NJ Crime Victims Bill of Rights N.J.S.A. 52:4B-36
Victim Witness Advocacy Contacts and Resources
(Amended October 6, 2012)
A crime victim in New Jersey is entitled to:
- To be treated with dignity and compassion by the criminal justice system.
- To be informed about the criminal justice process.
- To be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse by any person including the defendant or any other person acting in support of or on behalf of the defendant, due to the involvement of the victim or witness in the criminal justice process.
- To have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized.
- To make at least one telephone call provided the call is reasonable in length and location.
- To medical assistance reasonably related to the incident.
- To be notified in a timely manner, if practicable, if presence in court is not needed or if any scheduled court proceeding has been adjourned or cancelled.
- To be informed about available remedies, financial assistance and social services.
- To be compensated for loss sustained by the victim whenever possible.
- To be provided a secure, but not necessarily separate, waiting area during court proceedings.
- To be advised of case progress and final disposition and to confer with the prosecutor’s representative so that the victim may be kept adequately informed.
- To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence.
- To submit a written statement , within a reasonable amount of time, about the impact of the crime to a representative of the prosecuting agency which shall be considered prior to the prosecutor’s final decision concerning whether criminal charges will be filed, whether the prosecutor will consent to a request by the defendant to enter into a pre-trial program, and whether the prosecutor will make or agree to a negotiated plea.
- To make, prior to sentencing, an in-person statement directly to the sentencing court.
- To have the opportunity to consult with the prosecuting authority prior to the conclusion of any plea negotiations, and to have the prosecutor advise the court of the consultation and the victim’s position regarding the plea agreement, provided however that nothing herein shall be construed to alter or limit the authority or discretion of the prosecutor to enter into any plea agreement which the prosecutor deems appropriate.
- To be present at any judicial proceeding involving a crime or any juvenile proceeding involving a criminal offense except as otherwise provided by Article I, paragraph 22 of the New Jersey Constitution.
- To be notified of any release or escape of the defendant.
- To appear in any court before which a proceeding implicating the rights of the victim is being held, with standing to file a motion or present argument on a motion filed to enforce any right conferred herein or by Article I, paragraph 22 of the New Jersey Constitution, and to receive an adjudicative decision by the court on any such motion.
A victim’s survivor is entitles to:
- A victim’s survivor may, at the time of making the in-person statement to the sentencing court authorized by subsection. n. section 3 of P.L. 1985, c.249 (C.52:4B-36), display directly to the sentencing court a photograph of the victim taken before the homicide including, but not limited to, a still photograph, a computer generated presentation, or a video presentation of the victim. The time, length and content of such presentation shall be within the sound discretion of the sentencing judge.
- A victim’s survivor may, during any judicial proceeding involving the defendant, wear a button not exceeding four inches in diameter that contains a picture of the victim, if the court determines that the wearing of such button will not deprive the defendant of his right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I of the New Jersey Constitution. Other spectators at such judicial proceedings may also wear similar buttons if the court so determines. If the victim’s survivor seeks to wear the button to trial, the victim’s survivor shall give notice to the defendant and to the court no less than 30 days prior to the final trial date.