Victim's Rights Print

Victims of crime in Ohio have rights under Section 2930 of the Ohio Revised Code. Below is a summary of those rights afforded to crime victims in Ohio.

Eligibility For These Rights and For What Crimes

A victim or their designated family member is eligible for these rights if the crime is a felony of either property or violence or is a misdemeanor crime of: domestic violence, assault, vehicular homicide or manslaughter, sexual imposition, menancing by stalking, menancing, aggravated menacing, drunk driving or intimidation of a crime victim or witness. If any of the previously listed crimes was committed by a juvenile, the victims are eligible for rights in similar procedings in Juvenile Court. Notices to victims may be made orally or in written form. If the victim would like notification, it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to keep their address or phone number current with authorities. A judge may limit these rights if the victim is an inmate.

Notices to Victims That Are Required

Law enforcement and prosecutors must promptly give certain information, including available victim’s rights, assistance, victim’s compensation, and protective order informationLaw enforcement must provide contact information of investigator and prosecutor, notice of an arrest, name of defendant or alleged juvenile offender, eligibility for accused pre-trial release, the victim’s right to know if the accused has been arrested or released and to know of the right to be free from intimidation.

Prosecutors must, “to the extent practicable,” confer with the victim or designated representative before a plea bargain, amendment, dismissal or trial. Judges must note on the record any known time a prosecutor fails to confer and the prosecutor’s reason.

If the Juvenile Court amends, dismisses, grants diversion or has an adjudicatory hearing on a case prior to the prosecutor’s involvement, the Court “shall notify the victim” of the action the court will take.

A Court shall not dismiss charges or juvenile complaints solely at the request of the victim and over the objections of the prosecutor.

 Prosecutors (or designee) also must, to the extent practicable, inform victims of the name of the accused, charge, case number, procedural steps, victim’s right to attend all proceedings, summary of rights, intimidation response procedures, person and phone contact, need to request notices and the right to select a representative to receive these notices on the victim’s behalf, and notify all victims of misdemeanor crimes of their right to make an oral or written victim impact statement

Required Notices If Requested by a Victim

The Prosecutor, or Court if it is a delinquency hearing without a prosecutor, must notify the victim of:

 1) All court proceedings and changes to those proceedings or to the schedule in the case, including date, time and location;

 2) Acquittal or convictionIf convicted, then notified of:

    A) crimes convicted of;

    B) phone number and address of  probation office or person preparing pre-sentence investigation (PSI);

    C) right of the victim to make a statement as part of the PSI. Judge may show the victim’s statement to the defendant;

    D)  the date, time and place of sentencing, and the right to speak at sentencing;

    E)  the sentence and any change of the sentence;

 3) An appeal being filed and information on:

    A) the appeal process;

    B) the release of defendant;

    C) time and place of appeal; &

    D) results of the appeal. 

Victims who requested any other notifications must also be notified of:

A) incarceration of the accused or any commitment of the juvenile;

B) the likely release date;

C) the contact information of the custodial agency and its victim services;

D) automatice notices of any actions the release authority takes and all judicial release or sentence modification hearings

Revoking Bond or Release

If a defendant or an alleged juvenile offender is released on bond or personal recognizance, and the victim or victim’s family has been harmed or threatened, then the victim may request the prosecutor to motion for the court to reconsider bond or release conditions.

Confidentiality

      1)   Prosecutor may motion for the Court to suppress victim or victim representative identifying information if there are reasonable grounds to fear from threats or violence. The “court shall hold” the recorded hearing in chambers.

     2)   The Court may suppress victim information from files, except when determining the location of the crime or delinquent act, and seal the transcript of the hearing.

Speedy Prosecutions

If practical, the prosecutor must inform each victim who requested notices of any possible delays, and if the victim objects, the prosecutor must inform the judge and the judge must consider the victims’ concerns before approving delays.

Victim Presence at Proceedings

Victims may attend any hearing the defendant or alleged juvenile offender is present (except Grand Jury), unless the judge rules exclusion of the victim or victim representative is necessary to guarantee a fair trial or proceeding.

Support Person

At a victim's request, the judge must permit a support person to accompany the victim unless the judge rules this will cause an unfair trial or delinquency proceeding.

Separate Waiting Areas

The court must attempt to minimize unwanted contacts between victims and the accused. The court must attempt to provide a separate victim waiting area from the accused.

Property Return

Law enforcement must promptly return property to the victim unless it is contraband, ownership is disputed, prosecutor certifies it must be kept instead of photographed or the judge promptly rules evidentiary value to defendant or alleged juvenile offender is greater than the victims need for the property. 

Impact Statement

Victims may make a written or oral statement for the victims section of any Disposition Information Report (DIP) or Pre (or Post) -Sentence Investigation (PSI) that a judge orders. The victim’s statement must be included as part of a Victim Impact Statement, and if requested by the victim, the victim’s written statement must be included in the DIP or PSI.

Victim Impact Statements may include physical, psychological and emotional harm, property damage or economic losses, restitution needs, and the victim’s opinion on sentencing/disposition. 

Before sentencing of an adult in all felony and misdemeanor crimes or disposition of an alleged juvenile offender, the judge must permit a statement from the victim. The judge may give a copy of any written statement to defendant or juvenile and their attorney and give the victim and prosecutor any written statement by the offender or juvenile.

The judge may redact irrelevant information. Written statements are not public record and must be returned to the court immediately after the hearing. New information may require a response from the defendant or juvenile.

Before a release hearing from prison or Dept. of Youth Services (DYS), the judge must permit and consider a victim’s statement and, if  statement is written, a copy given the defendant or juvenile, DYS or adult parole authority

Employee Protections

Employers cannot punish victims for preparing for or attending hearings at the prosecutor's request or by subpoena. Violation is contempt of court.

Early Release | Transitional Control

If a victim requests, the agency having custody must notify the victim THREE WEEKS prior to: Adult Parole Authority recommends or holds an early release hearing, and, in some cases, to testify at a full board hearing; furlough is granted, and furlough pendency, for work, training, education or to arrange employment (notice "as soon as practical" to visit a dying relative or go to a funeral); release on, and pendency of electronic monitoring. Simultaneous with the notifications for the above, the victim must be informed of the right to submit an impact statement. Promptly if: escaped or absent and of recapture, if defendant dies, and any other release and conditions of release.