The Illinois Constitution and Illinois statutes have provisions for victims rights. The purpose of the Crime Victims and Witnesses Act is to implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to crime victims by Article I, Section 8.1 of the Illinois Constitution. This is to ensure that crime victims are treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process and to increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system by affording certain basic rights and considerations to the witnesses of violent crime who are essential to prosecution.
Under this act, you are a crime victim if you are:
If you are a crime victim as defined above you shall have the following rights:
Show All Answers
Yes, you can register for notification through VINE.
No, you do not need to be present at every court appearance for the defendant. You are welcomed to attend any and all court appearances if you wish. You will be notified by our office when you are needed. If you have any questions about what will happen at a particular court appearance, you may contact a victim or witness advocate at 309-672-6900.
The Orders of Protection office is located in the Peoria County Courthouse. You may walk in or call them at 309-672-6074. Orders of protection are free to file, and there is trained staff at the Peoria County Courthouse to assist you in filing the necessary paperwork. The Peoria County Courthouse is located at:324 Main StreetRoom G14Peoria, IL 61602
The State's Attorneys Office represents the People of the State of Illinois in criminal matters. Our duty is to seek justice. We are not the lawyer for individual victims. Although we will seek restitution in appropriate cases, the amounts recoverable may not equal a victim's total loss. If you feel that you need additional recovery or relief than what the criminal case can provide, you should consider consulting with private counsel. Although we cannot recommend specific lawyers, our victim or witness staff will be happy to assist you in finding resources available to assist you.
The States Attorneys Office maintains an entire division to coordinate victim and witness issues. To speak with a victim/witness advocate, call 309-672-6900 and ask for a victim or witness advocate. In addition to our services, there are other agencies who have victim services. The Illinois Attorney Generals Office Crime Victims Department can be contacted by phone at 800-228-3368 for further information. The Illinois Department of Corrections offers some services for victims when the defendant is in the custody of the department. The U.S. Department of Justice typically works with victims of federal crimes.
We cannot prosecute cases without the cooperation of crime victims and witnesses. Your cooperation is necessary because we carry the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Only the States Attorneys office can make the decision to drop or pursue charges. If you have received a "victim letter" and you do not wish to pursue charges, simply disregard the letter. If the case has already been charged, you must contact the prosecutor handling the case. It is that prosecutors decision on whether or not to pursue a charge. There may be serious consequences to you for your lack of cooperation. You should not assume that by ignoring correspondence or subpoenas a case will be dropped. Victims wanting to drop charges should fill out an Affidavit at the States Attorneys Office requesting that the States Attorney discontinue prosecution.
Please note: Filling out an Affidavit does not guarantee the State will not continue charging a case.
Charges are filed every day in the State’s Attorney’s Office. They are based on reports sent to us from police departments. If you are a victim of a crime and wish to pursue charges, the first thing you need to do is make a police report. The police will then forward a copy of that report for review. If further information is needed, a member of the Charging Division will reach out to you. If you have not heard from our office after filing a police report, feel free to contact our Charging Division. Be sure to have the police report number with you.
Please note when coming to the States Attorney's Office to file charges that walk-in times are Tuesday 1 to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The State's Attorney's Office cannot provide you with personal legal advice.
The attorney for the defense has the right in a criminal case to interview all witnesses. However, whether or not you speak to a defense attorney is up to you. If you would feel more comfortable having the Assistant States Attorney who is handling the case present, arrange to have him or her there during the interview. Do not feel obliged to sign or say anything without first speaking to the prosecutor who is handling your case.
Yes, there is. The State's Attorney's Office can seek restitution on your behalf in the criminal case. However, restitution is not paid out until after a defendant pleads or is found guilty. The other option is to apply for compensation through the Illinois Attorney General’s Victim’s Crime Compensation program. You may apply online at https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, or our office would also be happy to assist you.