Every day, people in Alaska are hurt because of crime. Some crimes hurt us physically. Some crimes hurt us financially. People who are hurt by crime are called "victims."
If you are a victim, you have these rights:
- The right to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness throughout the criminal justice system.
- The right to see a doctor if you are need of immediate medical attention.
- The right to protection from the defendant by the judge setting bail and/or conditions of release.
- The right to protection from harassment or threats because of your involvement in the case.
- The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the defendant.
- The right not to be fired from your job because you have to miss time from work to go to court at the request of the prosecuting attorney.
- The right to obtain information about, and to attend all court hearings which the defendant has a right to attend.
- The right not to have your address released to the public.
- The right to be heard at bail hearings, if you make a request.
- The right to be told when the defendant will go to court for trial and for sentencing, and to be told if those court dates change.
- The right to be notified of any request for continuance that may substantially delay the prosecution of the trial, for sentencing, an appeal, and any hearing in which the defendant's release from custody is considered.
- The right to talk with someone from the district attorney's office.
- The right to choose if you want to talk to the defense. (Please be aware that whenever you talk to an attorney or investigator, they are allowed to secretly record the conversation. You may ask for identification and you may ask whether they are recording the conversation.)
- The right to be told, after the defendant is convicted, about the defendant's other criminal convictions.
- In felony cases, you have the right to be told the address and phone number of the office that will prepare a presentence report for the judge and the right to be interviewed by the person writing the presentence report.
- The right to be heard at sentencing, if you make a request.
- The right to Violent Crimes Compensation Board information and how to apply.
- The right to restitution if the defendant is convicted.
- The right to be told, in writing, within 30 days from the end of the case, about what happened, if you make a request.
- The right to be told when the defendant will be released and/or if the defendant escapes from jail, if you make a request.
- The right to be told when the defendant will be released from a mental institution if the defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity, if you make a request.
- The right to be informed about the Alaska Office of Victims' Rights during their first contact with law enforcement and the prosecution.
Many agencies, both government and private, provide services to insure your rights are protected. In the Department of Law, services are provided through the Victim-Witness Assistance Program located in every district attorney's office in Alaska. This program provides assistance to victims involved in cases where a defendant is being tried in adult court. Unless a juvenile defendant is being tried as an adult, juvenile proceedings are handled differently.