La. R.S. 46:1841
Legislative intent: "In
recognition of the civic and moral duty of victims and witnesses of
crime to cooperate fully and voluntarily with law enforcement and
prosecutorial agencies, and in further recognition of the continuing
importance of such citizen cooperation to state and local law
enforcement efforts and the general effectiveness and well-being of
the criminal justice system of this state, the legislature declares
its intent, in this Chapter, to ensure that all victims and witnesses
of crime are treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, and sensitivity,
and that the right extended in this Chapter to victims and witnesses
of crime are honored and protected by the law enforcement agencies,
prosecutors, and judges in a manner no less vigorous than the
protection afforded the criminal defendants."
of Crime Victims and Witnesses
The following is
a synopsis of your rights as provided by Louisiana law if you are a
victim or witness of a felony crime against the person.
- You have the
- You must report
the crime within 72 hours unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- You must designate
a family member to be the contact for minor or homicide victims.
- You must provide
the current address and telephone number of the contact person.
- You must file
a victim/witness notice form with the Department of Public
Safety and Corrections if you wish to be notified of the escape, parole,
or other release of the inmate named in the notice form.
- YOU MUST REQUEST
YOUR RIGHTS to be notified of, to be present at, and to be consulted
during the proceedings.
The family of minors or homicide victims have these
same rights and responsibilities.
Victims of delinquent acts do not have all the rights listed.
Victims of violent delinquent acts, however, now have most of these
A witness is any person who has testified or is expected to
testify for the prosecution. Law
- ensure that you
receive emergency, social, and medical services as soon as possible.
- give you a crime
- give you a victim/witness
You Have Many Rights!
You have the right
to be notified of the arrest of the accused, the right to advance notice
of and the right to be present at all hearings and court proceedings
in the prosecution of the accused. You also have the right not to be
excluded from any portion of a hearing or trial if subpoenaed unless
the court finds your presence prejudicial.
- to be provided
by law enforcement with a private setting when being interviewed.
- to be informed
by the District Attorney as to what you can expect and what is expected
of you and how to get information.
- to be assisted
in informing your employer of the need for you to miss work in order
to cooperate with the prosecution of the case.
- to be informed
as soon as possible of any change affecting your appearance at a proceeding
if you are scheduled to appear.
- to be provided
by the court, whenever possible but always in cases of violent crimes,
with a secure waiting area away from the defendant, his family and
- to have your
attorney confer with the agencies about the prosecution and disposition
of the case.
- to be consulted
by the District Attorney for your view on dismissal, plea bargain,
or sentencing alternatives.
- to be given specific
information about maximum and minimum sentencing and prison terms
prior to the sentencing hearing.
- to make an oral
or written victim impact statement prior to sentencing. This is when
you have the chance to tell how the crime affected and changed your
- to express your
opinion at the sentencing hearing.
- to request restitution
if the defendant is found guilty. Restitution shall be required if
the defendant is placed on probation or parole. It can be paid in
cash or service to the victim or paid to the Crime Victims Reparations
Fund, or performed as community service work. Probation shall be revoked
if the requirements are not met. Restitution can also be required
as a condition of work release.
- to have personal
property returned promptly when no longer needed as evidence.
Once the defendant
has been convicted and becomes an inmate, you have the right to be notified:
- when he is released
- of a pardon or
parole hearing and the right to be present and make written or oral
- immediately of
an escape and within 48 hours of a recapture.
- of the appeal,
discharge or parole.
- of a scheduled
execution. A family member of the victim may be present.
You must request some of these rights - so ask each
agency whenever you are in doubt.
You must give the law enforcement agency (police, sheriff) the
name, address, and phone number for the contact person for the family.
You must file the victim/witness notice form with the
Department of Public Safety and Corrections to be notified of events
once the perpetrator has been sentenced to a prison term.
This information is
not an exact duplication of the statute.