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Criminal Options

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Campus

Criminal Options

Criminal Options

It is never too late for a victim to talk to the police about a sexual assault. If a police report is made, an officer or detective will be assigned to the case. After investigating, the police should send it to the prosecuting attorney’s office. The prosecutor will review the report and decide whether to file criminal charges. The prosecutor may also wish to talk to the victim. The victim is free to decide whether or not to participate in the investigation process. Most of the time, the victim should be able to bring a support person with him or her when talking to the police or prosecutor.
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Help During the Criminal Process

Local Sexual Assault Organizations

Many Michigan communities have local sexual assault organizations that can provide free and confidential crisis support, advocacy and counseling. Many will also have advocates who can accompany a victim to make a police report or other legal appointments.

Victim Advocates at the Prosecuting Attorney's Office

In Michigan, prosecutor attorneys' offices typically have a victim advocate. Victim advocates working for the prosecutor can provide information and support to crime victims involved in the criminal process. Victim advocates also ensure that crime victims are notified or criminal proceedings as required by Michigan's Crime Victims Rights Act. Find a prosecution-based victim advocate through the local Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Victim's Rights in Michigan

Right to be notified of perpetrator arrest or release

If a police report has been filed, the victim has the right to call the police and ask to be notified of an arrest or the release of the arrested person, or both. MCL 780.753.

Right to information about status of the criminal case

If a police report has been filed, the victim has the right to ask about the status of the case, including: the name of the detective or investigating officer assigned to the case; whether the case has been submitted to the prosecuting attorney for review; and whether the case has been closed and the reason for closure. MCL 752.955.

Right to evidence kit testing results

If a sexual assault evidence kit was collected and released to law enforcement, a victim has the right to ask the investigating law enforcement agency for information about evidence testing results, including: when the evidence kit was sent to a crime lab for testing; whether DNA evidence was found; whether a DNA profile was entered into CODIS; and whether a DNA profile resulted in a CODIS match. MCL 752.956.