Muscogee County Sheriff's Office

Your Rights as a Victim

The Georgia General Assembly by statue (O.C.G.A. Title 17, Chapter 17) declares that victims of crime should be accorded certain basic rights, including:

You have the Right to:

  • Not to be excluded from any scheduled court proceeding, except as provided or required.
  • To be heard at any scheduled court proceeding involving the release, plea, or sentencing of the accused.
  • To file a written objection in any parole proceeding involving the accused.
  • To confer with the prosecuting attorney in any criminal prosecution related to the victim.
  • To restitution and compensation as provided by law and when applicable.
  • To proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  • To be treated fairly and with dignity by all criminal justice agencies involved in the case.
  • To agree or refuse to be interviewed by the accused, the accused’s attorney, or anyone representing the accused.
  • To set the conditions of any interview agreed to by you, such as time, date, location, those to be present, security arrangements, recordation, termination at any point or refusal to answer any question during the interview.
  • To return of your property seized during the investigation as provided by statute and when authorized for release by the prosecuting attorney.
  • To a separate waiting area at court proceedings if practical and available.
  • To request defense counsel not disclose victim information to the accused.

You have the Right to be Notified of:

  • The reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any scheduled court proceedings or any changes to such proceedings.
  • The reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of the arrest, release, or escape of the accused.
  • The notification of accused’s motion for new trial, appeal, release on bail or recognizance, appellate proceedings and outcome, and impending parole or consideration of parole.

Your Responsibilities:

It is the RESPONSIBILITY of the victim who desires to be notified under any notification statute to keep the following people and agencies informed of your current address and telephone numbers:

  • The investigating law enforcement agency
  • The prosecuting attorney/victim advocate
  • The Georgia Office of Victim Services (for state incarceration, probation, and parole)

The Victim-Witness office can assist you by contacting other agencies to provide your current contact information. You can rely updated information via phone at 706 - 653 - 4426 or by email at victimwitness@columbusga.org.

Crime Victim Compensation Program

If you are a victim of violent crime, the state of Georgia’s Crime Victims Compensation program may be able to assist with related expenses. Once eligibility is determined, this reimbursement program can cover medical and dental costs, counseling needs, loss of economic support, funeral expenses, and crime scene sanitation expenses.

Who Is Eligible for Victim Compensation?

Compensation may be available to crime victims, their next of kin, witnesses of violent crime, or to the person who pays an eligible bill incurred from a violent crime. Violent crimes include but are not limited to:

  • Assault / Battery
  • Homicide, Homicide by Vehicle
  • Sexual Offenses
  • Child Molestation
  • Cruelty to Children
  • Human Trafficking
  • Family Violence
  • DUI Crashes
  • Hit and Run

What Compensation is Avaliable?
You are eligible for the following categories of compensation:

  • Medical and Dental Expenses
  • Counseling Expenses
  • Funeral Expenses
  • Economic Loss
  • Crime Scene Sanitization
  • DUI Memorial Sign

TOTAL AWARD ALLOWABLE IS $25,000. To apply, contact the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program at 706 - 653 - 4426 and ask for the Compensation Specialist. Or you can go directly to the program website for more information on compensation http://crimevictimscomp.ga.gov/for-victims/