WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE VICTIM/WITNESS UNIT
The Victim/Witness Unit usually begins working with victims as soon as criminal charges are filed with the Court. In some situations, assistance can and is given even before the filing of charges. The first step is normally the mailing of letters to victims notifying them that a charge or charges have been filed, notifying them of their rights as victims, and informing them that they need to submit any restitution (reimbursement) requests to the prosecutor's office as soon as possible.
The Victim/Witness Unit assists victims in obtaining restitution for damages caused by criminal conduct. Assistance is limited to the criminal case being prosecuted. Victims are responsible for providing the information to substantiate their claim of damages. The prosecutor's office does not investigate the damage claim or obtain information from vendors and repair services for victims. Prosecutors will file a request with the court for reimbursement and will handle any necessary hearings regarding restitution. The Victim/Witness Unit will provide answers to victims about commonly asked questions regarding restitution. These questions are usually directed at what victims can obtain restitution for and how to go about collecting the necessary information to support their damage claim.
Lastly, the Victim/Witness Coordinator will accompany victims to court hearings and assist victims in exercising their right to address the court during hearings. The Victim/Witness Coordinator will explain the various ways victim impact statements can be presented to the court.
There are many other things that the prosecuting attorney's office does to assist victims. Many of the topics discussed in this section are discussed in much greater detail elsewhere on this site. Please contact the prosecutor's office if you have any questions about victim assistance that are not answered on this site.