Victim Witness Program

MESSAGE FROM YOUR COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY
If you are the victim of a crime or a witness to a crime, you have already been through a difficult experience. However, your participation in the criminal justice system is essential; there can be no justice without your help...

As Commonwealth's Attorney for the citizens of Smyth County, I want to do everything I can to make your experience with the courts as smooth and effective as possible.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has established a Victim/Witness Program to assist you as your case progresses through the system. The staff of this Program will help you understand your rights, keep you informed of the status of your case, and make you aware of resources available to you.

Please contact Susan B. Williams, Victim-Witness Director or Brittany May, Assistant Victim- Witness Director, with any questions about your case. 


Very Truly Yours,

Roy F. Evans, Jr.
Commonwealth's Attorney

 

Victim Witness Director

Susan B. Williams, Victim Witness Director

The Smyth County Victim Witness Program is here to help you. Roy F. Evans, Jr., Smyth County Commonwealth’s Attorney, established the program through state and federal grants in 1997. 


Susan Williams, the director, provides information on services to crime victims and witnesses.
The Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act recognizes that anyone suffering physical, emotional or financial harm as a direct result of a felony or certain misdemeanor crimes, are victims in need of assistance. This also includes spouses, children, parents and guardians of certain victims.

The Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act (usually referred to as the Victims’ Bill of Rights) was made law by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995. The purpose of the law is to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime: are treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity and that their privacy is protected where the law allows; are informed of their rights; have opportunities to make the courts aware of the full impact of the crime; receive authorized services; have the opportunity to be heard at critical stages of the criminal justice process.

The law provides several rights: Victims have the right to remain in the courtroom during trial and during all hearings which the defendant may attend, unless the judge has determined that the victim is a material witness; when practicable, prosecutors must give victims, or any adults chosen by a victim under the age of eighteen, advance notice of judicial proceedings (such as bail or bond hearings, preliminary hearings and trial dates.) 

Victims must be informed of financial assistance and social services available , including crime victims’ compensation (Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund).
In some cases, victims may present a Victim Impact Statement which explains to the judge how the crime(s) affected them.

Defendants convicted of certain property crimes may be ordered to make restitution for property damages or loss or actual medical expenses incurred by the victim.

If requested in writing, Sheriffs, jail superintendents and the Department of Corrections must notify victims, or person designated in writing by the victims of the release, transfer, escape or change of name of a prisoner, to certain crime victims.

Victim Witness Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

How you can help 

The Victim Witness Program needs the support of the community in order to continue to provide services to victims of violent crime. Listed below are ways in which you may want to assist:

Volunteers
Volunteers are an important component of the program and are constantly in demand. Volunteers must meet professional standards, pass a background check, and be willing to share a valuable resource with us: their time.


Internships
If you are a high school senior or a college student, an internship at the Smyth County Victim Witness Program can provide you with hands-on training in the criminal justice system, specifically working with crime victims.

 

For More Information

Please contact the Victim/Witness Program Coordinator:

Susan B. Williams, Victim Witness Director
Victim Witness Program
Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney
109 W. Main St., Room 124
Marion, VA 24354 
Phone: 276-782-4061 
Email:  victim.witness@smythcounty.org

OR

Brittany May, Assistant Victim Witness Director
Victim Witness Program
Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney
109 W. Main St., Room 124
Marion, VA  24354
Phone:  276-782-4061
Email:  bmay@smythcounty.org

 


brochures

Brochure for Smyth County Victim/Witness Program

Help for Crime Victims --Criminal Injuries Compensation Signed
 
Informational Guide for Witnesses of Crime

Summary of Virginia's Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act

What You Should Know About Protective Orders

Protective Orders: Domestic Violence 

Protective Orders: Stalking 

Informational Guide for Domestic Violence Victims in Virginia  

Stalking - A Guide for Victims 

Going To Court: An Activity Book for Children


Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Guidelines


Family Resource Center, Inc.-Counseling Support


Resource Guide for Addiction Services

 

resources

Hope Card Program
Smyth County Sheriff's Office
Chilhowie Police Department
Marion Police Department
Saltville Police Department
TRIAD
Virginia Courts Information
Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
Virginia Department of Corrections (inmate locator)
Virginia Department of Corrections Victim Services
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Virginal Judicial System
Virginia Office of the Attorney General
Virginia Sex Offender Registry
Virginia State Police
Virginia Victim Assistance Directory
Virginians Against Domestic Violence
Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault
Identity Theft Resource Center
Internet Fraud Complaint Center
National Center for Victims of Crime
National Criminal Justice Reference Service
National Fraud Information Center
Stalking Resource Center
U.S. Department of Justice-Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Lawyer Referral Services
National Crime Victim Bar Association
Phone:  703-276-2880
Virginia Law Referral Service
Phone:  800-552-7977 

 

services

Provide on request information on any significant developments in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

•Provide information which explains steps in the criminal justice system and details victims' rights.

•Inform of restitution and monitor payments.

•Assistance in protection of victims and witnesses from harm and threats of harm arising our of their cooperation with the law enforcement and prosecution of the case.

•Assist in the return of property.

•Notify victims and witnesses of continuances and cancellations.

•Provide information concerning final disposition of cases and negotiations on plea agreements

•Provide liaison services between claimants and the Division of Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

•Provide information on financial assistance available.

•Provide information on social services available and make referrals to appropriate agencies.

•Provide emergency assistance, such as food, shelter/referrals for these services.

•Provide employer intercession.

•Provide separate waiting areas during court procedures.

•24-hour on call for victims, law enforcement and witnesses.

•Assist in the preparation of victim impact statements.

•Provide public awareness presentations to schools and community groups/basic training and in-service.

•Provide crisis intervention and short-term counseling.

•Provide courtroom tours, accompaniment and support.

•Provide hospital accompaniment and support