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 the Wisconsin Constitutional Victim Rights Amendment, 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 that would constitute a crime if committed by a competent adult.
If a person is deceased or is physically or emotionally unable to exercise his or her rights, the person’s spouse, parent or legal guardian, sibling, child, person who resided with the deceased at the time of death, or other lawful representative.
If the person is a minor, the person’s parent, legal guardian or custodian, or other lawful representative.
“Victim” does not include the accused or a person who the court finds would not act in the best interest of a victim who is deceased, incompetent, minor, or physically or emotionally unable to exercise his or her rights under this section.
Eligibility of victims: A victim has rights and is eligible for the services only if the crime has been reported to law enforcement authorities.
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.
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 dependents and family members, for certain expenses they incur as a direct result of a crime. 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 Clerk of Courts office. (920) 236-4845.
If you have been informed that restitution is ordered and the adult defendant has been sentenced to prison, 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. 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 the Restitution Coordinator for assistance. The phone number is (920) 236-4962 or (920) 727-2880, extension 4962.
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.
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.
To confer with the District Attorney means to discuss the status of the case and 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 status of the case, potential plea agreements and sentencing recommendation. The District Attorney considers your input, but makes a final decision based upon all factors of the cases.