ACCPD's Crime Victims' Bill of Rights

Athens-Clarke County Police Department


Crime Victims' Bill of Rights



Dear Citizen,

     No one likes to think about crime, and certainly no one wants to be the victim of a crime. We are ALL potential victims. Crime knows no boundaries. Being the victim of a crime can be a very traumatic experience, and all too often it is the victim whose rights and needs are not being met. 

     For this reason, members of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, the Solicitor-General’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office are committed to ensuring the rights of victims and reducing the trauma to all victims of crime. Crimes for which the Victims’ Bill of Rights applies includes, but is not limited to:

FELONY MISDEMEANOR
Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Battery
Armed Robbery
Arson
Burglary
Cruelty to Children
Entering Auto
False Imprisonment
Feticide
Feticide by Vehicle
Homicide by Vehicle
Kidnapping
Molestation
Murder
Rape
Sexual Exploitation of Child
Cruelty to Elderly (65+)
Voluntary Manslaughter
Battery
Criminal Damage
Criminal Trespass
Disorderly Conduct
DUI Crashes
Family Violence Battery
Leaving Accident Scene
Reckless Conduct
Sexual Battery
Simple Assault
Simple Battery
Stalking
Theft of Services
Theft by Shoplifting
Theft by Taking
Violation of TPO
Involuntary Manslaughter
*All other sexual assaults

     Victims of many types of crimes have rights and responsibilities under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 17-17-1) called the
Victims’ Bill of Rights. This page explains some of your rights as a victim of crime.


     For information or assistance, call the Victim Assistance Programs in either the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney’s Office for felony cases or the Solicitor-General’s Office for misdemeanor cases.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY
VICTIM ASSISTANCE
(Felony)

(706) 613-3740

SOLICITOR-GENERAL
VICTIM ASSISTANCE
(Misdemeanor)

(706) 613-3222


     The Victim Assistance Programs in the Solicitor-General’s and the District Attorney’s Office can inform you of your rights, assist you with any questions you may have, or refer you to the appropriate agency for help. The hours are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The services are free.  All services are provided to victims of crime without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, and/or age.

Your Rights


You have the right to be notified of:

  • Arrest of the accused/defendant.
  • Availability of victim service programs.
  • Availability of compensation for victims of violent crimes.
  • Any court hearing involving the release of accused/defendant or the actual release of the accused/defendant.
  • Court proceedings during prosecution of the case.
  • Motion for new trial or appeal dates.
  • Parole or change in status of accused/defendant, if you request this in writing.
  • Any terms or conditions of release where the accused/defendant is released from custody in an electronic and monitoring program.

You have the right to:

  • Express your opinion on the release of the accused/defendant pending court proceedings.
  • Express your views on the outcome of the case before pleas negotiations or sentencing of the accused/defendant.
  • Complete a Victim Impact Statement.
  • Refuse to submit to an interview by the defendant, his attorney or an agent of the defendant.
  • Contact the DA or Solicitors office once the case has been disposed of to retrieve any property that was taken during the course of the investigation.
  • Right to refuse to receive mail form the accused while incarcerated. This right extends to members of your household.



Your Responsibility


     In order for you to be notified of various proceedings, you must provide the police your address and current home and work phone numbers.

     If your phone number changes from the number you first gave police, you must notify the Athens-Clarke County Jail at (706) 613-3270 and the Victim Assistance Program. If there is an arrest, you will be informed of criminal proceedings.

     If the defendant (accused) is convicted and sent to prison and you want to be notified of parole information or you want to express your opinions before a parole decision, you may contact the Board of Pardons and Paroles at (404) 651-6668 in Atlanta. Also, if the defendant is sentenced to prison and you want to know of any change in his/her status while in prison (such as furlough, work release, escape), send a letter to the Department of Corrections in Atlanta. The Victim Assistance Program can assist you with any of this communication.


Financial Compensation


     If you are a victim of a violent (not property) crime, you may be eligible for victim compensation. You must file a completed application within 6 months after the date of the crime. There does not have to be an arrest in order to apply.

     Compensation can help with your out-of-pocket expenses not already covered by insurance, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, etc. Eligible expenses include medical, counseling, funeral, and lost wages. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at (404) 657-2222 or the Victim Assistance Program both have compensation applications and would be glad to help you apply for compensation.


If You Are Threatened


     If you are threatened or intimidated by the accused/defendant, call the police and ask that a police report be written. For immediate assistance, DIAL 911.


Defendant's Release Prior To Trial


     Many accused/defendant are released on bond from jail before disposition of their case. Bond is guaranteed by the U.S. and Ga. Constitutions, except in certain cases.

     Bond is money or property put up to ensure the accused/defendant will appear in court. The judge considers several issues when determining the bond amount for the accused/defendant; the possibility of fleeing and failing to appear in court, the threat or danger to the community, the risk of committing another crime, and the possibility of threatening witnesses.

     It is possible that many accused/defendants will be immediately released because the amount of bond is pre-set. The accused/defendant gets a bonding company or an individual to provide a cash or property bond. This may be done within hours of the accused/defendant being arrested and jailed. If the accused/defendant has not made bond within 48 hours, most will appear before a judge. At that time, a bond may be set and the accused/defendant may be released. It is not necessary for victims to attend first appearance hearings, since they are routine.

     A Superior Court judge has to set bonds in serious cases or cases involving the accused/defendant who is already on probation or parole at the time he/she commits a new offense involving physical injury, attempt to commit physical injury, terroristic threats, or new felony. These hearing are usually at a later time after notice has been sent to the District Attorney or Solicitor-General’s Office. The Victim Assistance Program will attempt to notify you prior to these bond hearing so you can appear if your wish. You can contact the Victim Assistance Program to discuss any concerns or safety issues regarding the accused/defendant getting a bond.

     If the accused/defendant is a juvenile (under 17), the proceeding are different. You can call Juvenile Court at
(706) 613-3300 for more information about juvenile offenses.


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.)
     ​U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, is committed to protecting the public and ensuring the rights of victims are carefully observed.  The Victim Notification Program allows eligible victims and witnesses to obtain reliable and timely information regarding a criminal alien's release from custody.  Citizens and witnesses must registrar with ICE in order to receive notification of a criminal alien's release.

Important Phone Numbers


    

POLICE (Emergency) 
        911
ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY POLICE DEPT. (706) 613-3330
DISTRICT ATTORNEY
(706) 613-3240
SOLICITOR-GENERAL
(706) 613-3215
FAMILY VIOLENCE CLINIC
(706) 369-6272
SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTER (THE COTTAGE)
(706) 353-1912
                                                 (TOLL FREE) (877) 363-1912
PROJECT SAFE (Hotline)
(706) 543-3331
PROBATION OFFICE (STATE)
(706) 369-6000
PROBATION OFFICE (COUNTY)
(706) 613-3911
UGA POLICE DEPT.
(706) 542-2200
CLARKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.
(706) 613-3250
CLARKE COUNTY JAIL
(706) 613-3270
VINE  (accused/defendant release info.)
(800) 467-4975
US IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) (866) 872-4973