In Georgia, those who experience certain kinds of crime have protection under the law. Crime victims need to know their rights so that they can stand up for themselves when dealing with the complicated criminal justice system.
If those affected by criminal activity don’t understand their rights, they will have a hard time asserting themselves in court and making use of the laws that exist to protect them. What does Georgia do for the victims of crimes?
There may be compensation available
Georgia has a program to help compensate those affected by crime. The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program offers financial support and helps connect people with resources that will make recovering from criminal activity easier. This compensation is in addition to whatever compensation you may receive from insurance or by pursuing a civil lawsuit against the criminal or someone else involved in this situation.
The right to information and fair treatment by the courts
You have the right to know when the state arrests the person who hurt you and when they release that individual. You should also receive advance notice about hearings so that you can participate if it is necessary or beneficial for you to do so.
You have the right to receive dignified and respectful treatment from the courts and law enforcement officers, as well as the right to participate in court proceedings except in rare situations where the law prohibits your involvement.
Only certain crimes qualify you for victims’ rights
Typically, only those who have suffered financial or violent crimes can assert their rights in the criminal justice system. The offenses that may potentially qualify someone for rights as a victim include injury or homicide by vehicles, sexual offenses, reckless conduct, stalking, elder abuse or cruelty to older adults, assault, kidnapping, burglary, theft and financial fraud.
Asserting your rights isn’t always easy. In fact, you may have a hard time even making sense of what rights you have. Your best chance of sticking up for yourself as the victim of a criminal act in Georgia will come from getting proper representation for yourself. The prosecutor works for the people, not for you as a victim. Having an attorney serve as your advocate when you are the victim of a crime in Georgia can help you assert your rights and navigate the complex criminal justice system.