As a victim of crime, you have constitutionally protected rights. These rights are detailed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Services at https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims or by calling 800-582-2877. Some rights are automatic. *Some rights require your request. This form provides important information about your rights. This form is NOT a public record. If you are a victim of an offense of violence or sexually oriented offense, a criminal justice official will review this form with you and ask you to complete this form so that criminal justice officials know which rights you wish to exercise. The criminal justice official will provide you a copy of the form. Criminal justice officials will provide victims of all other offenses information on how to complete the form electronically or provide a printed form, upon request.
Requesting and Enforcing Your Rights
- Page two of this form provides a list of rights that must be requested if you wish to exercise them. It is your choice. You can choose to exercise all, some, or none of your rights.
- PLEASE NOTE: If you are a victim of an offense of violence or a sexually oriented offense and you do not complete the form or request your rights at first contact with law enforcement, you will be automatically opted in to all “upon request” rights until you are contacted by the prosecutor. Once contacted by a prosecutor, you will no longer be opted in and you must request your rights in order to exercise them.
- You can change your mind at any time about which rights you choose to exercise. However, if you choose not to exercise some rights and then request them later, you may give up some rights that only apply during certain stages of the case. If you change your mind, you must call, email, or complete a new form and return it to the investigating officer, prosecutor, court, prison, jail, or community based correctional facility to ensure officials have updated information on the rights you wish to exercise and updated contact information.
- If any of your rights are denied, you may ask the advocate or prosecutor to help, seek enforcement on your own, hire an attorney, or request free legal assistance from Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center at https://www.ocvjc.org/request-for-assistance or call 614- 848-8500.
- An online resource to help you understand and exercise all of your rights is the Victims Rights Toolkit
Appointing a Victim Representative
- You may choose to exercise your rights and/or choose a representative to exercise your rights. A representative can be anyone other than the defendant. You can choose, change, or remove a representative at any time.
Privacy and Safety
- You may be eligible for a protection order. The investigating officer will provide available resources to assist with obtaining a protection order.
- You may use the form on page 2 to request redaction (removal) of your name, address, and identifying information from public records related to this case. This request does not apply to crash reports submitted to the Department of Public Safety. You must send a separate request to the Department of Public Safety to request redaction of crash reports at https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/help-center/contact-us.
- You may be able to keep your address private by obtaining a Safe at Home address. Learn more at: https://www.ohiosos.gov/secretary-office/office-initiatives/safe-at-home/survivors/ or call 614-995-2255
- If the defendant, defendant’s attorney, or anyone else acting on behalf of the defendant contacts you to talk with you, request an interview, or attempt to obtain any information or materials from you, you have the right to refuse. Immediately contact the prosecutor to let them know you have been contacted.
- You can receive texts, calls, or emails to receive notice of a defendant or offender’s release or escape from jail or prison. Register at: https://www.vinelink.com/#state-selection
- Arraignment is a hearing that can happen within a couple days after the defendant is charged with a crime.
- If you request notification, law enforcement will notify you of the arrest of the defendant and can provide you a phone number for the clerk of the court to get information on the date, time, and location of the arraignment proceeding.
- During arraignment the judge decides whether or not to release the defendant on bond, bond conditions, and whether or not to issue a protection order.
- You have the right to attend the arraignment and tell the judge about any safety concerns and your opinion regarding release, bond conditions, and whether or not you would like a protection order.
Compensation and Restitution
- Crime Victim Compensation Fund: You may be eligible to apply for reimbursement for certain financial losses relating to your victimization, even if the suspect has not been arrested or convicted. You may apply at: https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/individuals-and-families/victims/apply-for-victims-compensation or 800-582-2877.
- Restitution: Upon conviction, the court must order the offender to pay you for certain financial losses relating to your victimization. It is important to keep a record of all expenses incurred as a result of the crime so that the court can use this information to determine what costs are properly included in an order of restitution. https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/docs/JCS/courtSvcs/MarsysLaw/SCO-CSD-0002.pdf