Crime Victim Assistance
The Crime Victims' Assistance personnel have the mission and responsibility to treat crime victims with dignity, compassion and respect while providing services related to their need resulting from victimization and interaction with the criminal justice system.
To simplify: "We just want to do right by the victim."
This is mandated by the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 56.04.
Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office:
- Offers immediate assistance to victims of crime involved in "criminally injurious conduct, attempted or occurred"
- Provides written information on victims' rights
- Makes available applications for emergency assistance
- Offers referrals to community service agencies
- Receive adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts.
- Have their safety considered by the magistrate when setting bail.
- Receive information, on request, from a peace officer about the defendant's right to bail and progress of the investigation; receive from the prosecutor's office general procedures in the criminal justice system, including plea agreements, restitution, appeals, and parole.
- Provide pertinent information concerning the impact of the crime to the probation department conducting the pre-sentencing investigation.
- Information about the Texas Crime Victim's Compensation Fund; payment for a medical examination for a victim of sexual assault, upon request, referrals to social services agencies that provide other types of assistance.
- Information about parole procedures, notification of parole proceedings and the inmate's release, the right to participate in the parole process.
- The right to submit written information to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant's file for consideration by the Board prior to parole.
- A separate or secure waiting area at all public court proceedings.
- Notification, upon request, to the victims employer by the prosecutor that the need for the victim's testimony may involve the victim's absence from work.
- Testing and counseling, if requested, regarding AIDS and HIV infection for victims of sexual assault.
- Request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the Victim Services Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
- Be informed of the use and purpose of a Victim Impact Statement, complete a Victim Impact Statement. Have the statement considered before sentencing on a plea bargain and before an inmate is released on parole.