Victim Information
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Victim Information

I am a victim of a crime.  Do I need a private attorney?

No, victims do not need to hire private counsel. The Prosecutor's Office files the criminal charges on behalf of the State of Indiana, and the State prosecutes the case.  As the victim, you become a witness for the State and do not need your own attorney.

Where can I go if I need assistance?

Victim Advocates at the Marion County Prosecutor's Office are available to answer questions and address your concerns.  If you would like information about your pending case or where to go for counseling, or to inquire if there are other services available, call (317) 327-6941.  Ask to speak to a victim advocate.

How will I know when to come to court?

If you are to be called as a witness in the trial, you will receive a subpoena in the mail as the court date approaches.  A subpoena is a court order for you to appear in court.  With the exception of a serious documented illness, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest if you fail to appear as directed by the subpoena.  Employers are required by law to allow employees to appear in court if they receive a subpoena.

The prosecutor, paralegal or victim advocate will be able to provide you with dates for the pre-trial hearings and the trial. It is a good idea to call and confirm the date and time a few days before each scheduled date. Although deputy prosecutors make every effort to contact victims in advance when there has been a change, last minute continuances and time changes do occur.

Where are the courts located?

All municipal and felony criminal courts are located within the City-County Building, 200 E. Washington St.  The building covers a square block, with Alabama St. on the east side, Delaware St. on the west side, Market St. on the north side and Washington St. on the south side.  Parking is available near the building at metered spots on the street and in paid parking lots. Many IndyGo bus routes also stop at or near the building. The general public is required to pass through a security checkpoint with metal detectors when entering the building.

I am moving. Do I need to notify the prosecutor’s office?

Yes. Please call your paralegal immediately with any changes to address, phone number(s) and additional contact information to ensure that you can be notified of court hearings and case status information. It is your responsibility to keep your contact information current with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office at all times.

What should I do if the defendant's attorney contacts me?

If you're contacted by a defense attorney, please call the deputy prosecutor assigned to your case immediately.  Defense attorneys do have a legal right to interview and ask you questions, but you have the right to have someone from the Prosecutor's Office with you at that time.  Do not answer any questions from defense attorney over the telephone.

Will I be able to make a statement to the court at the time of sentencing?

Once a defendant is found guilty of or pleads guilty to a crime, the judge will set a date for sentencing. As the victim of the crime, you have a legal right to be present at the sentencing and to provide the court with a victim impact statement.  At this time you may disclose how the crime has impacted you through testimony or through a written statement. Please contact the deputy prosecutor or a victim advocate to discuss how you may present this information to the court.

Could the offender be released pending trial?

Every individual arrested for a crime is entitled to request a bond.  The purpose of bond is to ensure that the person will return to court to face charges if he or she is released from custody.  "No bond" is automatically set for those arrested for murder.  A bail commissioner will review the charge for which the person was arrested and other factors, such as place of residence, employment and past criminal history, to determine an appropriate bond amount.  Those arrested may post bond and be released from jail even if they have yet to be charged with a crime.

Can I be notified of an offender’s release from custody?

Indiana SAVIN (statewide automated victim information and notification) is a free, automated hotline that allows Indiana residents to receive real-time information about the custody status of offenders in all 92 counties. Users can register to be notified about an offender's placement, release, transfer, or other change. There is no cost to use the service and users can access offender information by telephone or the internet. While SAVIN is highly reliable, there is always the possibility of technical or human errors.  The system is yet another tool to help victims make informed choices about personal safety.  You should not rely solely on the SAVIN system or any other information system for protection.

Operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions or assist callers. All registrations through Indiana SAVIN are confidential. If you would like more information about Indiana SAVIN or to register, please visit IndianaSAVIN.in.gov or reach the service by phone at 1-866-891-0330 or (317) 232-5749.

Is there assistance for covering the expense of medical bills or other costs related to the crime?

The State of Indiana, through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), manages a fund that may compensate victims of violent crime for certain costs incurred as a direct result of a violent crime. Costs that may be eligible include uninsured medical expenses due to injury, burial expenses, loss of wages and counseling.  This fund does not cover property damage.

Do not wait for the suspect to be arrested or charged with a crime to apply. You must apply within 180 days of the crime. Applications and more information are available through the ICJI Violent Crime Compensation division at 1-800-353-1484 or www.in.gov/ICJI or through a victim advocate with the Prosecutor's Office, police or Sheriff's Department.

Might I receive money for damages through a criminal trial?

The purpose of a criminal trial is to punish the defendant with "loss of freedom" through actual jail or prison time, probation, home detention or other restrictive measures.  In some cases, a judge may order the defendant to pay financial restitution to a victim for losses that they incurred, such as loss of money, medical bills or damage to property.  This restitution does not cover things such as emotional distress.  If the defendant cannot pay back the restitution during their probation, it will become a civil judgment that allows the victim to pursue garnishment of wages or put a lien on the defendant's property.