The Illinois Constitution and Illinois statutes have provisions for victims rights. The purpose of the Crime Victims and Witnesses Act is to implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to crime victims by Article I, Section 8.1 of the Illinois Constitution. This is to ensure that crime victims are treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process and to increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system by affording certain basic rights and considerations to the witnesses of violent crime who are essential to prosecution.
Under this act, you are a crime victim if you are:
If you are a crime victim as defined above you shall have the following rights:
Show All Answers
Yes, you can register for notification through VINE.
No, you do not need to be present at every court appearance for the defendant. You are welcomed to attend any and all court appearances if you wish. You will be notified by our office when you are needed. If you have any questions about what will happen at a particular court appearance, you may contact a victim or witness advocate at 309-672-6900.
An order of protection is a court order issued by a judge to a victim of domestic violence. It orders a person to stay away from the victim and stop any violence, threats of violence, or any type of harassment. To be eligible for an order of protection, the person must be a spouse, former spouse, roommate, family member or person you have dated. There is no cost for an order of protection, and there is trained staff at the Peoria County Courthouse to assist you in filing the necessary paperwork. To seek an order of protection call 309-672-6074, or you may come in person to the Peoria County Courthouse, which is located at:324 Main StreetRoom G14Peoria, IL 61602
The State's Attorneys Office represents the People of the State of Illinois in criminal matters. Our duty is to seek justice. We are not the lawyer for individual victims. Although we will seek restitution in appropriate cases, the amounts recoverable may not equal a victim's total loss. If you feel that you need additional recovery or relief than what the criminal case can provide, you should consider consulting with private counsel. Although we cannot recommend specific lawyers, our victim or witness staff will be happy to assist you in finding resources available to assist you.
The States Attorneys Office maintains an entire division to coordinate victim and witness issues. To speak with a victim/witness advocate, call 309-672-6900 and ask for a victim or witness advocate. In addition to our services, there are other agencies who have victim services. The Illinois Attorney Generals Office Crime Victims Department can be contacted by phone at 800-228-3368 for further information. The Illinois Department of Corrections offers some services for victims when the defendant is in the custody of the department. The U.S. Department of Justice typically works with victims of federal crimes.
We cannot prosecute cases without the cooperation of crime victims and witnesses. Your cooperation is necessary because we carry the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Only the States Attorneys office can make the decision to drop or pursue charges. If you have received a "victim letter" and you do not wish to pursue charges, simply disregard the letter. If the case has already been charged, you must contact the prosecutor handling the case. It is that prosecutors decision on whether or not to pursue a charge. There may be serious consequences to you for your lack of cooperation. You should not assume that by ignoring correspondence or subpoenas a case will be dropped. Victims wanting to drop charges should fill out an Affidavit at the States Attorneys Office requesting that the States Attorney discontinue prosecution.
Please note: Filling out an Affidavit does not guarantee the State will not continue charging a case.
If no arrest has been made as a result of the incident, you must first file a police report with the police agency in the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred before contacting the States Attorneys Office. Once a police report is filed, the reporting agency forwards a copy of the report to the States Attorneys Office. You may phone the States Attorneys Office Charging Division to confirm that a copy of the police report has been received. If you want to pursue charges against the suspect, you will need to come to the States Attorneys Office and complete or submit a charge form.
Please note when coming to the States Attorneys Office to file charges that walk-in times are Tuesday 1 to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If the police have already made an arrest, you do not need to come to the States Attorneys Office immediately. You will receive a victims letter in the mail inviting you to come to the States Attorneys Office to pursue charges. If you receive a victims letter, you do not have to submit a charge form. If you are seeking compensation for any injuries or losses, you should bring supporting documentation if you have it. Should the charging attorney conclude that enough evidence exists to prove the charge(s) beyond a reasonable doubt, criminal charges may be filed. The States Attorneys Office cannot provide you with personal legal advice.
The attorney for the defense has the right in a criminal case to interview all witnesses. However, whether or not you speak to a defense attorney is up to you. If you would feel more comfortable having the Assistant States Attorney who is handling the case present, arrange to have him or her there during the interview. Do not feel obliged to sign or say anything without first speaking to the prosecutor who is handling your case.