Victim & Witness Rights

Crime victims have rights to protection from harm, to participate in the prosecution process, to request restitution, to seek help, and more. Contact the Chippewa County Victim/Witness Program if you need help.

The Right to Be Notified

  • Changes in the schedule of court proceedings, including the date, time, and place of sentencing
  • The content of any plea bargain agreements
  • Final disposition of the case
  • The offender's release, transfer to a minimum security setting, or reduction in custody status
  • Victims' rights

The Right to Participate in Prosecution

  • Right to attend the sentencing hearing
  • Right to bring a supportive person to the pre-trial hearing
  • Right to have input in the pre-trial diversion program
  • Right to inform the court of the impact of crime at the sentencing hearing
  • Right to object to a plea agreement
  • Right to object to a proposed disposition or sentence
  • Right to request a speedy trial
  • Right to submit an oral or written statement about the impact of the crime, and recommendations at the parole hearing of certain offenders.

The Right to Protection from Harm

  • Employers may not discipline or dismiss victims or witnesses who are called to testify in court.
  • Tampering with a witness is against Minnesota law.
  • Victims have the right to a secure waiting area during court.
  • Victims/Witnesses do not have to give their addresses in open court.

The Right to Apply for Financial Assistance

  • Victims can request the court to order the defendant to pay restitution.
  • Victims may be eligible for financial assistance from the state if they have suffered economic loss as the result of a violent crime.
  • Victims of certain violent crimes may request the convicted offender submit to testing for the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  • Victims of domestic assault and harassment have a right to receive notification from the prosecutor if a decision is made not to prosecute, or if the charges against the defendant are dismissed. If dismissed, a record must be made of the specific reasons for dismissal.