As a victim of crime, you have constitutionally protected rights. These rights are detailed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Section at https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims or by calling 800-582-2877. Some rights are automatic. Some rights require you to request them below.
This form provides important information about your rights. This form is NOT a public record. If you are a victim of an offense of violence or sexually oriented offense, a criminal justice official will review this form with you and ask you to complete this form so that criminal justice officials know which rights you wish to exercise. The criminal justice official will provide you a copy of the form. Criminal justice officials will provide victims of all other offenses information on how to complete the form electronically or provide a printed form, upon request.
Requesting and Enforcing Your Rights
- Below is a list of rights that must be requested if you wish to exercise them. It is your choice. You can choose to exercise all, some, or none of your rights.
- PLEASE NOTE: If you are a victim of an offense of violence or a sexually oriented offense and you do not complete the form or request your rights at first contact with law enforcement, you will be automatically opted in to all “upon request” rights until you are contacted by the prosecutor. Once contacted by a prosecutor, you will no longer be opted in and you must request your rights in order to exercise them.
- You can change your mind at any time about which rights you choose to exercise. However, if you choose not to exercise some rights and then request them later, you may give up some rights that only apply during certain stages of the case.
- If you change your mind, you must call or email the investigating officer, prosecutor, court, prison, jail, or community-based correctional facility, or complete this form again to ensure officials have updated information on the rights you wish to exercise, and updated contact information.
- If any of your rights are denied, you may ask the advocate or prosecutor to help, seek enforcement on your own, hire an attorney, or request free legal assistance from Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center at https://www.ocvjc.org/request-for-assistance or call 614-848-8500.
- An online resource to help you understand and exercise your rights is the Victims Rights Toolkit at https://www.ocvjc.org/victims-rights-toolkit
Appointing a Victim Representative
- You may choose to exercise your rights and/or choose a representative to exercise your rights. A representative can be anyone other than the defendant. You can choose, change, or remove a representative at any time.
Privacy and Safety
- You may be eligible for a protection order. The investigating officer will provide available resources to assist with obtaining a protection order.
- You may use the form below to request redaction (removal) of your name, address, and identifying information from public records related to this case. This request does not apply to crash reports submitted to the Department of Public Safety. You must send a separate request to the Department of Public Safety to request redaction of crash reports at https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/help-center/contact-us
- You may be able to keep your address private by obtaining a Safe at Home address. Learn more at https://www.ohiosos.gov/secretary-office/office-initiatives/safe-at-home/survivors or call 614-995-2255.
- If the defendant, defendant’s attorney, or anyone else acting on behalf of the defendant contacts you to talk with you, request an interview, or attempt to obtain any information or materials from you, you have the right to refuse. Immediately contact the prosecutor to let them know you have been contacted.
- You can receive texts, calls, or emails to receive notice of a defendant or offender’s release or escape from jail or prison. Register at https://www.vinelink.com.
- Arraignment is a hearing that can happen within a couple days after the defendant is charged with a crime.
- If you request notification, law enforcement will notify you of the arrest of the defendant and can provide a phone number for the clerk of the court to get information on the date, time, and location of the arraignment proceeding.
- During arraignment, the judge decides whether to release the defendant on bond, bond conditions, and sometimes whether to issue a protection order.
- You have the right to attend the arraignment and tell the judge about any safety concerns and your opinion regarding release, bond conditions, and whether or not you would like a protection order.
Compensation and Restitution
Ohio Victim Rights Form
FORM COMPLETED BY:
Reporting officer / badge #:
Reporting agency phone:
You do not need to request these rights:
- The right to be informed of your rights.
- The right to be treated with fairness and respect for your safety, dignity, and privacy.
- The right to reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused.
- The right to information about the status of the case.
- The right to refuse a defense interview, deposition, or other discovery request.
- The right to object to defense requests for access to your confidential information, including medical, counseling, school or employment records, access to your personal devices or online accounts, or other personal information.
- The right to be present at all public proceedings.
- The right to have a support person with you during proceedings.
- The right to confer with the prosecutor at certain points in the case, including before pretrial diversion is granted, before the prosecutor amends or dismisses an indictment, information, or complaint, before the prosecutor agrees to a negotiated plea, and before a trial or adjudicatory hearing.
- The right to tell the court your opinion in public proceedings involving release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, and any other hearing that involves victims’ rights.
- The right to object to unreasonable delays.
- The right to full and timely restitution from the offender.
Rights that must be requested
As a victim, you must keep lawn enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, and custodial agencies up to date with your current contact information.