As a crime victim, it is important to understand how the criminal justice system functions. Being a victim can be a traumatic and stressful experience and the legal process can be complicated. A victim service provider will assist each crime victim through the process as well as provide information about services available. Our victim service providers inform victims of their rights, of hearing dates, case updates, and ultimate dispositions. They also attend court hearings with victims or on their behalf.
South Carolina Crime Victims' Constitutional Rights
To preserve and protect victims' rights to justice and due process regardless of race, sex, age, religion, and economic status, victims of crime have the right to:
- be treated with fairness, respect and dignity;
- be free from intimidation or harm throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process;
- be informed about victims' rights;
- be reasonably informed about criminal proceedings;
- be informed if the accused is arrested, released, or escapes;
- confer with the prosecution before the case is heard in court;
- be present at criminal proceedings where the accused has the right to be present;
- be heard at proceedings affecting bond, bail, release, pleas or sentencing;
- have reasonable access to documents relating to the crime before trial;
- receive restitution from the adult or juvenile offenders; and
- a reasonable, prompt and final conclusion of the case.
Excerpted from the Constitution of South Carolina, Article I, Section 24