Copyright 2021 by Forsyth County, Georgia

Victim Witness Assistance Program

The mission of the DA's Victim Witness Assistance Program is to offer crime victims and witnesses emotional support during the aftermath of a crime as well as guidance through the complexities of the criminal justice system. Victim Advocates provide the best possible services to persons who fall victim to crime in Forsyth County by providing comprehensive services which remove barriers, strengthen victims and their families and foster a healthy transition from victim to survivor. This includes insuring that victims are granted those rights that are mandated by the "Crime Victims' Bill of Rights" enacted in 1995.

YOUR RIGHTS...

The Victim Witness Assistance Program was established to offer crime victims and witnesses emotional support during the aftermath of crime and guidance through the maze of the criminal justice system. Your knowledge of a crime as a victim or witness is very important to the criminal justice system. No crime can be solved without the help of victims and witnesses. By your willingness to get involved, you are working with other citizens, the police, the District Attorney, and the courts to reduce the crime. Most importantly, your cooperation and assistance could prevent others from being victimized. The Crime Victim Bill of Rights and the Crime Victim's Compensation Program were developed to protect the interests of the victim.

Crime Victim Bill of Rights

  • The right to notification of each stage in the judicial process to include pretrial hearings, bond, grand jury, arraignment, motion hearings, pleas of guilty, trial, sentencing, appeals.
  • The right to notification of arrest, release, possibility of release, or escape of accused or any change in custodial status.
  • The right to give opinions of release from custody or on bond issues.
  • The right to a private waiting area during any related court proceedings.
  • The right to offer input on plea negotiations or sentence hearings and conditions.
  • The right to receive compensation and/or restitution when eligible.
  • The right to protection from intimidation or harm.

Please understand that the Criminal Justice System is complicated and that cases take time to be called for trial. If you have any changes in contact information be sure to notify your local Victim Witness Assistance Program to update them. Do not hesitate to call with any possible questions.

!REMEMBER * If you are threatened or intimidated in any way by the defendant, his/her family or friends - contact local law enforcement immediately.

You also have the right to refuse if someone other that the District Attorney, his staff, or investigating police agency attempts to talk with you regarding the case. If this happens, contact the local VWAP immediately.

Crime Victim's Compensation Program The State of Georgia has a program to assist victims with crime related expenses if you are a victim of a violent crime. It can help compensate victims for medical bills, counseling expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses that are not covered by insurance or other sources. This program does not cover property loss. There are eligibility requirements and limits to this compensation program.

Please contact the Victim Witness Assistance Program for further details, or the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-559-4949.

Court Progression

Superior Court

  1. A Criminal offense occurs 
  2. A warrant is issued and served 
  3. An arrest is made 
  4. Bond/Bail is set 
  5. Appearance hearing before magistrate 
  6. District Attorney's office receives warrant 
  7. Investigation is conducted 
  8. Grand Jury convenes 
  9. Arraignment is ordered 
  10. Trial is held 
  11. Sentencing is issued 

State Court 

  1. A Criminal offense occurs 
  2. A warrant is issued and served 
  3. An arrest is made 
  4. Bond/Bail is set 
  5. Solicitor's office receives warrant 
  6. Investigation is conducted 
  7. Accusation is filed 
  8. Arraignment is ordered 
  9. Trial is held 
  10. Sentencing is issued 

Services

The following services are confidential and free of charge to victims and witnesses of crime.

  • Information about the status of your court case. 
  • Notification of judicial proceedings that involve your case. 
  • Information and explanation regarding the criminal justice system. 
  • Orientation to the courtroom setting and the people involved. 
  • Escort to and from the courtroom during proceedings as well as moral support. 
  • Referral to social service agencies, counselors, and others who can assist you. 
  • Employer intervention to explain time missed from work due to court appearances. 
  • Information about the Crime Victims Compensation Program 
  • Private waiting area prior to and during your court appearance. 
  • Assistance in completing your Victim Impact Statement and/or any additional forms needed. 
  • Advocacy and support with any problems that you may have as a result of the crime itself or due to court appearances. 
  • Information on who to contact for notification of possible parole, inmate release, or any change in inmate status. 

Location

101 East Courthouse Square
Suite 2076
Cumming, GA 30040

Hours

Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.