Maryland Guidelines for Treatment of Crime Victims & Representatives
Crime victims in Maryland bear a significant burden in the criminal justice system. Even after sustaining harm or injury as a result of criminal conduct, these victims are expected to testify and otherwise participate in the trial process. In recognition of the burden that crime victims face, Maryland law establishes certain protections for these vulnerable individuals.
Definition of Crime Victims & Representatives
The definition of a crime victim appears in Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure Section 11-1001. There are two elements to this term under Maryland law:
- A person must sustain direct or threatened harm, whether physical, emotional, or financial; and
- The harm must be a direct result of criminal conduct that violates Maryland state or U.S. federal laws.
Additionally, it is crucial to note that Maryland law provides the same rights to certain representatives as to the crime victims themselves. Under Section 11-1001, the term victim’s representative includes the:
- Spouse, child, sibling, or parent of a victim of homicide; and
- Parent or guardian of a victim who is under 18 years old or intellectually disabled.
Guidelines for Treatment of Crime Victims & Representatives
The guidelines for the treatment of crime victims and their representatives appear in Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure Section 11-1002. Under this section, a crime victim or their representative should be:
- Treated with courtesy, dignity, respect, and sensitivity;
- Provided with emergency assistance if needed, including crisis intervention, medical treatment, intercession, and other social services;
- Notified when certain legal proceeding will occur;
- Advised of the legal protections available concerning the harm or threats in question;
- Provided with a waiting area during official proceedings, whenever reasonably possible, that is separate from the alleged criminal perpetrator;
- Apprised of financial compensation options and other social services available to crime victims and their representatives;
- Advised of employer intercession services, if appropriate, to help reduce the burden of lost wages and similar costs;
- Informed of law enforcement developments upon written request, such as the arrest of a suspect or closing the case;
- Notified of the right to recover stolen property or property used for evidentiary purposes, unless there is a compelling reason otherwise;
- Advised of legal proceedings concerning the alleged perpetrator of a violent crime, upon written request;
- Allowed to address the court concerning the crime in question or submit a victim’s impact statement at certain legal proceedings;
- Informed of the right to request restitution and to receive assistance with processing relevant claims;
- Entitled to a speedy and efficient result to the criminal case in question, thereby minimizing the stress and burden to the victim;
- Advised of any hearings or related proceedings concerning a provisional release, upon written request;
- Allowed to address appropriate review boards or submit a victim’s impact statement before consideration of temporary leave or provisional release; and
- Notified of changes in custody with the criminal perpetrator, including escape and supervised release.
Let Us Help You Today
If have legal questions about the rights available to crime victims or their representatives in Maryland, it can be remarkably advantageous to contact a dependable Baltimore crime victim lawyer. The lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have demonstrated experience providing legal counsel to crime victims and their representatives. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.