If you are the victim of a crime involving sexual assault, kidnapping or aggravated robbery, or you have suffered bodily injury as the result of the conduct of a child, or if you are the close relative or guardian of a deceased victim, or if you are the owner or lessor of property damaged or lost as a result of the conduct of a child that violates a penal law of this state, you are entitled to the following rights within the juvenile justice system as set out in the Texas Family Code §57.002:
The right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;
The rights to have the court or person appointed by the court take the safety of the victim or the victim's family into consideration as an element in determining whether the child should be detained before the child's conduct is adjudicated;
The right, if requested, to be informed of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed in a timely manner if those court proceeding have been canceled or rescheduled;
The right to be informed, when requested, by the court or by a person appointed by the court, concerning the procedures in the juvenile justice system, including general procedures relating to the preliminary investigation and deferred prosecution and the appeal of a case;
The right to provide pertinent information to a juvenile court conducting a disposition hearing concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim's family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner before the court renders its disposition;
The right to receive information regarding compensation to victims as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 56 Code of Criminal Procedure, including information related to the costs that may be compensated under the subchapter and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that subchapter, the payment of medical expenses under Section 56.06, Code of Criminal Procedure, for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, a referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;
The right to be informed, upon request, of procedures for release under supervision or transfer of the person to the custody of the pardons and paroles division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for parole, to participate in the release or transfer for parole process, to be notified, if requested, of the person's release, escape, or transfer for parole proceedings concerning the person, to provide to the Texas Youth Commission for inclusion in the person's file information to be considered by the commission before the release under supervision or transfer for parole of the person, and to be notified, if requested, of the person's release or transfer for parole;
The right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the child alleged to have committed the conduct and relatives of the child, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the child, or if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim's contact with the child and the child's relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings;
The right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for the purpose;
The right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the conduct of the child as provided by Section 54.08, subject to that section; and
Any other right appropriate to the victim that a victim of criminal conduct has under Article 56.02, Code of criminal Procedure.
Crime Victims' Compensation
Crime Victims' Compensation is a financial assistance program that helps eligible victims of crime with certain expenses related to the crime. Money for this program comes from court costs paid by criminals and deposited by each Texas county into the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.
The Crime Victims' Compensation Division is in the Office of the Attorney General who administers these funds and is dedicated to ensuring that crime victims receive every possible assistance.
The Crime Victims' Compensation Division is "the payer of last resort" after primary sources of payment such as health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, auto insurance or Texas Workers' Compensation.
If the court orders the offender to pay restitution to the victim for an expense that Crime Victims' Compensation has already paid, the victim or claimant recovers money through the settlement of a civil suit against the offender or a third party, he or she may also have to reimburse the Fund. For more details on eligibility and coverage, visit the Office of the Attorney General State of Texas website.
Victim Impact Statement
The forms contained in the packets can be used to provide pertinent information to a juvenile court concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim's family. Please complete and return this form to: Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department, 122 Golfview Dr, Richmond, TX, 77469.
Maria Garduno, Victims Assistance Coordinator
117 New Legion Drive
Richmond, Texas 77469