Victim/Witness Assistance

Victim/Witness Assistance Program:
Being a victim of a crime is a very disturbing experience. We have always heard about the defendant’s rights. Now it is time to hear about the victims’ rights.
This web site has been designed to describe what rights the victims are entitled to, as well as referral options.
This web site may help you in obtaining present and future services.
Victim Rights
If you need protection
If charges are filed or not
Grant County Court System Process
Related services
Related organizations
If you have any questions regarding victim rights, please contact Darla D. Adams, Victim/Witness Coordinator, District Attorney’s Office, 130 West Maple Street, Lancaster, WI 53813 or call (608) 723-2462.
VICTIM RIGHTS
To attend court proceedings, subject to any sequestration order. The order may require victims to exercise this right by telephone or other available means, if the victim is incarcerated, under arrest, or committed to a treatment facility, and the victim does not have a representative.
To be accompanied to court by a service representative, in certain cases.
To a speedy disposition of the case in order to minimize the length of time a victim must endure the hearing in the case.
To have his/her interests considered when the court is deciding whether to grant a continuance of any hearings in the case.
To have his/her interests considered by the court in determining whether to exclude person from a preliminary hearing.
To be provided a secure waiting area.
To apply for financial assistance from the Office of Crime Victim Compensation, in certain cases. Assistance is available in violent crimes and does not cover property losses. To obtain more information about crime victim compensation, call (608) 723-2462.
To be provided with appropriate intercession services to ensure that employers of victims will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize loss of income or benefits resulting from court appearances.
To request an order for and to be given the results of testing to determine the presence of sexually transmitted disease or of any strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in certain cases.
Upon request, the opportunity to consult with the district attorney concerning the case and possible outcomes of the prosecution, including potential plea agreements and sentencing recommendations. This right does not limit the obligation of the district attorney to exercise his or her discretion concerning the handling of any criminal charges against the defendant.
Upon request, the opportunity at sentencing to make an oral statement or a written statement to be read in court, relevant to sentencing. To have the presentence investigation writer, in cases in which a presentence investigation is ordered, make a reasonable attempt to contact the victim.
To request that the court order restitution, and to docket a civil judgment for unpaid restitution.
Upon request, to receive information about the outcome of the case.
To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when no longer needed as evidence. If possible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis and property ownership which is disputed, shall be returned to the owner within ten (10) days of being taken.
To complain to the Department of Justice concerning the treatment of crime victims and to request review by the Crime Victim Rights Board of the complaint.
IF YOU NEED PROTECTION
If you are threatened or intimidated by an offender, please contact law enforcement immediately.
You may also want to file for a restraining order. You can obtain the forms at the Victim/Witness Assistance Office, Family Advocates, or at the Clerk of Court’s Office.
Victim/Witness Assistance Office
(608) 723-2462 Lancaster
Family Advocates, Inc.
1 (800) 924 2624 Help line
Clerk of Court’s Office
(608) 723-2752 Lancaster
IF CHARGES ARE FILED OR NOT FILED
Once law enforcement has completed the investigation of the incident, it is up to each police department whether to refer the reports into the district attorneys office. If they decide not to refer the charges to the district attorneys office, they may handle the case as they wish according to their policies and procedures.
However, if they refer the reports into the District Attorneys Office, a prosecutor will then review the materials and make a charging decision. If there is not enough evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt, the District Attorneys Office may not file any charges.
If the district attorneys office does decide that there is enough evidence to warrant charges a criminal complaint will be issued.
If you are the alleged victim of the case the Victim/Witness Coordinator will contact you as to your victim rights.
GRANT COUNTY COURT SYSTEM PROCESS
Not every case goes through the steps outlined below. This site is intended to explain the standard process usually followed in criminal and juvenile cases. For more information contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator.
CRIMINAL CASES
JUVENILE CASES
Initial appearance – The Judge explains nature of the Complaint and penalties that could be imposed.

Preliminary Hearing – (Felony Cases Only) The Judge will hear testimony to determine if a felony was committed.

Arraignment Hearing – The defendant pleads to the charge(s). If the defendant would plead guilty the next two steps are not taken.

Motions – A written request to be heard before the Judge for a verbal order.

Status Conference – A hearing to see if the case will go to trial or settle.

Trial – Testimony is heard and the defendant is found guilty or not guilty by a jury.

Sentencing – The Judge sentences the defendant.
Initial appearance – The Judge explains the nature of the Petition and penalties that could be imposed.

Plea Hearing – (must be heard within 30 days from the filing of the Petition) The juvenile will admit or deny the Petition.

If the juvenile admits the Petition:

Disposition Hearing – If the juvenile is found to be delinquent, the following could happen:

Scolding – reprimand
Supervision by Social Service
Transfer custody to Social Service or
Juvenile jail – reform school

If the juvenile denies the Petition:

Trial – Testimony is heard and the juvenile is found to be delinquent or not delinquent. If found delinquent, then a disposition hearing will be held.
RELATED SERVICES
Family Advocates, P.O. Box 705, Platteville, WI 53818 (608) 348-5995
Family Advocates provides services for victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, and sexual assault. Services include a 24-hour help line. (608) 348-3838 or 1-800-924-2624 Also provides counseling, advocacy, crisis intervention, support groups, emergency shelter, and more. All services are free and confidential.
Unified Counseling Services, 210 South Washington Street, Lancaster, WI 53813 (608) 723-7666 or 6057 South Chestnut Street, Platteville, WI 53813 (608) 348-3001
Unified Counseling Services provides mental health, alcohol and other drug abuse treatment, prevention and education to residents of Grant & Iowa Counties
Crime Victim Compensation Program, P.O. Box 7951, Madison, WI 53707-7951 1-800-446-6564 or V/TTY (608) 267-8902
Crime Victim Compensation Program may provide assistance for victims of violent crimes who suffer personal injury and have significant out-of-pocket expenses through no fault of their own. Such expenses may include medical bills, lost wages, and when the victim is killed, the family may suffer loss of support and funeral expenses.
RELATED ORGANIZATIONS
National Victims Resource Center, Office of Justice Assistance, Washington, DC 20531 (202) 724-6134 The Resource Center is a national clearinghouse of information on victim assistance and compensation programs and victim advocacy organizations.
Wisconsin Victim Resource Center, P.O. Box 7951, Madison, WI 53707 1-800-446-6564 or (608) 264-9497 The Resource Center addresses certain rights of crime victims at the State level.