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Constitutional and Statutory Rights for Crime Victims in Maryland

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There are a number of constitutional and statutory rights available to crime victims in Maryland.  Whether these rights appear in the Maryland Constitution or statutory law, crime victims should be aware of their rights. Otherwise, they may not understand how to exercise all of their powers under the law.

Constitutional Rights Crime Victims

Under Article 47 of the Maryland Constitution, crime victims can benefit from certain overarching rights. Specifically, Maryland crime victims have the following rights under Article 47:

  • Treatment — Crime victims should receive dignified, respectful and sensitive treatment throughout the criminal justice process;
  • Notice — Crime victims should be notified of criminal justice proceedings related to their case, upon request and if practicable;
  • Attendance — Crime victims should be able to attend criminal justice proceedings related to their case, upon request and if practicable; and
  • Involvement — Crime victims should be able to speak at criminal justice proceedings related to their case, upon request and if practicable.

That being said, the victim rights above do not create a separate cause of action. Stated otherwise, Article 47 does not permit a crime victim to sue for monetary damages or halt criminal justice proceedings. The crime victim must take action to exercise their rights under Article 47.

Statutory Notification Rights for Crime Victims

Under Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure Section 11-104, crime victims have a statutory right to receive notifications concerning criminal justice proceedings related to their case. Section 11-104 applies to crime victims who suffered actual or threatened harm. This section also applies to the victim’s representatives — a family member or guardian of a victim who is underage, disabled or dead.

Under Section 11-104, law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys are responsible for providing the crime victim or their representative with an information pamphlet. This pamphlet provides a higher-level overview of all victim’s rights in Maryland.

Furthermore, the crime victim or their representative may complete and file a notification request form with the prosecuting attorney. By filing this form, the victim or their representative complies with Article 47 and other statutory provisions concerning notice.

Statutory Attendance Rights for Crime Victims

Under Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure Section 11-102, crime victims have a statutory right to attend criminal justice proceedings related to their case. If a crime victim submits a notification request as outlined previously, then they have the right to attend relevant criminal justice proceedings. Essentially, the crime victim has the right to appear in all of the same proceedings as the alleged criminal perpetrator.

Additionally, Section 11-102 provides a layer of employment protection for crime victims. Acting in concert with Maryland Code of Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 9-205, Section 11-102 prohibits employers from retaliating against crime victims for attending relevant criminal justice proceedings.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are a crime victim in Maryland, it can be exceedingly useful to schedule a consultation with a trusted personal injury lawyer. The lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have demonstrated capabilities representing a variety of different crime victims in Maryland. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Resource:

mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=c0&section=47&ext=html&session=2017RS&tab=subject5

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