Crime victims don’t have to hire their own attorneys for a criminal case, because the state’s prosecutor handles the case. However, the prosecutor is NOT the victim’s attorney (the prosecutor represents the “State of Texas”), so it is often helpful for a sexual assault victim to seek her or his own personal legal assistance. SALSA attorneys can assist you in many matters related to your criminal case.
Texas law and the Texas Constitution provide for various rights of crime victims during the criminal justice process, but they can be difficult to enforce without legal assistance. SALSA attorneys are experts on victim rights in Texas. Some of your rights include: • The right to protection from the perpetrator • The right to consult with the prosecutor about the case • The right to provide a Victim Impact Statement to the court • The right to be notified about plea bargains • The right to be notified about an offender’s parole hearing • The right to be notified about an offender’s release from prison • The right to have your privacy protected
A medical forensic exam (or rape kit) is usually performed 96 hours after a sexual assault. As of June 19, 2009, a police report is NO longer required to receive the exam. Go here to learn more. In addition, effective September 1, 2013, you have the right to receive a medical forensic exam at any emergency department in the state, and to receive certain information about the status of any DNA evidence collected. Implementation of this new law will take some time. You may want to call ahead to the hospital or use the crisis center locator to ask your rape crisis center which hospital they would recommend you visit for a medical forensic exam.
These are only a few of the rights afforded to crime victims.
When you are ready, contact us at 1-888-343-4414, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.