TEXAS CRIME VICTIM’S BILL OF RIGHTS:

A victim of a crime is: (1) a person who is the victim of the offense of sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of person, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual or who has suffered personal injury or death as a result of the criminal conduct of another (2) the close relative (spouse, parent, or adult brother, sister or child) of a deceased victim, or (3) the guardian of a victim. As a victim of violent crime, close relative of a deceased victim, or guardian of a victim, you have the following rights:


ARTICLE 56.02, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure – Crime Victims’ Rights

  1. The right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts.
  2. The right to have the magistrate take the safety of the victim or his family into consideration as an element in fixing the amount of bail for the accused.
  3. The right, if requested, to be informed by the attorney representing the state of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed if those court proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled prior to the event; and the right to be informed, if requested, by an appellate court of decisions of the court, after the decisions are entered but before they are made public.
  4. The right to be informed, when requested, by a peace officer concerning the defendant’s right to bail and the procedures in criminal investigations and by the district attorney’s office concerning the general procedures in the criminal justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and parole process.
  5. The right to provide pertinent information to a probation department conducting a pre-sentencing investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and his family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner prior to any sentencing of the offender.
  6. The right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by the Crime Victims Compensation Act (Chapter 56 of the Code of Criminal Procedure), including information related to the costs that may be compensated under that Act and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that Act, the payment for a medical examination under article 56.06 of this code for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, to referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance.
  7. The right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole proceedings concerning the defendant in the victim’s case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant’s file information to be considered by the board prior to the parole of any defendant convicted of any crime subject to this Act, and to be notified, if requested, of the defendant’s release.
  8. The right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the offender and relatives of the offender, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim’s contact with the offender and the offender’s relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings.
  9. The right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for that purpose.
  10. The right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim’s cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause.
  11. The right to request victim-offender mediation coordinated through the victim services division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  12. The right to be informed of the uses of a Victim Impact Statement, and it’s purposes in the criminal justice system, to complete the victim impact statement, and to have the victim impact statement considered by the prosecutor and judge before sentencing and before a plea agreement is accepted, as well as by the Board of Pardons & Paroles before an inmate is released on parole.
  13. For a victim of an assault or sexual assault who is younger than 17 years of age or whose case involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code, the right to have the court consider the impact on the victim of a continuance requested by the defendant; if requested by the prosecutor or by counsel for defendant, the court shall state on the record the reason for granting or denying the continuance.
  14. If the offense is a capital felony, the right to: (A) receive by mail from the court a written explanation of defense-initiated victim outreach (DIVO) if the court has authorized expenditures for a DIVO specialist; (B) not be contacted by the DIVO specialist unless the victim has consented to the contact by providing written notice to the court; and (C) designate a victim service provider to receive all communications from a DIVO specialist acting on behalf of any person.
  15. The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in the case.
  16. The right to privacy-as far as is reasonably practical, the address of the victim may not be part of the court file except as necessary to identify the place of the crime. The phone number of the victim may not be a part of the court file.

ARTICLE 56.021, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure – Rights of Victims’ of Sexual Assault

In addition to the rights enumerated in Article 56.02, if the offense is a sexual assault, the victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:

  1. If requested, the right to a disclosure of information regarding any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the offense, unless disclosing the information would interfere with the investigation or prosecution of the offence, in which event the victim shall be informed of the estimated date on which that information is expected to be disclosed.
  2. If requested, the right to a disclosure of information regarding the status of any analysis being performed of any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the offense.
  3. If requested, the right to be notified: (A) at the time a request is submitted to a crime laboratory to process and analyze any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the offense; (B) at the time of the submission of a request to compare any biological evidence collected during the investigation of the offense with DNA profiles maintained in a state or federal DNA database; and (C) of the results of the comparison described by paragraph (B), unless disclosing the results would interfere with the investigation or prosecution of the offense, in which event the victim shall be informed of the estimated date on which those results are expected to be disclosed.
  4. The right to counseling, on request, regarding AIDS and HIV infection for AIDS and HIV related infections.
  5. For the victim of the offense, testing for AIDS, HIV infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS.
  6. To the extent provided by Article 56.06(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, for a victim of the offense, the right to a forensic medical examination if, within 96 hours of the assault, the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or a forensic medical examination is otherwise conducted at a health care facility. Cost of exam will be paid by law enforcement.
  7. A victim, guardian, or relative who requests to be notified under number 3 of this Article must provide a current address and phone number to the attorney representing the state and the law enforcement agency that is investigating the offense. The victim, guardian or relative must inform the attorney representing the state and the law enforcement agency of any change in the address or phone number.
  8. A victim, guardian, or relative may designate a person, including an entity that provides services to victims of sexual assault, to receive any notice requested under number 3 of this Article.