In Indiana, crime victims have protected rights. The advocate also wants to make sure you are aware of your rights throughout the process.
Basic rights include:
- To have an advocate present at your sexual assault exam, through the investigation process with the police, and during the trial process.
- To be notified about court dates where you are the victim of the offense.
- Speak with the prosecutor about the case.
- Access to information and the ability to apply for violent crime compensation program through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
- Have property returned by police if it is not evidence in a trial.
- Know the contents of any plea agreement and to tell the court, in person or in writing, your feelings about any plea agreement in the case.
- Provide a victim impact statement to the court after the defendant is convicted, but before the defendant is sentenced to tell the court and the defendant about how you were affected by the crime.
- At the time of sentencing, to ask for restitution from the Judge, which would require the defendant to pay for your expenses related to this crime.
- Be notified of the defendant's release from prison.
- To not be dismissed or deprived of employment benefits for responding to a subpoena in a criminal case.
- Have a translator or interpreter if you do not understand English to advise of you these rights and to be present for hearings in which you receive a subpoena.
Crime Victim Compensation Fund
Indiana has a fund through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute called the Crime Victim Compensation Fund. Some of these funds are set aside to offer forensic medical exams at no cost to survivors of sexual assault. The other part is for expenses that have occurred since the crime. Emergency funding may be available to assist victims of crime who are faced with immediate financial hardship resulting from the crime. You are required to fill out an application. An advocate can help you apply. You can also find out more at the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute’s website at https://www.in.gov/cji/2333.htm.
The Crime Victims Compensation Fund is different from restitution. If the offender in your criminal case is found guilty or assumes guilt, then at the time of sentencing, you can ask for the judge to award restitution for expenses incurred as a result of the crime. You can work with the prosecutor and advocate about how to ask for this relief.