Crime Victim's Services
CRIME VICTIM'S BILL OF RIGHTS
If you are the victim of sexual assault, kidnapping or aggravated robbery, or if you have suffered bodily injury as the result of another's crime, or if you are the close relative or guardian of a deceased victim, you have the right:
1. To be protected from harm or threats;
2. To be informed about the defendant's right to bail and to have your safety considered in the setting of bail;
3. To be informed about court proceedings, if you so request;
4. To be informed about stages in the criminal justice system in general, including criminal investigations, trials, plea bargaining, appeals and parole;
5. To provide information to the probation department concerning the impact of the crime for inclusion in the presentence investigation report to the judge, and to complete a Victim Impact Statement;
6. To receive information regarding compensation to crime victims under the Crime Victim's Compensation Act, payment for a medical examination for a victim of sexual assault, and referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;
7. To be notified, if you so request, of any parole proceedings regarding the defendant and the right to participate in those proceedings;
8. To have a waiting area in the courthouse separate from the defendant and his or her family and witnesses, or if a separate area is not possible, to have safeguards to insure minimal contact;
9. To prompt return of property held by law enforcement or the attorney for the state after the property is no longer needed as evidence;
10. To have the attorney for the state notify your employer if you must be absent from work in order to be in court or to otherwise cooperate in the case;
11. To counseling and testing for AIDS and HIV related infections, if the crime was sexual in nature;
12. To be present at all public proceedings subject to the approval of the judge; and
13. To privacy- as far as is reasonably practical, the address of the victim may not be part of the court file except as necessary to identify the place of the crime. The phone number of the victim may not be a part of the court file.
TEXAS CRIME VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION FUND
The 79th Judicial District Attorney's Office can help victims of crimes with the application process of the Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund and assist in coordinating victims related support services such as protective orders through the Jim Wells or Brooks County Attorney's Office or counseling services through the area providers. The Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund assists victims of crime. Money in the fund comes from court costs paid by criminals. The program is a division of the Attorney General's Office. The program reimburses innocent victims of violent crime for some out-of-pocket expenses they suffer as a result of the crime.
To be eligible a person must:
a. Be a United States resident with the crime occurring in Texas or a Texas resident who becomes a victim in a state or country without a compensation program-United States citizenship is not required.
b. Report the crime to a law enforcement agency within a reasonable period of time, but not so late as to interfere with or hamper the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
c. File the application within three years of the date of the crime
To qualify for benefits, an applicant must be:
a. An innocent victim of crime who suffers a substantial threat of physical and/or emotional harm or death.
b. A dependent of a victim
c. An authorized individual acting on behalf of a victim
d. An intervenor who goes to the aid of the victim or peace officer
c. A person who legally assumes the obligations or voluntarily pays certain expenses related to the crime on behalf of the victim
e. Immediate family or household members related by blood or marriage who require counseling as a result of the crime
f. A peace officer, fire fighter or individual who has a duty to protect the public and who is injured in a crime
Benefits may be denied or reduced if the applicant:
a. Participated in the crime
b. Engaged in illegal activity
c. Contributed to the crime
d. Was an inmate at the time of the crime
e. Knowingly or intentionally submitted false or forged information to the Crime Victims' Compensation Division
f. Did not cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement agencies
The Crime Victim Coordinator with the 79 Judicial District Attorney's Office can provide you with an application and assist you in processing the application. The Crime Victim Coordinator for the 79 Judicial District Attorney’s Office is Roel Perez, he may be contacted at (361)668-5716. You may also obtain an application from the Office of the Attorney General by calling (800) 983-9933.
Crimes in which the victim suffers a substantial threat of physical or emotional harm or death. These may include sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, assault, domestic violence, homicide and other violent crimes.
Vehicular related crimes that are covered include failure to stop and render aid, DWI, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault, intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
Financial Assistance Available
Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. In the case of catastrophic injuries resulting in a total and permanent disability, victims may be eligible for an additional $50,000 in benefits.
Upon approval, the following benefits may be awarded:
-medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care
-psychiatric care or counseling
-one time relocation assistance for victims of domestic violence
-loss of earnings support
-loss of wages and travel reimbursement due to participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes
-care of a child or a dependent child
-funeral and burial expenses
-crime scene clean-up
-replacement costs for clothing, bedding or other property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as the result of the investigation
-attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victims' Compensation application and in obtaining benefits, if the claim is approved
-loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment or counseling
Additional benefits for victims who have suffered a catastrophic injury include:
-making a home or car accessible
-job training and vocational rehabilitation
-training in the use of special appliances
-reimbursement of lost wages
Reimbursement for property damage or theft is not an eligible expense.
Crime Victim's Documents
Here are a few documents that may help. Additional documents can be found at www.tdcj.state..tx.us/publications and www.oag.state.tx.us/victim. The Crime Victims' Coordinator for the 79th Judicial District Attorney's Office can help you with your Victim Impact Statement, Crime Victim's Compensation Fund Application, and any other related matters.
Victim Impact Statement Forms
Victims of Identity Theft Resouce Center
Every year, thousands are the victims of identity theft. In an effort to assist the citizens of Brooks and Jim Wells Counties, the District Attorney's Office has put together som resource items that may assist you in preventing identity theft and, if already the victim of identity theft, point you in the right direction to clear up your damages. Please read the following document for assistance.
If you are a resident of Jim Wells or Brooks County and your identity has been stolen resulting in a wrongful criminal accusation against you, the 79th Judicial District Attorney's Office can help you clear things up. Our Crime Victim's Coordinator, Roel Perez, will assist you.
State Bar of Texas' Committee on Crime Victims
Carlos Omar Garcia, 79th Judicial District Attorney, has been appointed to the State Bar of Texas' Committee on Crime Victims by State Bar President Trey Apffel. Carlos' term will begin after the June 2014 Annual Texas State Bar Meeting and ends after the 2017 Annual Meeting. The Crime Victims Committee is a standing committee of the State Bar of Texas. Its purpose is to educate the legal profession and the public about legal and social resources available to crime victims.
Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone Corporation
Victims of Crime Prevention and Restoration Program
RGVEZC-VOC program is a partnership with the 79th Judicial District
Attorney's Office aimed at bringing crime victim related services that will will
complement the services currently provided through the District Attorney’s
Office, our local law enforcement agencies, the Women’s Shelter of South Texas,
and the other community organizations. The program position will cover Brooks, Jim Wells, Duval and Kleberg Counties and the project coordinator will be housed out of the Falfurrias and Alice offices of the 79th
Judicial District Attorney.
to be provided through the program include: direct services such as assistance
with basic needs, crisis intervention, counseling, court accompaniment, safety
planning, and establishing victim support groups; professional training for
both law enforcement and non-professionals in the following areas: family
violence, child abuse, victim’s rights, human trafficking, and other topics in
violent crimes; and presentations and community outreach activities. The RGVEZC-VOC Project Coordinator, Cynthia Arevalo can be reached at