In Ohio, when prosecuting criminal charges, the county prosecutor must represent the interests of the citizens as a whole, not just those of the victim alone. For this reason, the victim of a crime is not legally considered to be an official party to a criminal or juvenile case. That fact, combined with the numerous constitutional and other legal rights provided to criminal defendants, occasionally results in victims of crime feeling as if they are powerless participants in the criminal justice system. In response to this, it is part of the mission of the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure that the rights of victims are also acknowledged and protected to the fullest extent possible under the law.
Article I, Section 10(a) of the Ohio Constitution provides that “[v]ictims of criminal offenses shall be accorded fairness, dignity, and respect in the criminal justice process, and, as the general assembly shall define and provide by law, shall be accorded rights to reasonable and appropriate notice, information, access, and protection and to a meaningful role in the criminal justice process.”
Chapter 2930 of the Ohio Revised Code sets forth detailed guidelines with regard to victims’ rights. In particular, victims should be aware of the following information.
In Allen County, Crime Victim Services is a United Way-based victim assistance agency that provides a wealth of essential information and support to victims of crime. Crime Victim Services advocates on behalf of victims and assists in providing victims with accurate information about their rights.
Among other services, Crime Victim Services provides the following assistance:
Crime Victim Services
330 North Elizabeth Street, 2nd Floor
Lima, Ohio 45801