Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to come to court?
As the victim or witness to a crime committed by an adult offender, you have the right to be at any hearing. You are not obligated to come to court unless you receive a subpoena. Many juvenile hearings are closed and you should your Victim/Witness Coordinator whether you may attend. The Coordinator will be happy to accompany you to the courtroom and explain the proceedings if you wish.
Can I testify by video? I really don't want to come into the courtroom with the offender.
Video testimony is acceptable only in rare occasions in juvenile or criminal proceedings. The constitutions of the United States and State of Minnesota guarantee each defendant the right to face their accusers. Your Victim/Witness Coordinator will do everything possible to prepare you for your experience on the witness stand and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
I'm afraid the offender will want to retaliate against me or my family members.
The County Attorney can request that a no contact order be issued as a condition of the defendant's release. In cases of domestic abuse or sexual assaults, the County Attorney can request a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) as a condition of the defendant's release. In addition, you can get help in obtaining an Order for Protection or Harassment Restraining Order through the HOPE Center. Any violations of these orders should be reported to the police.
How do I know if the offender is still in custody?
There are a number of ways to track offenders who may be in custody. You will need the name of the defendant and a date of birth is also helpful.
If the offender is in custody in a State prison, information may be accessed through Minnesota Department of Corrections website.
If the offender is in custody in a county jail, you may be able to track that offender using VINE, an automated system that will track offenders in MOST county jails. Information is available through their website or by calling 1-877-MN-4-VINE (1-877-664-8463).
Can anyone help me with expenses related to this crime?
There are several resources available for financial assistance. The Victim/Witness Coordinator can help you sort out which is best for you. Emergency funds may be available on a limited basis to help with emergencies not covered by insurance or other sources. The State of Minnesota also has funds available through Reparations to assist victims of crime with medical, dental, psychological or funeral expenses related to a crime.
How long until I get my restitution?
Restitution for both juvenile and adult offenders is paid on a schedule arranged by the supervising probation officer. You may speak to the probation officer by calling (507) 332-6106 and asking to speak with the person who is supervising the offender. You also have the right to request that a review hearing be scheduled if you are not satisfied with the rate of payment. This will not guarantee payment or any change. It will simply be a request for the Court to review the defendant's efforts at complying with the Court's Order.
How do I obtain a police report?
Many victims would like to receive a copy of the police reports but many victims face difficulties in obtaining them. Please contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator if you would like to request a copy of the police reports.
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