Most people do not know that according to Georgia Law, victims and witnesses may be afforded certain rights. The list is long and complicated, but we have provided an easy to understand breakdown of the statutes.
Victims and Witnesses have the right to be treated with dignity and compassion and protected from threats and intimidation. They may also have the right to:
- be informed of the procedural steps to expect during the processing a criminal case and contact number of further questions arise.
- notification of the accused’s arrest, release (or potential release) from custody, and any proceeding at which the release of the accused will be considered.
- advance notification of any scheduled court proceedings or changes to that schedule.
- wait in an area separate from the accused, and the family, friends and witnesses of the accused. If such a separate area is not available or practical, contact with those parties should be minimized if possible.
- express an opinion on the release of the accused pending judicial proceedings, and on the disposition of an accused’s case.
- privacy, in regards to current address, telephone number, and place of employment.
- financial compensation.
- be notified of the availability of community based victim service programs.
It is the responsibility of the victim who desires notification to keep all appropriate agencies informed of a current address and phone number:
For more information about your rights as a victim or witness, please contact the Victim Witness Assistance Program of the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office.
Reference: §OCGA 17-10