.
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PROVIDED BY THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
*Notification of court hearings including the date, time,
*Information about the progress of the case, including appeals
and release hearings
*Support and advocacy throughout the criminal justice process
*Provision of a secure waiting area during court proceedings
*Accompany to court hearings
*Familiarize victims with trial procedures before they testify
*If applicable to the case, assistance in the filing of claims
for compensation in the Ohio Court of Claims
*Confidential referrals to any appropriate medical, counseling
or social service agency
*Provision to elderly crime victims of services appropriate
to their special needs
*assistance in the reasonable return of property being held
as evidence by law enforcement agencies
*assistance in completing victim impact statements
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