The Georgia Crime Victim Bill of Rights is the governing philosophy dealing with victims of and witnesses to a crime. The Gwinnett County Police Department is committed to the development, implementation and perpetuation of the "Victim/Witness Assistance Program" as created and administered through the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office and the State Court Solicitor's Office.
In this regard the Police Department recognizes that:
- Victims and witnesses have a right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and compassion by emergency services, criminal justice personnel, news media, and the general public.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to protection from intimidation and harm.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to be informed concerning the criminal justice process.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to counsel. The Assistant District Attorneys and State Court Solicitors are responsible to protect the interests of victims/witnesses and to explain the case in non-technical terms.
- Victims have a right to restitution for expenses of property loss incurred as the result of a crime (O.C.G.A. 17-15-1). When restitution is ordered, they have a right to have that order enforced.
- Victims have a right to preservation of property and employment.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to due process in criminal court proceedings.
The Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office, the Gwinnett County Solicitor's Office and the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office are the agencies primarily responsible for the delivery of Victim and Witness services in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett County Police Department's primary role in the delivery of Victim and Witness services is as a first responder.
As a first responder and during the preliminary investigation, officers are equipped to provide victims of a crime with a copy of the Victim Rights Notification form. The Notification Form can be downloaded here. It contains the following information:
GWINNETT COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
VICTIM'S RIGHTS NOTIFICATION
The information provided below is intended to assist you in locating and receiving the services you are entitled to as a victim/witness of a crime. There are many services available to you and it is important that you take advantage of these services to help cope with both the short and long-term consequences of being a crime victim. At any time if you are threatened, harassed or intimidated by a suspect or perpetrator in this case you can call 911 for assistance.
In compliance with OCGA 17-17-6, Gwinnett County Police Department is providing this information.
1) The person accused of criminal activity toward you may be released from custody before trial. This is commonly known as "bonding out."
2) You, as a victim, have certain rights during various stages of the criminal justice process. Depending upon which court has jurisdiction in your case, either the District Attorney's Office or the State Court Solicitor's Office will notify you of your rights and explain to you the judicial process as it pertains to your case. Office hours for the District Attorney's Victim Witness Program are Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 5:00PM. Their telephone number is (770) 822-8444. Office hours for the State Court Solicitor's Victim Services Program are 8:30AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Friday. Their telephone number is (770) 822-8300. Information of Victim/Witness services may also be found at "District Attorney" or "Solicitor."
3) As a victim, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for certain out-of-pocket losses incurred as a result of your victimization. You can contact the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at (404) 559-4949 or (404) 559-4177 TDD for further information or visit their website at http://cjcc.ga.gov/.
4) You, as a victim, may be eligible for community based victim service programs. More information about the various programs can be obtained by contacting the Governor's Victim Assistance Helpline at (800) 338-6745.
* In order for you to be able to receive these services you must provide to the Gwinnett County Police Department, the prosecutor's office, and the incarcerating agency your current address and telephone number. A pager number is NOT sufficient for this purpose.
You will be notified when the accused has been arrested, if this has not already occurred. This notification will be in person, by telephone or by mail by the arresting Law Enforcement Agency. Should the suspect or the suspect's companions or family threaten, intimidate or harass you in any way then you should dial "911" and notify law enforcement immediately. You may also call and report the incident to the investigating officer or to the Victim/Witness Services of the District Attorney's Office or Solicitor's Office.