The Victim Assistance Division may be contacted at 210-335-2105.
The Victim Assistance division of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is available to assist victims of crime whose case was committed within Bexar County. Victim Assistance personnel strive to keep victims informed of their statutory rights, the status of their criminal case, upcoming court proceedings, and referrals to the appropriate social service resources to assist them through this difficult and stressful time. We offer the following services: general information about the criminal justice system and court accompaniment; notification of the status of your case in the court system; referral to social service agencies; aid in preparing an application through the Crime Victim Compensation fund; aid in completing a Victim Impact Statement; limited restitution collection and distribution; and aid in returning property involved in a criminal case.
Para obtener asistencia en español, comuníquese con (210) 335-2105.
Provide General Information Regarding the Criminal Justice System
If you have never had experience with the criminal justice system, the process may be confusing. The Victim Assistance Division is available to help you understand how the system actually works. As your case moves through the judicial system the Victim Assistance Division is available to answer questions regarding the progress of your case.
Aid in Completing the Victim Impact Statement
The Victim Impact Statement is a detailed account of the emotional, physical and financial effects the crime has had on you, the victim and your family members. The office of the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney's Victim Assistance Division will provide you with this form and help you complete it, if necessary.
Aid in Preparing an Application Through the Crime Victim Compensation Fund
Victims may receive help in paying certain bills that are incurred as a result of a crime. The Victim Assistance Division can help you understand the requirements that must be met to be eligible for the Crime Victim Compensation fund. If you meet the basic requirements our office will assist you in preparing the application to the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.
Refer Various Social Service Agencies
There are many social service agencies that can help you in the aftermath of a crime. The Victim Assistance Division can help put you in contact with the agencies that may be able to help you.
Accompany You to Court
Whenever you must appear in court, someone from the Victim Assistance Division will be available to accompany you. Please ask for assistance.
Court Ordered Restitution
When a defendant is convicted, the Court may order restitution be paid as a condition of probation or parole and, in some cases, may create a judgment lien on behalf of the victim. The court may order restitution for any loss and it is not limited to violent offenses as is the Compensation Fund. It is important that you assist law enforcement in gathering information concerning your individual loss and give that to the investigators and assistant district attorney's handling the offense. Our office will present the information to the court at the time of trial and seek to obtain the court order for you.
Aid in Returning Property Involved in a Criminal Case
If your property has been held as evidence in a criminal case our office can assist you in regaining possession of your property.
Texas Crime Victim’s Rights – Chapter 56A of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:
A victim of a crime is: (1) a person who is the victim of the offense of sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of person, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual or who has suffered personal injury or death as a result of the criminal conduct of another (2) the close relative (spouse, parent, or adult brother, sister or child) of a deceased victim, or (3) the guardian of a victim. As a victim of violent crime, close relative of a deceased victim, or guardian of a victim, you have the following rights:
ARTICLE 56A.051, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure – Crime Victims’ Rights
- The right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts.
- The right to have the magistrate take the safety of the victim or his family into consideration as an element in fixing the amount of bail for the accused.
- The right, if requested, to be informed by the attorney representing the state of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed if those court proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled prior to the event; and the right to be informed, if requested, by an appellate court of decisions of the court, after the decisions are entered but before they are made public.
- The right to be informed, when requested, by a peace officer concerning the defendant’s right to bail and the procedures in criminal investigations and by the district attorney’s office concerning the general procedures in the criminal justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and parole process.
- The right to provide pertinent information to a probation department conducting a pre-sentencing investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and his family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner prior to any sentencing of the offender.
- The right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by the Crime Victims Compensation Act (Chapter 56B of the Code of Criminal Procedure), including information related to the costs that may be compensated under that Act and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that Act, the payment for a medical examination under article 56A.252 of this code for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, to referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance.
- The right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole proceedings concerning the defendant in the victim’s case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant’s file information to be considered by the board prior to the parole of any defendant convicted of any crime subject to this Act, and to be notified, if requested, of the defendant’s release.
- The right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the offender and relatives of the offender, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim’s contact with the offender and the offender’s relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings.
