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MN Crime Victim Support Line

Crime Victim Rights

Crime victims have the right to be notified, the right to protection from harm, the right to participate in prosecution and the right to apply for financial assistance.

Crime Victims Have the Right to Be Notified

By law, victims of crime have the rights to be notified of:

  • Their rights
  • Prosecution process and the right to participate in it
  • Contents of any plea agreement
  • Changes in court proceeding schedule when a victim has been subpoenaed or requested to testify
  • Final disposition of the case
  • Appeals filed by the defendant, the right to attend the oral argument or hearing, and the right to be notified of the final disposition
  • Proposed sentence modifications for the offender, including the date, time, and location of the review and the right to provide input
  • Release or escape of the offender from prison or a custodial institution or transfer to a lower security facility
  • Offender’s petition for expungement
  • Right to request restitution
  • Right to apply for reparations
  • Information on the nearest crime victim assistance program or resource
  • Petition to civilly commit an offender, outcome of that petition, and notice of the offender’s possible discharge/release from civil commitment


Crime Victims Have the Right to Protection from Harm

Victims of crime have the right to:

  • A secure waiting area during court proceedings
  • Request that home and employment address, telephone number, and birth
    date be withheld in open court
  • Request that law enforcement agency withhold their identity from the public
  • Protection against employer retaliation for victims and witnesses called to testify and for
    victims of violent crimes and their family members who take reasonable time off to
    attend court proceedings

*Tampering with a witness is a crime and should be reported.


Crime Victims Have the Right to Participate in Prosecution

Victims of crime have the right to:

  • Request a speedy trial
  • Provide input in a pretrial diversion decision
  • Object orally or in writing to a plea agreement at the plea presentation hearing
  • Object orally or in writing to a proposed disposition or sentence
  • Inform the court of the impact of crime orally or in writing at the sentencing hearing
  • Inform the court at the sentencing hearing of social and economic impact of crime on persons and businesses in the community
  • Be present at the sentencing and plea presentation hearings
  • Submit a statement regarding the decision to discharge/release the offender from civil commitment


Crime Victims Have the Right to Apply for Financial Assistance

Victims of violent crime may:

  • Apply for financial assistance (reparations) from the state if they have suffered economic loss because of the crime
  • Request the court to order the defendant to pay restitution if the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty
  • Request that a probation violation hearing be scheduled 60 days prior to the expiration of probation if restitution has not been paid


The Rights of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Harassment Victims

Victims of crime have a right to:

  • Be informed of prosecutor’s decision to decline prosecution or dismiss the case along with information about seeking a protective or harassment order at no fee
  • Protection against employer retaliation for victims to take reasonable time off to attend order for protection or harassment restraining order proceedings
  • Domestic abuse victims have the ability to terminate a lease without penalty
  • Sexual assault victims can make a confidential request for HIV testing of a convicted offender
  • Sexual assault victims do not have to pay the cost of a sexual assault examination
  • Sexual assault victims may not be required to undergo a polygraph examination in order for an investigation or prosecution to proceed.


Enforcement of Crime Victim Rights

The Crime Victim Justice Unit (CVJU) is a victim rights compliance office. It seeks to ensure that crime victims in Minnesota are treated appropriately and that their statutory rights are upheld. The CVJU has the authority to investigate complaints from crime victims about decisions and actions of criminal justice professionals. The goal is to promote the highest attainable standards of competence, efficiency, and justice for crime victims.


Get Support and Resources

An advocate is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you in seeking support, information and referrals. Contact the Minnesota Crime Victim Support Line at 1-866-385-2699 to speak with an advocate (translators are available), text 612-399-9977 or click the CHAT NOW button on this site to connect with an advocate.