The Knox County Prosecutor’s Office wish to make the experience of crime victims with the criminal justice system as comfortable and understandable as possible. For this reason, the Knox County Victim Assistance Program was created.
The mission of the Victim Assistance Program is to provide crime victims with the information and emotional support necessary to make their way through the process of seeking justice. Our services are free of charge, confidential, and provided only at the victim’s request.
The Victim Assistance Program works to ensure that victims’ rights are enforced and protected. As a part of this work, we make every effort to personally and promptly inform interested victims about charges filed, hearings scheduled and the outcome of those hearings.
of the date, time and place of all hearings.
of the results of all court proceedings, including convictions, dismissals, sentences, appeals and early release hearings.
to complete a victim impact statement regarding how the crime has affected them, physically, financially and emotionally.
to make a statement at sentencing about the impact of the crime.
A court hearing at which the defendant (the person charged with the crime) is informed of the charges and of constitutional rights. Bond is also set. It is not necessary for the victim to be present.
A hearing, much like a trial, at which witnesses are called to testify about the crime. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether there is enough evidence to prove the defendant PROBABLY committed the crime charged. This decision is made by the Mount Vernon Municipal Court Judge. If the Judge finds that there is enough evidence, or PROBABLE CAUSE, then the case is bound over to the Knox County Grand Jury.
A secret proceeding in which evidence is presented to nine jurors by the prosecutor to determine which charges, if any, to prosecute. These charges are called an INDICTMENT.
A court appearance at which a defendant pleads either guilty or not guilty to the indictment. Bond will also be set or reexamined. The arraignment usually takes place within 2 weeks after grand jury. On the advice of their attorneys, almost all defendants plead not guilty at the arraignment.
A meeting between the prosecutor and the defense attorney during which the evidence and legal issues are discussed. The possibility of a guilty plea is also discussed.
A trial takes place if the defendant does not plead guilty. A defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by all twelve jurors (or the judge if the defendant chooses not to have a jury trial).
Decided upon by the judge after considering nature of the crime, the background of the defendant and the impact on the victim.
Usually filed only after a trial, a procedure in which legal issues are reviewed to make sure the trial was fair. No witnesses are required.
Notification of court hearings including the date, time, and courtroom.
Information about the progress of the case, including appeals and release hearings.
Support and advocacy throughout the criminal justice process.
Provision of a secure waiting area during court proceedings.
Accompany to court hearings.
Familiarize victims with trial procedures before they testify in court.
If applicable to the case, assistance in the filing of claims for compensation in the Ohio Court of Claims.
Confidential referrals to any appropriate medical, counseling or social service agency.
Provision to elderly crime victims of services appropriate to their special needs.
Assistance in the reasonable return of property being held as evidence by law enforcement agencies.
Assistance in completing victim impact statements.