- The right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for that 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 request victim-offender mediation coordinated through the victim services division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
- The right to be informed of the uses of a Victim Impact Statement, and it’s purposes in the criminal justice system, to complete the victim impact statement, and to have the victim impact statement considered by the prosecutor and judge before sentencing and before a plea agreement is accepted, as well as by the Board of Pardons & Paroles before an inmate is released on parole.
- For a victim of an assault or sexual assault who is younger than 17 years of age or whose case involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code, the right to have the court consider the impact on the victim of a continuance requested by the defendant; if requested by the prosecutor or by counsel for defendant, the court shall state on the record the reason for granting or denying the continuance.
- If the offense is a capital felony, the right to: (A) receive by mail from the court a written explanation of defense-initiated victim outreach (DIVO) if the court has authorized expenditures for a DIVO specialist; (B) not be contacted by the DIVO specialist unless the victim has consented to the contact by providing written notice to the court; and (C) designate a victim service provider to receive all communications from a DIVO specialist acting on behalf of any person.
- The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in the case.
- The right to privacy-as far as is reasonably practical, the address of the victim may not be part of the court file except as necessary to identify the place of the crime. The phone number of the victim may not be a part of the court file.
ARTICLE 56A.052, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure – Rights of Victims’ of Sexual Assault, Abuse, Stalking or Trafficking
In addition to the rights enumerated in Article 56A.051, if the offense is a sexual assault, the victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:
- If requested, the right to a disclosure of information regarding any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the offense, unless disclosing the information would interfere with the investigation or prosecution of the offence, in which event the victim shall be informed of the estimated date on which that information is expected to be disclosed; and the right to a disclosure of information regarding the status of any analysis being performed of any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the offense.
- If requested, the right to be notified: (A) at the time a request is submitted to a crime laboratory to process and analyze any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the offense; (B) at the time of the submission of a request to compare any biological evidence collected during the investigation of the offense with DNA profiles maintained in a state or federal DNA database; and (C) of the results of the comparison described by paragraph (B), unless disclosing the results would interfere with the investigation or prosecution of the offense, in which event the victim shall be informed of the estimated date on which those results are expected to be disclosed.
- The right to counseling, on request, regarding AIDS and HIV infection for AIDS and HIV related infections.
- For the victim of the offense, testing for AIDS, HIV infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS; and a forensic medical examination to the extent provided by Subchapters F and G if, within 120 hours of the offense: the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency; or a forensic medical examination is otherwise conducted at a health care provider.
- A victim, guardian, or relative who requests to be notified under number 2 of this Article must provide a current address and phone number to the attorney representing the state and the law enforcement agency that is investigating the offense. The victim, guardian or relative must inform the attorney representing the state and the law enforcement agency of any change in the address or phone number.
- A victim, guardian, or relative may designate a person, including an entity that provides services to victims of sexual assault, to receive any notice requested under number 2 of this Article.
The following rights apply to victims of Trafficking of Person; Continuous Trafficking of Persons; Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Children; Indecency with a Child; Sexual Assault; Indecent Assault; Aggravated Sexual Assault; Stalking; and Compelling Prostitution. A victim described by this subsection or a parent or guardian of the victim, if the victim is younger than 18 years of age or an adult ward, is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:
- A victim or a parent or guardian of the victim is entitled to request that the attorney representing the state, file an application for a protective order under Article 7A.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, on behalf of the victim.
- The right to be informed that the victim of victim’ parent or guardian, as applicable, may file an application for a protective order under Article 7B.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.
- The right to be informed of the court in which the application for a protective order may be filed.
- That on request of the victim or of the victim’s parent or guardian, as applicable, and subject to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, the attorney representing the state may file the application for a protective order.
- If the victim or the victim’s parent or guardian, is present when the defendant is convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision, the right to be given by the court the information described in numbers 8 through 10 above, the right to file an application for protective order immediately following the defendant’s conviction or placement on deferred adjudication.
- If the victim or the victim’s parent or guardian is not present when the defendant is convicted or placed on deferred adjudication, the right to be given by the attorney representing the state the information described in 8 through 10 above.
- A victim of the crime of Trafficking of a Person; Continuous Trafficking of a Person; Compelling Prostitution is entitled to be informed that the victim may petition for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under Section 411.0728, Government Code, if the victim has been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for an offense described by Subsection (a)(1) of that section; and committed that offense solely as a victim of an offense under Section 20A.02, 20A.03, or 43.05, Penal Code.