Crime Victim Rights

Minnesota law provides for the following rights for crime victims.

The right to be notified of:

  • Their rights as a victim.
  • Prosecution process and their right to participate.
  • Content of any plea bargain agreements.
  • 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, and the right to be notified of the final disposition.
  • Sentence modifications for the offender, including the date, time and location of the review.
  • Release, transfer, or escape of the offender from prison or custodial institution.
  • Offender’s petition for expungement.
  • Information on the nearest crime victim assistance program or resource.
  • Filing of a civil commitment petition and the outcome.

Participation in Prosecution

  • Request a speedy trial.
  • Provide input in a pretrial diversion decision.
  • Be present at the sentencing and plea presentation hearings.
  • Object orally or in writing to a plea agreement at the 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 (Victim Impact Statement).
  • Inform the court at the sentencing hearing of social and economic impact of crime on persons and businesses in the community.
  • Submit statement regarding decision to discharge/release an offender from civil commitment.
  • Bring a supportive person to court hearings.
  • Attend hearings.
  • Request a probation review hearing if restitution is not paid as ordered.

Protection from Harm

  • Right to a secure waiting area during court proceedings.
  • Right to request address and other information be withheld in open court.
  • Right to request law enforcement withhold his/her identity from the public.
  • Tampering with a witness is a crime and should be reported.
  • Employers may not discipline or dismiss victims or witnesses who are called to testify in court.

Financial Assistance

  • 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 as a result of a violent crime.
  • Victims may request the court to order the defendant to pay restitution if the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty.
  • Victims may request a probation violate hearing prior to the expiration of probation if restitution has not been paid as ordered.

Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Harassment

  • Right to be informed of prosecutor’s decision to decline prosecution or dismiss case along with information about seeking a protective or harassment order at no fee.
  • Protection against employer retaliation for victims who take reasonable time off to attend Order for Protection or Harassment Restraining Order proceedings.
  • Domestic abuse victims have the ability to terminate lease without penalty or payment.
  • Sexual assault victims can make a confidential request for HIV testing of an offender if offender is found delinquent.
  • Sexual assault victims are not required 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.