As a victim of a crime, you have the following rights:
- To be present and participate in any hearing pertaining to your case.
- To retain private counsel which may assist you in understanding court proceedings and hearings.
- To pursue civil remedies.
- To submit a written and/or oral Victim Impact Statement, which will be taken into consideration by the Summary Court Judge at the time of sentencing. If you wish to make an oral statement, you must notify the Court prior to the sentencing.
- To seek restitution for any losses and/or damages you may have suffered as a direct or indirect result of the crime in which you are a victim.
You will be notified of any hearings that may take place during the course of your case. In order for you to be notified, it is your responsibility to notify the Summary Court of your current mailing address and any telephone numbers where you may be reached.
Court proceedings may be postponed or cancelled due to various reasons. On occasion, these delays may result in unnecessary trips to Court for you. Every effort will be made to keep you informed in advance of all proceedings and delays.
A subpoena is a Court Order in which the person summoned must appear at a specific time and place that will be indicated on the subpoena. If you receive a subpoena for a certain hearing or trial, you must appear or be subject to a bench warrant.
Return of Property
Any property that has been confiscated from you for your case will be returned to you as promptly as possible.
Instead of requesting a jury trial, the defendant may enter a guilty plea or no contest to the charge(s). In these cases, no plea agreement will be reached until the prosecuting agency first discusses it with you. The final decision on whether the plea agreement will be accepted is for the judge to determine.
If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, then the case will proceed to trial.
After the defendant has either pled guilty or been found guilty by the way of a trial, the defendant will then be sentenced. The Judge may determine to sentence the defendant immediately or at a later date. If the sentencing is set for a later date, you will be notified of the time and place of that hearing. If you have submitted a written Victim Impact Statement, it will be considered by the Judge prior to imposition of the sentence. If you have notified the Court, or the prosecutor, you wish to make an oral statement, you may do so before the Judge announces sentence.
In addition to the imprisonment and/or probation, the Judge may also order the defendant to reimburse you for any damages and/or losses you have suffered as a direct or indirect result of this crime. Before the Judge will determine whether to order the defendant to pay you restitution and what amount that should be, the Judge will hear any evidence you may have concerning your losses. For this reason, you must include all information pertaining to your injuries and or financial losses in your Victim Impact Statement. In addition, you may also be requested to provide documentation to support what losses you are claiming.