Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:4B-36, the State of New Jersey declares that crime victims and witnesses are entitled to the following rights:
- To be treated with dignity and compassion by the Criminal Justice System;
- To be informed about the Criminal Justice Process;
- To be free from intimidation;
- To have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized;
- To make at least one telephone call from the police station provided the call is reasonable in both length and location called;
- To medical assistance if it appears necessary;
- To be notified if presence in court is not needed;
- To be informed about available remedies, financial assistance, and social services;
- To be compensated for their loss whenever possible; • To be provided a secure waiting area during court proceedings;
- To be advised of case progress and final disposition;
- To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence;
- To submit a written statement about the impact of the crime to a representative of the County Prosecutor’s Office which shall be considered prior to the prosecutor’s final decision concerning whether formal criminal charges will be filed; and
- To make, prior to sentencing, an in-person statement directly to the Sentencing Court concerning the impact of the crime. This statement is to be made in addition to the statement permitted for inclusion in Probation Department’s Pre-sentence Report.
One of the primary goals of the Morris County Victim-Witness Advocacy Office is to help victims assert their rights within the criminal justice system, and to encourage them to participate in their cases by attending court proceedings.
A Victim Advocate is available to provide support throughout the court proceedings, and can help the victim prepare their Victim Impact Statement, which is used by assistant prosecutors in plea negotiations and by the judge at the time of sentencing. The Victim Advocates also help to arrange children’s daycare and transportation to court when needed.
Victim Advocates can provide safe parking, free of charge, to victims and witnesses. Lunch vouchers are also provided, as needed, in a restaurant within walking distance.