Criminal Enforcement : Victim and Witness Program

Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect throughout the criminal justice process; and as defined by law, to be informed of and present during public hearings and to confer with the prosecution, to the extent that exercising these rights does not infringe on the constitutional rights of the accused.

The Purpose of the Victim/Witness Program:

  • To provide more consideration and personal attention to victims and witnesses.
  • To sensitize criminal justice professionals, the mass media, and the community to the needs of victims of crime.
  • To assure that victims and witnesses are informed of the progress of the case in which they are involved.
  • To advocate for victims and their families by connecting them with local resources that will aid them in their recovery process.
  • To advise the prosecutor of the victim's feelings and concerns regarding the criminal case to which he or she is assigned.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there someone in the Prosecutor's Office who can answer my questions?

If you have questions about your rights, the court process, or the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund, you may contact the Kokomo Police Department Victim Assistance Program at 765-437-7828. The Coordinator of the Victim/Witness Program can also help you if you need information about your case, information about protective orders, or referrals to community victim service programs.

What if someone threatens me while my case is pending?

It is a crime for anyone to threaten, harass or intimidate you to prevent you from testifying at any court proceeding. If anyone uses force or threatens to harm you or a member of your family, report the threat immediately to your local law enforcement agency and notify the Prosecutor's Office as soon as possible.

What if I want to drop charges?

As a matter of policy, the Prosecutor does not routinely drop charges; therefore, a victim should be certain of his/her actions when pursuing charges. Only the Prosecutor can drop charges against a defendant; however you should let the Prosecutor's Office know if you no longer wish to proceed with the case. While the Prosecutor will take your wishes into consideration, the Prosecutor must also take into consideration the safety of the community and other factors when making a decision to drop charges or proceed with the case.

Protective Orders

A Protective Order is a legal document signed by a judge ordering the respondent to refrain from having any direct or indirect contact with the petitioner. Protective orders are civil matters, but a criminal charge of Invasion of Privacy may be filed when a protective order is violated. Protective orders may be obtained through the County Clerk's Office.

If a criminal charge has been filed by the Prosecutor's Office, the victim may request that the Deputy Prosecutor ask the judge to order a No Contact Order as a condition of bond in the case. A No Contact Order is an order signed by a judge prohibiting the defendant in a criminal case from having any direct or indirect contact with the victim. If an individual violates either a Protective Order or a No Contact Order, the victim should contact the police immediately. Although the violator may be gone by the time the police arrive, victims should still fill out an offense report, in order to keep a record of evidence for future possible charges.

Your Role As A Witness or Victim

You may be contacted by someone (such as a defense attorney) concerning a case. You are free to speak with them, however we strongly recommend that you do not speak with anyone about this matter without a member of our office being present. It is our experience that certain attorneys may threaten to get a court order to make you speak to them. While you can be required to give a statement (called a deposition) under oath, our office has the right to attend the meeting and object to certain questions. Furthermore, it must be at a time and place reasonably convenient to you. Unless we are present, we will not be able to protect your rights and interests in this case. Therefore, it is extremely important that you immediately contact our office should you be contacted by anyone other than law enforcement regarding a case.

Hearing Dates

One date, which the court will set, is called a pre-trial conference. At the pre-trial conference the status of the case is discussed with the Defendant’s attorney and the judge. It is not necessary for you to attend the pre-trial hearing. The judge will set the matter for trial after the pre-trial conference. In most cases, the Defendant will change his plea to guilty before the trial date pursuant to a plea agreement. If you request as a victim or victim's representative request, you may be shown any plea recommendation made to the Defendant. You need to immediately notify us if you wish to see a copy of the plea agreement.

Change of Address

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY OUR OFFICE OF ANY CHANGE IN YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS. You will be kept informed of any major developments in the case as they occur and will be notified of court appearances that you will be required to attend.

Restitution

If you are seeking restitution for damages, lost property, repairs, or other out of pocket expenses as a result of this crime, please submit all receipts or records to Victim Assistance Coordinator within 30 days to our office. If we do not receive any requests within that time, we will not seek restitution.