Victim Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is a victim?

Victim: A person or entity who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime.


According to Chapter 950, Wis. Stats., in regards to rights as a victim and who can exercise them:


Victim means any of the following:

 

  • A person against whom a crime has been committed.
  • If a person against whom a crime has been committed is a child, a parent, guardian or legal custodian of the child.
  • If the person against whom a crime has been committed is physically or emotionally unable to exercise the rights, a person designated by the person of the person against whom a crime has been committed or a family member of the person against whom a crime has been committed.
  • If the person against whom a crime has been committed is deceased any of the following: a. a family member of the person who is deceased; b. a person who resided with the person who is deceased.
  • If the person against whom a crime has been committed has been determined to be incompetent under ch. 880, the guardian of the person appointed under ch. 880.
  • Victim does not include the person charged with or alleged to have committed the crime.


Eligibility of victims: A victim has rights and is eligible for the services only if the crime has been reported to law enforcement authorities.

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I am a victim of a crime. When will I be notified once charges are issued?

To many, the criminal justice system can be very confusing. If someone was arrested and charges are filed, the Victim Witness Assistance Program will send to you a packet of information. The packet will include information about your rights and how to exercise your rights. It will also include the name of the defendant, the charges filed against the defendant and when and where the defendant will appear in court. It is your responsibility to inform the Victim Witness Assistance Program if you wish to exercise any of your rights. If someone was arrested and charges are not filed, you will receive a letter informing you of no charges.

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Can I request restitution? Who should I contact if restitution has been ordered and I have questions?

You may request restitution if you have had out-of pocket expenses. Complete the restitution form sent to you in your Victim Witness packet and attach documentation to substantiate your requested figure. The District Attorney will request restitution as part of the sentence if you submit a restitution request. We cannot guarantee that you will receive any restitution.


The State of Wisconsin Department of Justice has a program to reimburse crime victims, or in the case of death their dependants and family members, for certain expenses they incur as a direct result of a crime. This program does not reimburse for property loss or damage. There are requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the program. If you want to learn more about eligibility requirements or request an application, ask the Victim Witness Assistance Program or call the Office of Crime Victim Services, toll-free at 1-800-446-6564.


If you have been informed that restitution is ordered and the adult defendant is placed on probation, contact the agent of record for assistance. The Oshkosh office for the Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections phone number is (920) 424-1721. Most offenders are set up on a monthly payment plan. In some cases payments are not received as planned. Pursuant to Wisconsin State statutes, payments are disbursed by the Corrections Cashiers Unit in Madison, Wisconsin.


If you have been informed that restitution is ordered and the offender is a juvenile, contact Ken Bales, Restitution Coordinator for assistance. His phone number is (920) 236-4962 or (920) 727-2880, extension 4962.

 

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What do I do once I receive a subpoena? And what if I cannot make the court date indicated?

We recognize that being a witness of a crime is often a difficult experience. Your role is very important to the success of the criminal justice system and your time and effort is appreciated.


If you receive a subpoena, you are being ordered by the Court to serve as a witness in a criminal court hearing. A subpoena provides information about a court appearance that you are required to attend and testify and/or to produce documents by order of the court. Do not ignore the subpoena. A material witness warrant may be issued for your arrest is you do not appear.


If you have been subpoenaed, contact the Witness Line (920) 236-4999, the night before the hearing to find out if it has been cancelled or adjourned. A pre-recorded message will advise you which cases will proceed as scheduled.


If your appearance is necessary, go to the courtroom on the date specified on the subpoena, 15 minutes prior to the time listed, if you wish to allow time for us to prepare you for testimony. Please inform the bailiff or a member from the District Attorney’s Office of your attendance. Please notify the District Attorney’s Office of any change of address or phone numbers.


Wisconsin law forbids employers from firing employees because they have been called to testify in a criminal proceeding, even if the employee’s testimony is against the employer or involves a work-related incident. Employees are required to give their employers prompt notice of the subpoena. If you need assistance with an employer about being subpoenaed to court, contact the Victim Witness Assistance Program.

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Once charges have been issued, what happens if the defendant intimidates, threatens or harasses me?

It is a crime for anyone to threaten, harass, or intimidate you because of your cooperation with law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office or to prevent you from testifying at any court proceeding. If anyone uses force or threatens to harm you or your family members, report the threat immediately to your local law enforcement agency. In emergencies, call 911. For Law Enforcement Contacts, click here.

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What does "opportunity to confer" mean?

To confer with the District Attorney means to discuss the possible outcomes of the case. In some instances, as appropriate, the District Attorney can give the responsibility of conferring to other staff. If a victim requests to confer, the discussions can include potential plea agreements and sentencing recommendation. The District Attorney considers your input, but makes a final decision based upon all factors of the cases.

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District Attorney's Office

448 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Oshkosh:(920) 236-4977
Neenah:(920) 727-2880