Crime Victims' Rights

Crime Victims' Rights Explained

Federal and state laws offer rights to victims of crime including those inflicted with pain, suffering, property loss and physical loss due to domestic violence, sexual assault, drunk driving, elder abuse, robbery, physical abuse and other crimes.

The federal law, known as the Justice for All Act, was signed by President George W. Bush on Oct. 30, 2004.  The act contains four major sections related to crime victims and the criminal justice process. The first section of the act establishes the rights of crime victims in federal criminal proceedings and provides mechanisms for enforcing these rights.

In November 1996, North Carolina voters amended the State Constitution by adding Section 37 of Article 1, Declaration of Rights, establishing the Rights of Victims of Crime. The amendment provides that victims of crime, as prescribed by law, shall be entitled to certain basic rights.

Both federal and state law provides a definition of a victim. It is important to know whether or not you meet the legal definition of a victim in order to receive mandated services and notification.