Victim Notification and Bill of Rights

VICTIM NOTIFICATION AND BILL OF RIGHTS

To request reasonable and timely notice of and to be present and heard at all court proceedings involving the criminal, including any proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole and any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated;

To be notified that a court proceeding to which a victim or witness has been subpoenaed will or will not go on as scheduled, in order to save the person an unnecessary trip to court;

To receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of the cooperation of the person with law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and to be provided with information as to the level of protection available and how to access protection;

To refuse an interview or other request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused, other than a refusal to appear if subpoenaed by defense counsel;

To be informed of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a witness or a victim, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services;

To be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive any witness fee to which the victim or witness is entitled;

To be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive any restitution to which the victim is entitled;

To be provided, whenever possible, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require close proximity to defendants and families and friends of defendants;

To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when no longer needed as evidence. If feasible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis and property the ownership of which is disputed, shall be returned to the person;

To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers of victims and witnesses will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize the loss of pay and other benefits of the employee resulting from court appearances;

To have the family members of all homicide victims afforded all of the services under this section, whether or not the person is to be a witness in any criminal proceeding;

To be informed of any plea bargain negotiations;

To have victim impact statements filed with the judgment and sentence;

To be informed if a sentence is overturned, remanded for a new trial or otherwise modified by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals;

To be informed in writing of all statutory rights;

To be informed that when any family member is required to be a witness by a subpoena from the defense, there must be a showing that the witness can provide relevant testimony as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant before the witness may be excluded from the proceeding by invoking the rule to remove potential witnesses;

To be notified by the Pardon and Parole Board of Pardon and Parole actions if you request notification;

To be informed of felony cases involving violent crime or sex offenses when pre-trial proceedings may substantially delay prosecution;

To protect the identity of the victim in sexual assault cases;

To request that the offender be tested for sexually transmitted diseases in sexual assault cases as ordered by the court;

To be informed that the Oklahoma Constitution allows, upon the recommendation of the Pardon and Parole Board and the approval of the Governor, the commutation of any sentence, including a sentence of life without parole;

To receive written notification of how to access victim rights information from the interviewing officer or investigating detective;

To speedy disposition of the charges free from unwarranted delay caused by or at the request of the defendant;

To be informed of the right to utilize Oklahoma’s automated telephone or web based victim notification service, VINElink.com  for the purpose of receiving information regarding the location of the defendant following an arrest, during the prosecution of the criminal case, during a sentence to probation or confinement, and when there is any release or escape of the defendant from confinement

For more information regarding your rights as a victim and to provide updated contact information, please contact your local District Attorney’s office:

Cleveland County District Attorney
201 S. Jones, Rm: 300
Norman, OK  73069
405-321-8268

McClain County District Attorney
121 N. 2nd
Purcell, OK  73080
405-527-6574

Garvin County District Attorney
201 W. Grant
Pauls Valley, OK  73075
405-238-7668