If you have been a victim of or witness to a crime,
where do you turn for information and support?
Victim Assistance Programs
Carroll County: 770-830-2171
Coweta County: 770-254-7300
Heard County: 706-675-0955
Meriwether County: 706-672-1302
Troup County: 706-298-3708
Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
The Victim Assistance Program Offices are located in each of the District Attorney's Offices throughout the Coweta Judicial Circuit. Linda Tipton, the program director, can be reached at 770/254-7350.
A MESSAGE FROM THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
The Criminal Justice System should do more than provide justice to criminals. It should provide justice to crime victims as well. It is a frightening experience to be the victim or a witness to a crime. You often feel violated by the intrusion into your life and are left with feelings of anger and pain. Victims and witnesses look to the criminal justice system for vindication and justice, but all too often find a system which appears to be dedicated to the protection of the criminal.
Through our Victim Assistance Program, we are attempting to provide some of the rights which the legal system denies to victims and witnesses of crime. We are here to answer questions, to keep you informed, to provide referrals to counseling and support groups, and to provide personal assistance when possible.
If you are a victim of crime, or a witness to one, your assistance and cooperation with the prosecution are vital if we are to do our job effectively. No criminal can be punished without the help of witnesses.
We recognize that you may be unfamiliar with court procedures and that the court system can be frustrating and confusing. To help answer your questions and provide support during the court process, I encourage you to contact our Victim Assistance Program.
The District Attorney's Office is required by law to provide the defense attorney with names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses for the state. The defense attorney
may contact you to discuss what you know about the case. If this happens, you have the right to choose whether or not you will talk to the defense attorney or someone representing his office. You also have the right to have someone from the District Attorney's Office or your personal attorney present at the interview.
I encourage you to contact our Victim Assistance Program at any time. We are here to serve you.
With kindest regards,
Peter J. Skandalakis
District Attorney -
Coweta Judicial Circuit
Your Rights and Duties
Facts about the Criminal Justice System
SERVICES OF THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:
The following services are free of charge to crime victims and witnesses:
- INFORMATION about the status of your court case via letters and phone calls.
- NOTICE of court proceedings, including changes.
- INFORMATION and explanation about criminal proceedings.
- ORIENTATION to the courtroom setting.
- COMPANION to attend court with you and provide emotional support.
- ASSISTANCE applying for financial compensation for victims of violent crime.
- EMPLOYER INTERVENTION to explain time missed from work due to required court appearances.
- PRIVATE WAITING AREA prior to your court appearance.
- AID in retrieving stolen items that are being held as evidence.
- ASSISTANCE if you are intimidated, harassed or afraid.
- ADVOCACY AND SUPPORT with any problems that you may be having as a result of the crime itself or court appearances.
- REFERRAL to social service agencies, counselors and others who can assist you with personal problems.
IF YOU ARE A WITNESS
If you receive a subpoena to appear in court, you are required by law to attend. Remember your cooperation is very important to the prosecution of the person accused of the crime. Unfortunately, court hearings are often postponed for any number of reasons.
If there are special reasons you are unable to appear in court on the date you have been subpoenaed, please call the Victim Assistance Program immediately and we will work with the Assistant District Attorney and court staff in trying to make arrangements to change the date of your appearance.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM
No one expects to be a victim of crime. But it happens.
One American household in three is victimized by serious crime every year.
If you or someone close to you is affected by crime, you may be shocked, angered, or shamed. And you may feel helpless and confused.
The criminal justice system has traditionally ignored the special needs of victims while concentrating on protecting the rights of the accused. But the tide is changing.
The Victim Assistance Program is here to offer crime victims emotional support during the aftermath of crime and guidance through the maze of the criminal justice system.
A VICTIM'S BILL OF RIGHTS
Victims have a right:
…to be treated with dignity and compassion
…to be protected from intimidation and harm
…to be informed about the criminal justice system
…to be informed of agencies which can assist them
…to be informed of financial compensation
If you are a victim of a violent (not property) crime, you may be eligible for victim compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical, counseling, lost wages, and funeral costs. You must apply within one year after the crime. There does not have to be an arrest in the case to apply for compensation. Call the Victim Assistance Program in your county of residence for details.