Crime Victim Rights

Wisconsin law provides victims of crime with special rights.

The Wisconsin Constitution (Article I. Section 9m) and Wis. Stat. Chapter 950 give special rights to victims of crime.  Some rights are automatic while others must be requested. The rights are listed on the reverse side of this form.  Use the information on this form to discuss and clarify your rights with agencies you are in contact with about the case and to make your interests known.

Crime Victims’ Rights in Wisconsin 

* An asterisk (*) marks those rights which a victim must specifically request.

Victims’ Rights that apply Any Time

  • To be treated with fairness, dignity and respect for his or her privacy.
  • To reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
  • To receive written information from law enforcement, within 24 hours of contact about rights, who to call for custody information regarding the offender and how to get more information about the case. 
  • To not have personal identifiers including email disclosed/used for a purpose unrelated to the official duties of an agency, employee or official.
  • To contact the Department of Justice concerning a victim’s treatment (1-800-446-6564) and to seek a review of a complaint by the Crime Victims Rights Board, as provided by law.
  • To notice of a decision not to prosecute, if an arrest has been made. 
  • If a victim of an officer involved death, to receive information about the process by which he or she may do the following: file a complaint charging a person with a crime, if permitted by a judge; file a complaint under the John Doe investigation proceedings; and the process of an inquest.
  • To notice of a decision not to prosecute, if an arrest has been made. 
  • To information about the disposition of the case.
  • To attend court proceedings and to be accompanied by a service representative, as permitted by law.
  • To request information from a district attorney about the disposition of the case.
  • To not be the subject of an officer's or district attorney's order, request, or suggestion that the victim submit to a test using a lie detector if the victim reports having been the victim of a sexual assault.
  • To the expeditious return of property when it is no longer needed as evidence.
  • To file for Crime Victims Compensation, as provided by law.
  • To request an order for an offender to submit to a test for sexually transmitted diseases, communicable disease, or HIV test (for certain offenses).
  • To notice of a decision to close or dismiss a case or defer prosecution, if the offender is a juvenile. 

Victims’ Rights that apply After an Offender has been Charged

  • To receive written information from the district attorney regarding the victim’s rights and how to exercise them.
  • Upon request, the opportunity to communicate with the prosecutor (or intake worker) about the possible outcome of the case, potential plea agreements and sentencing options.*
  • To be notified of the time, date and place of court proceedings, if requested.*
  • To be provided a waiting area separate from defense witnesses.
  • To be notified if charges are dismissed.
  • To have the victim’s interests considered when the court is deciding whether to grant a continuance or deciding whether to exclude persons from a preliminary hearing.
  • To be contacted about the right to make a statement at disposition or sentencing.
  • To assistance with an employer about the need to attend court appearances.*
  • To recompense from forfeited bail, as determined by the court. 

Victims’ Rights related to the Sentencing of the Offender by the Court

  • To provide a statement to the court, in person or in writing, about the economic, physical and psychological effects of the crime and to have that information considered by the court.
  • To be contacted by the person preparing the pre-sentence report (or court report, if the offender is a juvenile) to have the impact on the victim included in the report.
  • To restitution from a juvenile offender, as permitted by law, and to a civil judgment for unpaid restitution.
  • To view certain portions of a presentence investigation report.
  • To restitution from an adult offender for any crime considered at sentencing and to a civil judgment for unpaid restitution.

Victims’ Rights that apply After Sentencing

  • To be provided sentencing or dispositional information, if requested.*
  • To be notified of a conditional release.
  • To be provided with notice of a petition for a sentence adjustment or reduction and applications for early release.
  • To be notified by the Department of Corrections of certain releases, escapes, confinements, leave, release to extended supervision and participation in the intensive sanctions program. If you have questions about receiving notices from the Department of Corrections, call 1-800-947-5777.
  • To attend a hearing on a petition for a modification of a sentence and to provide a statement.
  • To notification from the Department of Health & Family Services concerning discharge, home visits and supervised release of certain offenders.
  • To be notified of applications for parole or release to extended supervision; to provide statements concerning parole.
  • Upon request, to have the clerk of court send: a copy of an inmate’s petition for extended supervision and notice of the hearing on that petition; a copy of a motion for post-conviction DNA testing and notice of any related hearing.*
  • To be notified by the governor of a pardon application and to make a written statement about that application.