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Crime Victims' Rights in Maryland**

As a victim of crime, Maryland law provides you with specific rights. Know your rights. Know where to receive help.

Introduction

Victims of crime have certain rights under Maryland law. This pamphlet provides general information about rights and services available to assist you through the aftermath of the crime and through the often complex criminal justice process.

In addition to personal losses suffered as a result of a criminal act committed against you, the experience may have created stress, fear and confusion. Victim/ witness assistance programs and other local victim assistance programs may provide information, support and assistance to victims outside the formal criminal justice process.

Help Throughout the Criminal Justice Process

Throughout the criminal justice process, and even after its completion, you may experience physical, emotional or psychological distress as a result of your victimization. This is a normal reaction, and help is available in your community. Please refer to the National/Statewide Crime Victim Resources section on the reverse side of this pamphlet.

General Victims’ Rights

A crime victim is generally defined under Maryland Annotated Code §11-1001(e) of the Criminal Procedure Article as a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of a crime. The definition of a victim may vary depending on the right afforded to that person and the type of crime committed.

Maryland Crime Victims’ Rights

Under the Maryland Constitution and under State laws and guidelines, victims of crime must be:

• Treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity
• Informed of their rights
• Notified of crisis intervention and counseling services
• Notified of domestic violence programs and support groups
• Notified of criminal injuries compensation and other social services available
• Informed on how to apply for services
• Told of protection available to them and how to obtain protection
• Informed by the police or the State’s Attorney of the arrest of a suspect and closing of the case
• Notified of court hearings and offender custody status
• Permitted to be present and heard at criminal justice proceedings
• Permitted to seek restitution from their offender(s)

STATE CRIME VICTIM SERVICES

VINE

“Victim Information and Notification Everyday” (VINE) is a free, anonymous, automated telephone service that provides victims of crime with two important services: information and notification. VINE will provide you with vital court case, custody, parole and probation information for an offender currently involved in the criminal justice system in Maryland. Toll Free.......................................... 1-866-634-8463
Website.......................................www.vinelink.com

MD Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

The Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (MCICB) was established to provide financial assistance to Maryland crime victims. Under certain conditions, crime victims or surviving family members of deceased victims may be eligible to be reimbursed for their medical, mental health, and/or funeral expenses and/or lost income resulting from a crime. For further information and assistance in filing, please call the Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Toll Free.......................................... 1-888-679-9347
Website................................www.dpscs.state.md.us

Peace and Protective Orders

Peace and protective orders are civil orders issued by a judge or court commissioner to prevent one person from committing certain acts against others. The personal relationship between the respondent and the victim determines which order should be filed. Protective orders generally apply to people in domestic relationships. Peace orders apply to other relationships (dating, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, (strangers.)

A petition for protection from domestic violence may be filed in any District Court or Circuit Court in Maryland. If the clerk’s office is open, you must file with the clerk. If the clerk’s office is closed, file with a District Court Commissioner. To locate a court, look at www.courts.state.md.us or the government pages of your phone book. Some courthouses have on-site programs to assist victims with safety plans and filing for protection. Find your local domestic violence program by contacting the clerk’s office or www.mnadv.org. For other help, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.

** This information comes from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention: http://www.goccp.maryland.gov/victim/crime-victims-rights-brochure.php

The full brochure, including contact information for many other state agencies can be found at these links:

(English)
Crime Victims and Witnesses: Your Rights and Services   or   Crime Victims and Witnesses: Your Rights and Services
(Spanish)
Victimas y Testigos de Delitos: Sus derechos y servicios disponibles   or   Victimas y Testigos de Delitos: Sus derechos y servicios disponibles

 

If you are a victim of crime and need information about your rights and the services that are available to you, we can help:

The Center for True Justice and Healing, Inc.
phone: 301.219.3421
email: advocates@ctjh.org