Overview of Crime Victim Rights

Crime Victim Rights

The Michigan Constitution (Article I, Section 24) and the Crime Victim Rights Act (CVRA) grant crime victims the right to:

  • Be treated throughout the criminal justice process with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy;
  • Timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused;
  • Receive an explanation of court procedures;  
  • Reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal justice process, including having a waiting area separate from the defendant and the defendant's relatives and witnesses (if practical), and to receive an explanation of procedures to follow if threatened or intimidated by the defendant;
  • Be free from threats or acts of discharge from your employer because you are subpoenaed or requested by the Prosecuting Attorney to testify in court;
  • Consult with the Prosecuting Attorney to give your views about the disposition of the case;  
  • Notice of:
    • Emergency and medical services [from the investigating police agency];
    • The name of the person in the Prosecutor's Office with information about your case;
    • All scheduled court proceedings, including sentencing;
    • The defendant's release on bond or escape from custody while awaiting trial; and
    • The address and telephone number of the probation department that is preparing the pre-sentence investigation report, if one is ordered by the Judge;
  • Victim compensation benefits, including the address of the Crime Victims Compensation Board, and an explanation of eligibility requirements for compensation funds;
  • Attend trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend (except possible sequestration during a trial before you testify);
  • Confer with the prosecution before trial and before the jury is selected;
  • Make an oral statement to a pre-sentence investigator, or to have a written impact statement included in the pre-sentence report;
  • Make an oral or written statement to the court at sentencing;
  • Restitution;
  • Information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused;
  • An explanation of the appeal process, to be advised if the defendant has been released on an appeal bond, to be advised of the time and place of appellate court proceedings, and to be advised of the result of an appeal; and
  • The prompt return of your property taken during an investigation, except as otherwise provided by the law.

Many of these rights can only be exercised if you choose to do so:

After Reporting a Crime

Within 24 hours after the initial contact with the law enforcement agency that will investigate that crime, that agency shall give to the victim the following information in writing:

(A) The availability of emergency and medical services, if applicable;

(B) The availability of victim's compensation benefits and the address of the crime victims compensation board;

(C) The address and telephone number of the prosecuting attorney whom the victim should contact to obtain information about victim's rights. When you call, ask for the victim-witness coordinator; and

(D) The following statements:

 "If you would like to be notified of an arrest in your case or the release of the person arrested, or both, you should call [law enforcement agency and telephone number] and inform them."

"If you are not notified of an arrest in your case, you may call this law enforcement agency at [the law enforcement agency's telephone number] for the status of the case."

  • Receive the name of the person to contact within the Prosecutor's office for information about your case;
  • Consult with the prosecuting attorney in order to give your views about the disposition of this crime;
  • Be free from threats or acts of discharge from your employer because you are subpoenaed or requested by the court to testify in court;
  • Be provided with a waiting area separate from the defendant, the defendant's relatives and defense witnesses, if practical; and
  • Be present during the entire trial unless you are to be called as a witness.

Only Upon Request

To take advantage of these rights, you MUST notify the Victim Assistance Coordinator  in the local Prosecutor's office by completing and returning the Right's Requested Form. You MUST also keep the Victim Advocate informed of your current address and telephone number.

You have the right to:

  • Receive notice of any scheduled court proceeding and any changes in that schedule. You may register with the Crime Victim Notification Network online or by calling toll-free at 800-770-7657;
  • Confer with the Prosecutor prior to the selection of the jury and prior to the trial;
  • Receive notice if the defendant escapes custody while awaiting trial;
  • Receive written notice of defendant's conviction;
  • Receive notice of the address and telephone number of the probation agent that will be preparing the pre-sentence investigation report;
  • Make an oral or written impact statement to the pre-sentence investigator;
  • Be notified of the time and place of sentencing; and
  • Make an oral or written impact statement at the time of sentencing in court.

Your Rights After Sentencing

To take advantage of the following rights, you MUST inform the Sheriff (if the defendant was jailed) or the Department of Corrections (if the defendant was sent to prison or placed on probation) that you want to be notified. You MUST also keep the Sheriff or Department of Corrections informed of your current address and phone number.

Only Upon Request

You have the right to:

  • Receive within 30 days of your request, notice of the earliest release date of the prisoner from jail or prison;
  • Be notified of the transfer or pending transfer of the prisoner to a minimum security facility and the address of the facility;
  • Be notified of the release or pending release of the prisoner to a community residential program, extended furlough, or transfer between community residential or electronic monitoring programs, or from a residential program or electronic monitoring program to prison;
  • Be promptly notified of an escape by the prisoner;
  • Address or submit a written statement to the parole board or to a member of any panel having authority over the prisoner's release on parole.  You will be notified at least 30 days before any Parole Board hearing;
  • Be notified within 14 days of the decision of the parole review;
  • Be notified 90 days before the prisoner's release from prison, if practical;
  • Be notified that the prisoner has had his or her name legally changed while on parole or within 2 years of release from parole;
  • Be notified of any hearing regarding a reprieve, commutation or pardon granted by the Governor; and
  • Be notified that the prisoner has been convicted of a new crime or that the prisoner has been returned to prison for a parole violation.