Victims' Rights


Wisconsin law provides crime victims with the following rights:

  • To attend court proceedings, subject to any sequestration order. The court may require victims to exercise this right by telephone or other available means, if the victim is incarcerated, under arrest, or committed to a treatment facility, and the victim does not have a representative.
  • To be accompanied to court by a service representative, in certain cases.
  • To a speedy disposition of the case in order to minimize the length of time a victim must endure the stress of his or her responsibilities in a case.
  • To have his or her interests considered when the court is deciding whether to grant a continuance of any hearing in the case.
  • To have his or her interests considered by the court in determining whether to exclude persons from a preliminary hearing.
  • To be provided a waiting area in court.
  • To apply for financial assistance from the Office of Crime Victim Compensation, in certain cases. Assistance is available in violent crimes and does not cover property losses.
  • To be provided with appropriate intercession services to ensure that employers of victims will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize loss of income or benefits resulting from court appearances.
  • To request an order for and to be given the results of testing to determine the presence of sexually transmitted disease or of any strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in certain cases.
  • To receive, upon request, the opportunity to consult with a prosecutor concerning the case and possible outcomes of the prosecution, including potential plea agreements and sentencing recommendations. This right does not limit the obligation of the prosecutor to exercise his or her discretion concerning the handling of any criminal charges against the defendant.
  • To receive, upon request, the opportunity at sentencing to make an oral or written statement to be read in court, relevant to sentencing.
  • To have the presentence investigation writer, in cases in which a presentence investigation is ordered, make a reasonable attempt to contact the victim.
  • To request that the court order restitution, and to docket a civil judgment for unpaid restitution.
  • To receive, upon request, information about the outcome of the case.
  • To have the expeditious return of any stolen or other personal property when no longer needed as evidence. If possible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis and property the ownership of which is disputed, shall be returned to the owner within ten (10) days of being taken.
  • To complain to the Department of Justice concerning the treatment of crime victims and to request review by the Crime Victims Rights Board of the complaint.

Office for Victims of Crime Video

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has developed a video, called If You’re a Victim of Crime, Help is Available. The video recognizes that being a victim of a crime can be a devastating experience for survivors and their families, describes the help that is available for victims of crime, and identifies certain victims' rights that are guaranteed in most states.

Helpful Resources

If you have further questions about the resources available to victims, please contact our Victim/Witness Office at 715-386-4666.