If you are a victim of crime in Pennsylvania, you have the right:
- To be notified of basic information on available services
- To be notified of certain significant actions within the justice system pertaining to your case, including the granting or denial of bail to an adult offender, the detention or release of a juvenile, the filing of a petition alleging delinquency, and the escape and subsequent apprehension of an adult prior to trial or a juvenile prior to adjudication;
- To be accompanied at all proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate or other support person;
- To give prior comment on the sentencing decision regarding an adult offender or the disposition of a delinquent child and to receive help in preparing oral and written victim impact statements detailing the physical, psychological and economic effects of the crime that will be considered by the courts;
- To collect restitution and to receive assistance with preparing, submitting and follow-up with a claim for compensation;
- To be notified of an adult offender’s transfer from a state prison to a mental health facility and the discharge, transfer or escape of the adult offender from that facility;
- To receive immediate notice of the release of an adult offender on bail who is incarcerated in a local prison for a violation of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order or for a personal injury crime committed against the victim protected by the PFA;
- To have property returned that was seized as evidence but is no longer needed for prosecution; and
- To have notice and to provide prior comment on a judicial recommendation that the defendant participate in a motivational boot camp
Victims of personal injury crimes have the additional right:
Victims of personal injury crime committed by a juvenile have the additional right, upon their request:
- To receive notice of the arrest of a suspect or the filing or forwarding of a complaint relating to the crime, including notification in 24 hours or less of a complaint alleging delinquency of a juvenile;
- Upon request, to receive notice when an adult offender is released from incarceration at sentencing;
- To receive notice of the opportunity to give prior comment on and receive post-sentencing decisions involving a release from a state prison, such as work release, furlough, parole, pardon or community treatment center placement;
- To receive notice of and provide prior comment on recommendations sought by the Department of Corrections that an offender participate in a motivational boot camp;
- To receive notice of the release of an adult offender from a local correctional facility including work release, furlough, parole, release from a boot camp or community treatment center placement;
- To receive immediate notice of the escape of an adult offender and subsequent apprehension; and
- Upon request, to receive notice of the filing, hearing or disposition of appeals;
- To receive notice of the commitment to a mental health institution from a state or local correctional institution.
- To receive notice of the termination of the courts’ jurisdiction.
- Victims of crime committed by a juvenile have the additional right:
- To receive prior notice of delinquency hearings and notification of hearings about transfer of a juvenile to and from criminal proceedings; and
- To receive notice of the details of the final disposition of a juvenile’s case.Victims of personal injury/burglary crimes have the additional right:
- To give prior comment on the potential reduction or dropping of charges or any changes of a plea in a criminal or delinquency proceeding, diversion of a case, including an informal adjustment or a consent decree.
- To receive notice prior to the release of a juvenile from residential placement, a shelter facility, or a detention center;
- To be notified and have the opportunity to submit a written objection prior to the transfer or release from a placement facility of a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent when such action is contrary to a previous court order or placement plan approved at a disposition review hearing;
- To be given immediate notice of a juvenile’s escape from residential placement, a shelter facility or a detention center and subsequent apprehension;
- To be given immediate notice of a juvenile’s escape from residential placement, a shelter facility or a detention center and subsequent apprehension; and
- To submit written comment and oral testimony at a disposition review hearing.
For more information or help in understanding these rights, please contact your local Victim/Witness Assistance Program or Juvenile Court Victim/Witness Assistance Program in your county.