Crime Victim Bill of Rights
The Georgia Crime Victim Bill of Rights is the governing philosophy dealing with victims of and witnesses to a crime. The Burke County Sheriff's Office is committed to the development, implementation and perpetuation of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program as created and administered through the Burke County District Attorney's Office and the State Court Solicitor's Office.
In this regard the Sheriff's Office recognizes that:
- Victims and witnesses have a right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and compassion by emergency services, criminal justice personnel, news media, and the general public.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to protection from intimidation and harm.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to be informed concerning the criminal justice process.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to counsel. The Assistant District Attorneys and State Court Solicitors are responsible to protect the interests of victims/witnesses and to explain the case in non-technical terms.
- Victims have a right to restitution for expenses of property loss incurred as the result of a crime (O.C.G.A. 17-15-1). When restitution is ordered, they have a right to have that order enforced.
- Victims have a right to preservation of property and employment.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to due process in criminal court proceedings.
The Burke County District Attorney's Office, the Burke County Solicitor's Office and the Sheriff's Office are the agencies primarily responsible for the delivery of Victim and Witness services in Burke County.
Victim's Rights Notification
The information provided below is intended to assist you in locating and receiving the services you are entitled to as a victim/witness of a crime. There are many services available to you and it is important that you take advantage of these services to help cope with both the short and long-term consequences of being a crime victim. At any time if you are threatened, harassed or intimidated by a suspect or perpetrator in this case you can call 911 for assistance.
In compliance with OCGA 17-17-6, Sheriff's Office provides this information.
1. The person accused of criminal activity toward you may be released from custody before trial. This is commonly known as "bonding out."
2. You, as a victim, have certain rights during various stages of the criminal justice process. Depending upon which court has jurisdiction in your case, either the District Attorney's Office or the State Court Solicitor's Office will notify you of your rights and explain to you the judicial process as it pertains to your case.
District Attorney Ashley Wright has a staff of five, including a director and four victims advocates, and they may be reached at 706-821-1135 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. State Court Solictor Office Kellie K. McIntyre has two staff members assigned to victim's rights and they may be reached at 706-821-1220 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
3. As a victim, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for certain out-of-pocket losses incurred as a result of your victimization. You can contact the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-559-4949 or 404-559-4177 TDD for further information or visit their website at www. cjcc.ga.gov.
4. You, as a victim, may be eligible for community based victim service programs. More information about the various programs can be obtained by contacting the Governor's Victim Assistance Helpline at 800-338-6745.
To receive these services you must provide to the Sheriff's Office, the prosecutor's office, and the incarcerating agency your current address and telephone number. A pager number is NOT sufficient for this purpose.
You will be notified when the accused has been arrested, if this has not already occurred. This notification will be in person, by telephone or by mail by the arresting Law Enforcement Agency. Should the suspect or the suspect's companions or family threaten, intimidate or harass you in any way then you should dial "911" and notify law enforcement immediately. You may also call and report the incident to the investigating officer or to the Victim/Witness Services of the District Attorney's Office or Solicitor's Office.
In accordance with O.C.G.A. Chapter 17, the Georgia Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights, The Burke County Sheriff’s Office provides the following information.
If you are a victim or the family member of a victim of one or more of the following crimes:
- Armed robbery
- Assault / Battery
- Cruelty to children
- Feticide by vehicle
- Homicide by vehicle
- Reckless Conduct
- Serious injury by vehicle
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Sexual Battery
Then you are entitled to know the following:
- It is possible that the accused may be released from custody prior to trial
- That you, as the victim, have certain rights during various stages of the criminal justice process
- That additional information about your rights can be obtained by contacting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-559-4949
- That you may be eligible for monetary compensation for certain out-of-pocket expenses (from the State’s Emergency Fund) incurred as a result of your victimization;
- You may contact Victim's Assistance at 706-821-1207 or the Governor’s Victim Assistance Helpline at 800-338-6745 for assistance or clarification of your rights;
- You must be notified, by the investigating law enforcement agency, of the accused’s arrest; and
- You must provide the Investigating law enforcement agency with your current address and phone number if you wish to be contacted. Pagers or cellular phone numbers are not sufficient.
Crime Victim's Compensation Fund
Who is eligible for Victims Compensation?
Innocent victims who have been physically injured in a violent crime. Including but not limited to victims of: Assault/Battery, Homicide, Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Domestic/Family Violence, DUI Crash Victims, Vehicular Homicide, Hit and Run, Serious Injury by Vehicle,
Some other eligibility requirements include:
- The crime being reported to proper government authorities (i.e. law enforcement, child protective services, the courts, etc.) within 72 hours. The 72 hours may be waived for good cause shown.
- The claim must be filed within 1 year of the crime.
- Applications received 2 years after the crime cannot be considered for compensation.
- Victims of domestic violence may be eligible for loss of support.
- A parent of a child victim may be eligible for lost wages, to compensate for medical time spent off of work with the child.
- A Criminal History will be provided and analyzed on all victims 18 years and older.
Who is not eligible?
Victims of property crime; Victims who consent, provoke, or incite the crime committed against them; Victims who were participating in a criminal act; Victims who do not report the crime to law enforcement officials within 72 hours; Victims/claimants are required to exhaust funds from other sources such as health insurance, car insurance, social security, annual/sick leave pay, disability insurance, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation or funds from other government agencies
Additional information regarding the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights and the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund can be found at http://cjcc.georgia.gov/victims-compensation.