MSCASA - Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Crime Victim's Bill of Rights

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI GIVES THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS TO VICTIMS OR CRIME:

[Section 26(a)] Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process; and to be informed, to be present and to be heard, when authorized by law, during public hearings.

To implement the Constitutional Amendment, the Mississippi Legislature passed the Victims’ Bill of Rights, which provides certain rights to victims of the following violent offenses:

Felonies which involve physical injury or the threat of physical injury;
Any sexual offense;
Any offense involving spousal abuse or domestic violence;
Burglary of a dwelling house.

If the crime that has been committed against you fits into one of those categories, you may assert your rights by signing the form entitled, Request To Exercise Victim’s Rights, and sending it to the prosecuting attorney. If the victim of the crime is physically or emotionally unable to exercise these rights, he/she may designate in writing a person to be his/her representative. If the victim is deceased, the court will appoint a representative who is not a witness to the crime. If the victim is a minor, a family member may be designated as the victim’s representative or the court may appoint a representative for the child. The victim who is represented by another person may decide to personally exercise his/her rights as soon as he/she is physically, mentally, emotionally or legally competent to do so.

The law enforcement officer assigned to your case will go over your rights with you and will give you information about the criminal justice system and the availability of support services within your area. He or she will also give you the name, address and telephone number of the appropriate prosecuting attorney. By signing and mailing the Request To Exercise Victim’s Rights, and by continuing to provide the prosecuting attorney with any changes to your address or telephone number, you are asserting the following rights:

These rights do not include the right to direct the prosecution. The district or county attorney has the responsibility to prosecute criminal cases. They will decide how the case will be handled, but they will confer with you and will consider your wishes and your needs. Additionally, the exercise of these rights is at your discretion. The absence of the victim at a proceeding will not prevent the court from going forward. The duty of the prosecutor is to make reasonable attempts to inform you. You must do your part by keeping the prosecutor informed of any change in your name, address or telephone number.

 

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
CRIME VICTIMS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
REQUEST TO EXERCISE VICTIMS’ RIGHTS

FOR VICTIM TO SIGN:

I, _______________________________________, victim of the crime of _________________________, committed on _______________________, in _________________________________, request (date) (city, county)
that I be given all rights provided in the Victims’ Bill of Rights, Mississippi Code Annotated, Section 99-43-1 et. seq. I understand that it is my responsibility to provide the prosecutor with any change in my name, address or telephone number in order to continue to exercise these rights.

FOR VICTIM’S REPRESENTATIVE TO SIGN:
 
I, _______________________________, representative of ______________________________, who (victim representative) (victim) was the victim of the crime of __________________________committed on___________________, in (date)______________________ request that, on behalf of ________________________________, I be given (city, county) (victim) given all the rights provided in the Victims’ Bill of Rights, Mississippi Code Annotated, Section 99-43-1 et. seq. I understand that it is my responsibility to provide the prosecutor with any change in my name, address or telephone number in order to continue to exercise these rights.
_____________________________________________________
NAME (print)
_____________________________________________________
ADDRESS (Street/P.O. Box)                            
________________________________    
(City)             (State)                      (Zip)
(_______)_______________________________
TELEPHONE NUMBER
 

Mail this form as follows:

IF THE CRIME WAS: Felony   MAIL TO: District Attorney

IF THE CRIME WAS: Burglary of a Dwelling   MAIL TO: District Attorney

IF THE CRIME WAS: Domestic Violence which occurred in the city limits   MAIL TO: City Prosecuting Attorney

IF THE CRIME WAS: Domestic Violence which occurred in the county   MAIL TO: County Prosecuting Attorney

PLEASE NOTE: Until your case has been turned over to the prosecuting attorney, you will need to call the investigating officer for an update on the status of your case.


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