Victim Assistance

The advocates in the Victim Assistance Program treat all victims of crime with compassion and respect for their dignity and privacy as together we walk through the processes of the Criminal Justice System. Victims’ rights to participation in criminal proceedings are ensured by timely notification and appropriate assistance so that they may be safe and protected from intimidation and retaliation and assisted in obtaining restitution, Crime Victim’s Compensation, and other services available in the community.

It is the right of the victim of a crime to be informed about the case’s progress. The Victim Assistance Unit notifies victims when charges have been filed in all cases in the adult and juvenile courts. Notification involves an initial packet, including a letter, booklet, and Victim Impact Statement form. Victims are also notified of arraignment hearings, preliminary hearings, trials, and sentencing hearings.

Will I receive compensation for appearing as a witness?

By statute you are entitled to a $10 fee each time you are required to appear for a court hearing, plus mileage reimbursement. To collect fees, present your subpoena after each court hearing to the criminal Department on the third floor of the courthouse. A check will be mailed to you.

What if I am threatened as a witness?

Any attempt to prevent or dissuade a witness form testifying is a violation of the law. Report any such incident immediately to the police and the prosecuting attorney.

Should I talk to the defense attorney?

This is strictly your decision.

What if I change my mind and do not want to prosecute or testify?

A crime committed against any person is a crime against the state, and once a Complaint or Information is filed, it becomes the State’s case. If you are reluctant about testifying in a case, please discuss your concerns with the prosecutor handling your case or the Victim Assistance Unit.

Will I be compensated for losses I have suffered as a result of being a victim of a crime?

Check with your insurance company. Your policy may cover personal injury or property loss due to a crime. If you were a victim of a violent crime, you might be eligible for compensation under the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Law. We will assist you in securing the form necessary to apply for compensation. In addition, if a person is convicted and sentenced, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution, that is, to pay for the costs of your injuries or damages. For that reason, you need to document all financial losses.

When will I get my property back?

All property will be released as soon as possible; however, each case is different, and sometimes the property might need to be held until after the trial. Discuss the question with the prosecutor handling your case or the Victim Assistance Unit.

As a victim, will I be notified of all the defendant’s court hearings?

You will be subpoenaed at all hearings where your testimony is needed. Even if you are not subpoenaed for the preliminary hearing or trial, you will still be notified of them. In addition, you will be notified of the defendant’s sentencing. All other court proceedings are held in open court. You may attend any or all of the defendant’s hearings.

If I get a rape kit, or sexual assault exam done at a hospital, who pays that bill?

If a sexual assault occurs and a rape kit is done by a hospital, the bill to that service can be paid by the District Attorney’s Office under K.S.A 65-448. The hospital or ER should send this bill directly to the DA’s office, but if you, as the victim of the crime, receive the bill, please send it to the District Attorney’s Office for payment.