The Solicitor’s VWAP is here to help, inform, and support all victims of misdemeanor crimes in Gwinnett County. There are seven Victim/Witness Coordinators (VWCs) in the Solicitor’s Office assigned to contact and assist all misdemeanor crime victims. Each VWC is certified by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) to assure the highest professional standards and best practices for victim advocacy are meet and maintained.
Each VWC’s primary responsibility is to help misdemeanor crime victims understand and exercise their rights as the case progresses through the judicial process as required by the Georgia Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights (O.C.G.A. 17-17-1). http://www.pacga.org/site/content/103
VWC will assure that Victims are notified of court dates, provided a separate waiting area during court on request, and are given the opportunity to provide a Victim Impact Statement expressing their concerns and opinions regarding the resolution of the case. These statements are taken into consideration by the prosecutors and the judge with regard to case resolution and sentencing.
In addition, VWC’s may assist crime victims with recovering restitution (where possible), recovering personal property taken as evidence after the disposition of the case, safety planning, and applying for a Temporary Protective Order as appropriate. VWC’s might also provide referrals for additional resources for crime victims including; Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) Victim Compensation Program, Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) emergency shelter, Gwinnett Helpline financial assistance, and various multicultural community support organizations.
Services NOT provided by the VWAP include; providing money directly to victim/witnesses, providing legal advice or assistance in seeking money damages for injuries or other losses incurred as a result of the crime. The Gwinnett County Bar maintains a referral service for private legal counsel for such purposes. http://www.gwinnettbar.com/how-attorney-referrals-work/