Throughout your time as a student here at Salisbury University your academic knowledge will grow as will your experiences about life. Unfortunately, there is a good chance that one of these experiences will include being a victim of a crime. If you are a victim of a crime there are certain rights you should be aware of. Under the Maryland Constitution and under Stat laws and guidelines, a victim of crime must be treated with dignity, respect and sensitivity during all phases of the criminal justice process. Take a look at the following information that relates to your rights as a victim.
- After you report a crime and if the police arrest the suspect, he will be taken before a court commissioner. The Court Commissioner will decide if there is enough evidence – known as “probable cause” – to charge the suspect with a crime. Due to crowded court dockets, the case may take up to several monthsto come to trial.
- Before the trial, the defendant may be required to appear at various court hearings. As a victim you have the right to attend these hearings or proceedings.
- A victim has a right to be present at the trial.
- After the trial, if the defendant is found guilty, the judge will hold a sentencing hearing, often at a later date. At the sentencing hearing, the victim or victim’s representative may address the court to describe the impact of the crime.
- A victim also has the right to request restitution.
- After the trial is over, a victim may have the right to have stolen or other property returned once the case is finished.
- Finally, a victim has the right to be notified of any further hearings related to the defendant’s sentence or release by the Division of Correction, Patuxent Institution, or the Parole Commission.
If you find that you may need further information concerning your rights as a victim contact the University Police where you may obtain a handbook called, Crime, Victims and Witnesses.