Oklahoma Crime Victims' Bill of Rights
The District Attorney's Office shall inform the victims and witnesses of crimes of the following rights:
1. To be notified that a court proceeding to which a victim or witness has been subpoenaed will or will not go on as scheduled, in order to save the person an unnecessary trip to court;
2. To receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of their cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and to be provided with information as to the level of protection available and how to access protection;
3. To be informed of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a witness or a crime victim, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services;
4. To be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive any witness fee to which the victim or witness is entitled;
5. To be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive restitution to which the victim is entitled;
6. To be provided, whenever possible, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require close proximity to defendants and families and friends of the defendant;
7. To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned when no longer needed as evidence. If feasible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis and property the ownership of which is disputed, shall be returned to the person;
8. To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers of victims and witnesses will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize an employee's loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances;
9. To have all the family members of all homicide victims afforded all of the services under this section, whether or not the person is to be a witness in any criminal proceedings; Guide to Survival Booklet
10. To be informed of any plea bargain negotiations;
11. To have victim impact statements filed with the judgement and sentence; Guide to Victim Impact Statements
12. To be informed if a sentence is overturned, remanded for a new trial or otherwise modified by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals; Victim Notification Request;
13. To be informed in writing of all statutory rights;
14. To be informed that when a family member is required to be a witness by a subpoena from the defense, there must be a showing that the witness can provide relevant testimony as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant before the witness may be excluded from the proceeding by invoking the rule to remove potential witnesses;
15. To be informed that the Oklahoma Constitution allows, upon the recommendation of the Pardon and Parole Board and the approval of the Governor, the commutation of any sentence, including a sentence of life without parole;
16. To receive written notification of how to access victim rights information from the interviewing officer or investigating detective; and
17. To a speedy disposition of the charges free from unwarranted delay caused by or at the behest of the defendant or minor. In determining a date for any criminal trial or other important criminal or juvenile justice hearing.
Title 21, Oklahoma Statutes, Section 142A-2
A Guide to Victim Impact Statements
Upon the conviction, or plea of guilty of a defendant, a victim impact statement is an opportunity for the victim of a crime to voice their opinion to the Court. In the case of a homicide, the victim's family members may submit an impact statement. This is your opportunity to tell the Judge how this crime has affected your life.
As a victim of crime, or homicide victim family member, it is your right to have a victim impact statement submitted to the court and included with the judgement and sentence. This statement will also be sent to the Department of Corrections and Pardon and Parole Board. This statement will become part of the public record.
According to recent Court of Criminal Appeals' decisions, a victim impact statement may include some personal characteristics of the victim, as well as how the crime has affected your life:
3) physically, and
The impact statement must be written by the victim, or members of the victim's immediate family. In April, 1997, a murder case was reversed based on the victim impact statement. The Court of Criminal Appeals established guidelines regarding these statements. Victim impact statements must not be too "inflammatory."
In order to comply with these guidelines, it is necessary that all victim impact statements be submitted to the District Attorney's Office at least 15 days prior to sentencing. Our office will review the statement.
Please submit your victim impact statement to:
Tulsa County District Attorney
500 S. Denver Ave. Suite 800
Tulsa, OK 74103
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Victim Witness Center, or the Assistant District Attorney handling your case.