Pursuant to the Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights, which was enacted through the Georgia Legislature in 1995, individuals who are victims of certain crimes are afforded specific rights under the law. According to the Official Code of Georgia, Title 17, Chapter 17, the individuals who are victims of the following crimes receive benefits under the Crime Victims Bill of Rights:
Assault and Battery
False Imprisonment and related offenses
Cruelty to Children
Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Homicide by Vehicle
Feticide by Vehicle
Serious Injury by Vehicle
In general, after the crime occurs and is reported, and upon initial contact with a victim, law enforcement and court personnel must advise him or her of the following:
That it is possible that the accused may be released from custody prior to trial;
That victims have certain rights during various stages of the criminal justice system;
That additional information about these stages can be obtained by contacting the pertinent state and/or local agency involved, or by contacting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-559-4949;
That victims may have available to them monetary compensation for certain out-of-pocket losses incurred as a result of their victimization from the State's Crime Victims Emergency Fund (Crime Victims Compensation) which is administered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
That victims may have available to them community-based victim service programs and that more information may be obtained by contacting the Governor's Victim Assistance Helpline at 1-800-338-5745.
Victims of crimes further have the following rights:
To be notified of each stage in the judicial process to include pretrial hearings, bond, arraignment, motions hearings, pleas of guilty, trial, sentencing and appeals
To be notified of any arrest, release, possibility of release, or escape of the accused or any change in custodial status
To give opinions regarding release from custody or bond issues
To have access to a private waiting area during court proceedings
To offer input on plea negotiations or sentence hearings or conditions
To protection from intimidation and harm
To receive compensation and/or restitution when eligible (Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia http://cjcc.ga.gov/)
***Victims in Baker County can contact the Victim Advocacy Department at the Office of the District Attorney. Contact Number is 229-246-5222.