Michigan Crime Victims Rights

The Crime Victims Rights Act -PA 87 of 1985 (M.C.L. 780.751)

In 1985 the Crime Victims Rights Act created comprehensive rights of notification and participation in all stages of the criminal justice process for felony crime victims in Michigan. In 1988 the law was amended to include the victims of serious misdemeanors and juvenile offenses.

Many amendments significantly improving on the implementation and scope of services have since been made. The law creates a duty for police agencies, sheriffs, the Department of Corrections, prosecuting attorneys, courts and other agencies to include crime victims within the formal conduct of investigative, judicial, sentencing and post sentencing proceedings.

The county prosecuting attorney provides a substantial amount of additional case management and advocacy work under the Act. Capable and dedicated victim advocates in prosecutors’ offices throughout the state perform much of these duties.  Contact your Michigan prosecutor and sheriff for more information about crime victim’s rights in your community.

Rights Granted to Victims of a Crime in Michigan

  • Be treated throughout the criminal justice process with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy.
  • Timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
  • Receive an explanation of court procedures.
  • Reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal justice process, including having a waiting area separate from the defendant and the defendant’s relatives and witnesses (if practical), and to receive an explanation of procedures to follow if threatened or intimidated by the defendant.
  • Be free from threats or acts of discharge from your employer because you are subpoenaed or requested by the prosecuting attorney to testify in court.
  • Consult with the prosecuting attorney to give your views about the disposition of the case.
  • Notice of:
    • Emergency and medical services from the investigating police agency.
    • The name of the person in the prosecutor’s office with information about your case.
    • All scheduled court proceedings, including sentencing.
    • The defendant’s release on bond or escape from custody while awaiting trial.
    • The address and telephone number of the probation department that is preparing the pre-sentence investigation report, if one is ordered by the judge.
    • Victim compensation benefits, including the address of the crime victims compensation board, and an explanation of eligibility requirements for compensation funds.
  • Attend trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend (except possible sequestration during a trial before you testify).
  • Confer with the prosecution before trial and before the jury is selected.
  • Make an oral statement to a pre-sentence investigator, or to have a written impact statement included in the pre-sentence report.
  • Make an oral or written statement to the court at sentencing.
  • Your oral or written statement at sentencing is important.