VICTIM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
is the Coordinator of the Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office
Victim Assistance Program. While the criminal justice
system cannot undo the damage done to crime victims, the
Prosecutor's Office is dedicated to providing
information and assistance in order to minimize the
unpleasantness of a difficult situation. Because victim
and witness participation is vital to pursuing any
criminal matter, the Victim/Witness Assistance Program
considers your input and opinions essential in bringing
criminals to justice. With a cooperative effort from the
victim, witnesses, and the Prosecutor's Office, we will
more effectively prosecute those who have violated the
law and provide valuable services to those who have been
adversely affected by crime.
of Rights: Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall
have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and
respect throughout the criminal justice process; and as
defined by law, to be informed of and present during
public hearings and to confer with the prosecution, to
the extent that exercising these rights does not
infringe on the constitutional rights of the accused.
The Purpose of the Victim/Witness Program:
provide more consideration and personal
attention to victims and witnesses.
sensitize criminal justice professionals, the
mass media, and the community to the needs of
victims of crime.
assure that victims and witnesses are informed
of the progress of the case in which they are
advocate for victims and their families by
connecting them with local resources that will
aid them in their recovery process.
advise the prosecutor of the victim's feelings
and concerns regarding the criminal case to
which he or she is assigned.
Is there someone in the
Prosecutor's Office who can answer my questions?
If you have
questions about your rights, the court process, or the
Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund, you may
contact the Coordinator of the Victim/Witness Assistance
Program at 317-392-6440. The Coordinator of the
Victim/Witness Program can also help you if you need
information about your case, information about
protective orders, or referrals to community victim
What if someone threatens me while
my case is pending?
It is a crime
for anyone to threaten, harass or intimidate you to
prevent you from testifying at any court proceeding. If
anyone uses force or threatens to harm you or a member
of your family, report the threat immediately to your
local law enforcement agency and notify the Prosecutor's
Office as soon as possible.
What if I want to drop charges?
As a matter
of policy, the Prosecutor does not routinely drop
charges; therefore, a victim should be certain of
his/her actions when pursuing charges. Only the
Prosecutor can drop charges against a defendant; however
you should let the Prosecutor's Office know if you no
longer wish to proceed with the case. While the
Prosecutor will take your wishes into consideration, the
Prosecutor must also take into consideration the safety
of the community and other factors when making a
decision to drop charges or proceed with the case.
Can I be reimbursed for crime
There are two
ways by which you may receive money to help pay for
crime related costs:
1) Restitution from the defendant/
juvenile offender: if the defendant is found guilty or
pleads guilty, the judge may order the defendant (or in
cases involving juveniles, the juvenile and/or his or
her parents) to reimburse you for any crime related
costs. It is important that you save any receipts or
copies of any bills you (or your insurance company) have
paid or still owe. You will be asked for the receipts
and bills if the defendant is found or pleads guilty.
are a victim in a pending criminal case and you are
requesting restitution for damages, you may do so by
filling out this form and returning it, along with any
supporting receipts, bills, or documentation, to the
Shelby County Prosecutors Office.
Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund: available to
victims of crime resulting in bodily injury or to
immediate family members of a murder victim or sex crime
victim, who need mental health counseling. This fund is
not governed by the Prosecutor's Office; the Violent
Crime Compensation Fund in Indianapolis will respond
directly to the victim. Applying for this funding is not
a guarantee that an award will be received. The Victim
Assistance Program will supply those who are eligible
with an application upon filing a criminal charge.
Protective Orders: A
Protective Order is a legal document signed by a judge
ordering the respondent to refrain from having any
direct or indirect contact with the petitioner.
Protective orders are civil matters, but a criminal
charge of Invasion of Privacy may be filed when a
protective order is violated. Protective orders may be
obtained through the County Clerk's Office located on
the first floor of the Courthouse.
If a criminal
charge has been filed by the Prosecutor's Office, the
victim may request that the Deputy Prosecutor ask the
judge to order a No Contact Order as a condition of bond
in the case. A No Contact Order is an order signed by a
judge prohibiting the defendant in a criminal case from
having any direct or indirect contact with the victim.
If an individual violates either a Protective Order or a
No Contact Order, the victim should contact the police
immediately. Although the violator may be gone by the
time the police arrive, victims should still fill out an
offense report, in order to keep a record of evidence
for future possible charges.
Your Role As A Witness - What if I am contacted? You may be contacted by
someone (such as a defense attorney) concerning this
case. You are free to speak with them, however we
strongly recommend that you do not speak with anyone
about this matter without a member of our office being
present. It is our experience that certain attorneys may
threaten to get a court order to make you speak to them.
While you can be required to give a statement (called a
deposition) under oath, our office has the right to
attend the meeting and object to certain questions.
Furthermore, it must be at a time and place reasonably
convenient to you. Unless we are present, we will not be
able to protect your rights and interests in this case.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you
immediately contact our office should you be contacted
by anyone other than law enforcement regarding this
Hearing dates - One
date, which the court will set, is called a pre-trial
conference. At the pre-trial conference the status of
the case is discussed with the Defendant’s attorney and
the judge. It is not necessary for you to attend the
pre-trial hearing. The judge will set the matter for
trial after the pre-trial conference. In most cases, the
Defendant will change his plea to guilty before the
trial date pursuant to a plea agreement. If you request
to see it, you may be shown any plea recommendation made
to the Defendant. You need to immediately notify us if
you wish to see a copy of the plea agreement.
Change of Address - IT
IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY OUR OFFICE
OF ANY CHANGE IN YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS. You will
be kept informed of any major developments in the case
as they occur and will be notified of court appearances
that you will be required to attend.
Restitution - If you
are seeking restitution for damages, lost property,
repairs, or other out of pocket expenses as a result of
this crime, please submit all receipts or records to
Rebecca Miller, Victim Assistance Coordinator within
30 days. If we do not receive any
requests within that time, we will not seek restitution.
Be sure to
refer to the cause number when you contact us and have
the cause number and name of the Defendant printed on
any documents that you submit to us.