The Victim Witness Unit of the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office serves victims and witnesses of crime in accordance with the entitlements and services mandated by the Massachusetts Bill of Rights (M.G.L c. 258 B)www.malegislature.gov
Rights of Victims and Witnesses
Highlighted below are some of the rights that are available to you as a victim or witness.
- You have the right to receive information about the case in which you are a victim or a witness and to be updated on significant developments in the case.
- You have the right to be notified, in a timely manner, of any changes in the scheduling of a court event.
- You have the right to be present at all court proceedings unless otherwise determined by the court.
- You have the right to confer with the prosecution before the disposition of your case.
- You have the right to present a Victim Impact Statement to the court upon disposition of your case.
- You have the right to request restitution for out of pocket losses incurred as a direct result of the crime in which you are a victim. In order to make such a request you must provide the court with documentation of your out of pocket expenses.
Victim Witness Services
- Advocate and assist victims and witnesses through the court process
- Provide information and support
- Help reduce the level of secondary injury associated with the aftermath of crime.
- Provide services to family members of child victims and homicide victims.
- Coordinate with local law enforcement officials regarding protection from harm or threatened harm due to your cooperation with law enforcement and the prosecution of the case
- Provide secure waiting areas where available
- Assist in property return
- Offer support and assistance when applying for a Restraining Order (209A) or a No Harassment Order (258E)
- Assist victims and their families in finding resources available to them within and outside of the office that will best meet their individual needs.
- Provide assistance in the Post-conviction process including violations of probation, sentence appeals, case appeals and parole hearings
If you are a victim or a witness and you need assistance or further information regarding your rights, please contact your Victim Witness Advocate or the court in which your case is being prosecuted. In order to keep you informed of the rights and services available to you as a victim or a witness of a crime, it is very important that we have a current address and telephone number where you can be reached. Notify us immediately of any changes in your contact information.
If You are Summoned to Court:
A summons or subpoena is a court order directing you to appear in court at a stated time and place. If you receive a summons please do the following:
- Call the District Attorney’s office prior to your court appearance at the telephone number indicated on your summons.
- Provide the Victim Witness Advocate with an accurate telephone number to reach you.
- Dress appropriately as the courtroom is a formal setting.
- Please be on time.
- Plan ahead and make any necessary childcare arrangements as the matter could take all day.
- Bring the summons with you when you appear on the required day.
- Report to the Victim Witness Advocate in the courthouse who will then direct you to the appropriate courtroom.
- Advise your Victim Witness Advocate if you need documentation to verify your required court appearance for your school or employer.
Your court appearance is important and appreciated by the Hampden District Attorney’s Office.
- Aftermath of Crime
- MOVA (Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance)
- 209A vs. 258E chart
- 51A Form
- Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- DCF Area Offices (Broken down by regional and area offices)
- Family Advocacy Center
- Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
- Massachusetts Children’s Alliance
- MSPCC (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
- Community Legal Aid (formerly known as WMLS)
Post-Conviction Victim Service Resources
- Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB)
Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS)
Formerly the Criminal History Systems Board
- Department of Youth Services
- Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
- Massachusetts Department of Correction
(978) 369-3618 | (866) 6-VICTIM
- Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance
- Massachusetts Parole Board
- Office of the Attorney General
- Springfield Office of the Attorney General