2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, NJ 08817

Ken is a NJ trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He has been selected to write the new ABA book: DUI and Drug Possession Defense".

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Victims’ Rights

Victims’ Rights

In 1990 the voters approved a constitutional amendment requiring that victims of crimes be treated with fairness and respect by the criminal justice system. The amendment entitled victims to be present at public judicial proceedings when not sequestered and authorized the Legislature to define rights and remedies for victims of crimes. Thereafter, a number of laws were enacted defining victims’ rights. Legislation was enacted

Allowing crime victims to submit a written statement about the impact of the crime to the Prosecutor’s Office prior to his or her final decision to file charges. The legislation also gave victims the right to make an in-person statement directly to the sentencing Court prior to sentencing. L. 1991, c. 44; N.J.S.A. 52:4B-36, -44.

Requiring restitution to crime victims, or, in the case of a homicide, to the nearest relative of the victim, where the victim suffered a loss. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.

Giving victims of a crime, or a relative of a murder victim, the right to present testimony, or make a presentation, to the parole board when the offender becomes eligible for parole. L. 1992, c. 59.

Allowing victims of certain crimes to demand that the offender be tested for HIV/AIDS. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2.2.

Requiring community notification that an inmate convicted, or adjudicated delinquent, for a sex offense is to be released from incarceration or is going to relocate into a community. N.J.S.A. 2C:7-6.

Requiring the AOC to give advance notice to prosecutors, in certain cases, regarding defendant’s appearance before a judicial officer. This legislation then requires the prosecutor to give notice to the victim. L. 1994, c. 131.

Requiring prosecutors to provide notice to victims of a defendant’s escape or release from custody via ISP, commutation or parole release. L. 1994, c. 131.

Requires the prosecutor to notify the victim whenever a defendant charged with domestic violence is released from custody. N.J.S.A. 2C:25-26.1.

Requires the court to tell the defendant the approximate term to be served in custody before parole eligibility. L. 1994, c. 157. See also R. 3:21-4j.