Crime takes many forms and is classified by law into infractions, misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are more severe crimes and carry harsher penalties for the offender and usually greater injury to the victim. Crime victims suffer physical injury, emotional trauma, financial loss, or a combination of all three. While some victims suffer minimal injury or damage, other victims experience devastating harm, requiring lengthy, expensive recoveries. In many cases, the victims suffer from a substantial loss of their quality of life. Victims of crime can be of any age, race, or gender, wealthy or poor, educated or uneducated—no one is exempt. The only common denominator for all crime victims is that a law was broken and personal and/or emotional injury or loss of some type was the result.
It is the duty of the Prosecuting Attorney to determine what, if any, crime should be charged after receipt of a report from law enforcement. The Prosecuting Attorney represents the people of Indiana. Thus, the victim of a crime does not have the responsibility to “press charges.” Similarly, the victim of a crime does not have the authority to “drop” criminal charges. The victim of the crime has the right to confer with the Prosecuting Attorney, to make statements to the Judge and to participate in the criminal justice system within statutory guidelines. The victim of the crime does not have the right to determine the prosecution of the case.
Once a criminal case is filed, the victim, and/or person who made a complaint can and will likely be called upon to serve as the prosecutor’s primary witness in the case.
Have you been the victim of a crime?
We want to help you! Crime victims suffer beyond the events of the crime itself. Most victims are in a state of uncertainly and have many questions. As a crime victim, you have various rights. You have the right to be protected. You are entitled to know the status of the case as it proceeds through the court. You have a right to meet with the prosecutor handling your case. Our office will seek an order of restitution requiring the offender to pay you for the damages caused. You are entitled to make a statement to the court at sentencing as well. Deatra Peterson is the victim advocate for the Adams County Prosecutor's Office. Please contact her with any questions or comments about your case. You can reach her by phone at (260) 724-5339 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to schedule an appointment as well. Please do not allow your questions to go unanswered.
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