As the victim of a crime, the law grants you certain rights and responsibilities. You have the right to be notified of each stage in the judicial process, from arrest bond to arraignment to plea negotiations. You have the right to voice your opinion as to bonds and plea offers. Please refer to O.C.G.A. Section 17-17-1, et seq. If you have questions, please call the Solicitor's Office at (912)-427-8893.
Victim Bill of Rights
Georgia has important laws concerning your role in the legal system. The purpose of this document is to explain your rights and responsibilities under our legal system. District Attorney Stephen Kelley has established in his office the Brunswick Judicial Circuit Victim Witness Program to provide victims of crime, as well as their families, information, support, and guidance through the criminal justice system. You may obtain more information concerning different stages of the criminal process by contacting Victim Services in the District Attorney's Officer at 912-427-6379. In order for you to exercise your rights under the law, you must give your telephone number and address to proper authorities including the District Attorney's Office, the custodial authority (where the accused is being held), the investigating law enforcement agency, the State Department of Corrections, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the probation office. If you are threatened by the accused or anyone associated with the accused, contact the nearest law enforcement office and the District Attorney's Office.
As a victim of a criminal act, you may be eligible for victim compensation administered by the State of Georgia . The maximum amount of compensation is $10,000. There is a 365-day limit after the occurrence of the crime for making an application. Compensation is limited to medical and funeral expenses, counseling and therapy fees, and occasionally loss of support or lost wages. If you are interested in applying for compensation, contact Victim Services in the District Attorney's Office.
Information such as your address or telephone number that you give to the District Attorney's Office is confidential and is not subject to public disclosure. Under the law, prosecutors generally are required to give the defendant's attorney the addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses the prosecution intends to call during trial. The court can order the defense attorney not to give this information to anyone, including the accused. The defendant's attorney may contact you to ask you about the case. You are not required to speak to the defense attorney. If you so choose, you have the right to have your own attorney present or a representative from the District Attorney's Office.
• Defendant May Be Released Pending Tail
The accused may be released from jail before and during the trial. If this happens, it is your right to state an opinion concerning the release of the accused. You have the right to file a witness complaint with the District Attorney if any acts or threats of violence or intimidation occur against you or your family by the accused or at the direction of the accused. If you file a written complaint, the District Attorney may ask the court to revoke the release of the accused.
• Designation of Someone to Act in Your Place
If you are physically disabled or unable to exercise your rights under the law, you may designate a spouse, adult child, parent, sibling, or grandparent to act in your place for as long as you are disabled. You must make this designation in writing. If you make such a designation, your notification rights will still apply to you and not to your representative. If you wish to make such a designation, you may do so on your own, or you may contact the District Attorney's Office for assistance.
• Notification - General Rights
These rights do not have to be requested. You will have these rights unless you waive them. You have the right
--to be notified of the arrest of the accused. This notification will probably be issued by the investigating agency.
--to be notified of any proceeding where the release of the accused will be considered. This notification will generally come from the District Attorney's Office.
--To be notified of the release of the accused. This notification will generally come from the District Attorney's Office.
• Notification Rules concerning Parole
If the accused is found guilty and sentenced to a prison term, you have notification rights concerning any possible parole of the accused, including the right to express your opinion prior to a parole decision be made. To exercise these rights, you must either express an objection to any parole of the accused or make a request for notification. Objections and requests are made to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. If you have any questions concerning parole or need assistance, contact the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
You have the right to express your views on the outcome of the case including plea negotiations, sentence negotiations, and participation in pretrial or post conviction diversion programs. To do so, contact Victim Services.
• Victim Impact Statement
You have the right to make a Victim Impact Statement describing how the crime has affected you. If the accused is found guilty, the Victim Impact Statement may be used by the District Attorney or the Judge to determine the accused's sentence. This statement may also be used by the Probation Office (if the accused is given probation) and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles (if the accused is sentenced to a prison term). Victim Services can assist you in making a Victim Impact Statement.
• Waiting Areas
During any court proceeding involving the accused, you have the right to wait in an area separate from the accused, family, friends, and witnesses for the accused. If such an area is not available, you may contact the District Attorney's Office for assistance.
You may have the right to restitution, that is, the right to the return of anything of value from you or money to compensate you for injury to your self or damage to your property. If your property has been damaged, we need a copy of an estimate for repair. If you were injured, we need copies of any medical bills you have received. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
District Attorney's Office of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit
To report a crime or personal injury in Wayne County.................................................. 911
To Report or Receive Additional Information About A Case You May Contact the Proper Agency Listed Below
BRUNSWICK JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
For inmate's progress through the Georgia Prison System (including prison location, possible Parole or release date, escape/recapture, or inmate's death) victims and their families can call:
Georgia Department of Corrections ........................................................... 1-800-721-8057
Further information can be obtained from the Solicitor’s Office or the District Attorney's Office.