Crime Victim Rights Division
Unfortunately, almost all of us have either been a victim of a crime or know someone who has been a crime victim. Our victim rights coordinator working with our prosecutors, attempts to make what can otherwise be a very traumatic and unpleasant experience for victims a little bit easier to understand and get through.
Victims of all felony offenses, serious misdemeanor offenses and serious juvenile offenses are entitled to victim rights.
Article I, Section 24 of the Michigan Constitution and the Michigan Crime Victim Rights Act give crime victims the right to:
- Be treated throughout the criminal justice process with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy
- Timely disposition of the case following arrest of the accused
- Receive an explanation of court procedures
- Reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal justice process, including having a waiting area separate from the defendant and the defendant’s relatives and witnesses (if practical), and to receive an explanation of procedures to follow if threatened or intimidated by the defendant
- Be free from threats or acts of discharge from your employer because you are subpoenaed or requested by the prosecutor to testify in court
- Consult with the prosecutor to give your views about the disposition of the case
Right to Notice
Crime victims also have the right to notice of:
- Emergency and medical services from the investigating police agency
- The name of the person in the prosecutor’s office with information about your case
- All scheduled court proceedings, including sentencing
- Victim compensation benefits and the address of the Crime Victim’s Compensation Services, and an explanation of eligibility requirements for compensation funds
- Trial and other court proceedings that the accused has a right to attend (except possible sequestration during a trial before you testify)
A crime victim may also:
- Confer with the prosecutor before trial and before the jury is selected
- Make an oral statement to the pre-sentence investigator, or to have a written impact statement included in the pre-sentence investigation report
- Make an oral statement to the judge at the time of sentencing
- Receive restitution
- Receive information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused
- Receive an explanation of the appeal process, to be advised if the accused has been released on an appeal bond, to be advised of the time and place of appellate court proceedings and to be advised of the result of the appeal
To help a victim understand the criminal justice process better, there is a trained staff member in the prosecutor’s office who supports and assists victims of crime whenever possible.
Staff can inform you of your rights as a victim, inform you about the Michigan Victim Compensation Fund, aid you in seeking restitution for your losses, answer your questions concerning crime victims, orient you to the courtroom layout and accompany you to court if requested, and refer you to local, state, and national crime victim resources, especially local counseling agencies and support groups.
You may qualify for reimbursement of certain expenses through Crime Victim Compensation. This program may help pay out–of-pocket medical expenses, lost earnings, funeral bills, counseling, or other expenses if you have been harmed as the direct result of a crime. To apply, please download the Crime Victim Compensation Application, complete, and submit according to the instructions on the form.
If you have been served with a subpoena on behalf of the prosecutor’s office, call the telephone number listed in the subpoena after 5:00 p.m. the night before you are scheduled to be in court. A tape recording will announce if witnesses are still needed in court on the case the following day. This will help avoid an unnecessary trip to the courthouse. Even though you may not be needed as a witness, the case may still proceed, so check with the Crime Victim Coordinator to see if there is something still happening in court with your case.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Victim Rights Coordinator, Heather Rowe, at (231) 873-6751.
Contact the Prosecuting AttorneyStaff
Joseph Bizon Prosecutor
Kevin C. Harrington II Chief Assistant Prosecutor
Heather Rowe Office Manager / Crime Victim Coordinator
Jane Glerum Child Support Specialist
Michelle Gerard Legal Secretary
Main Phone: (231) 873-4608
Oceana County Prosecutor
100 S. State Street, Suite L-14
Hart, MI 49420