Two Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Mon-Fri: (201) 646-2300
After Hours: (201) 646-2700

Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy

Bergen County Justice Center Room 155
2 Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
Telephone (201) 646-2057
Fax (201) 646-2264

As a crime victim or a witness of a crime, you have certain rights in the criminal justice system. There are services available to you so that your participation in the criminal justice system will be less stressful and more informed. This is accomplished through the County Offices of Victim-Witness Advocacy. In each of the 21 county prosecutors' offices, there is a County Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy. The Bergen County Victim-Witness Office is located in the Bergen County Justice Center in Hackensack, New Jersey.

This office is staffed with trained professionals who will assist and accompany you through prosecution to the final outcome of your case. The staff in the Victim-Witness Office will assist you in obtaining other needed social services such as counseling, crime compensation, shelter service for women and their children in domestic violence situations.

The Bergen County Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy has provided services to thousands of crime victims and witnesses throughout the county. As trained crime victim advocates, we understand the physical as well as the emotional pain an individual can experience as a victim of crime. We are here to support you and ensure your rights as a crime victim are being respected. 


RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS AND WITNESSES
(N.J.S.A. § 52:4B-36)

The legislature finds and declares that crime victims and witnesses are entitled to the following rights:

  1. To be treated with dignity and compassion by the criminal justice system;
  2. To be informed about the criminal justice process;
  3. To be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse by any person including the defendant or any other person acting in support of or on behalf of the defendant, due to the involvement of the victim or witness in the criminal justice process;
  4. To have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized to the fullest extent possible;
  5. To make at least one telephone call provided the call is reasonable in both length and location called;
  6. To medical assistance reasonably related to the incident in accordance with the provisions of the "Criminal Injuries Compensation Act of 1971," P.L. 1971, c. 317 (N.J.S.A. § 52:4B-1 et seq.);
  7. To be notified in a timely manner, if practicable, if presence in court is not needed or if any scheduled court proceeding has been adjourned or cancelled;
  8. To be informed about available remedies, financial assistance and social services;
  9. To be compensated for loss sustained by the victim whenever possible;
  10. To be provided a secure, but not necessarily separate, waiting area during court proceedings;
  11. To be advised of case progress and final disposition and to confer with the prosecutor's representative so that the victim may be kept adequately informed;
  12. To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence;
  13. To submit a written statement, within a reasonable amount of time, about the impact of the crime to a representative of the prosecuting agency which shall be considered prior to the prosecutor's final decision concerning whether formal criminal charges will be filed, whether the prosecutor will consent to a request by the defendant to enter into a pre-trial program, and whether the prosecutor will make or agree to a negotiated plea;
  14. To make, prior to sentencing, an in-person statement directly to the sentencing court concerning the impact of the crime. This statement is to be made in addition to the statement permitted for inclusion in the presentence report by N.J.S.A. § 2C:44-6;
  15. To have the opportunity to consult with the prosecuting authority prior to the conclusion of any plea negotiations, and to have the prosecutor advise the court of the consultation and the victim's position regarding the plea agreement, provided however that nothing herein shall be construed to alter or limit the authority or discretion of the prosecutor to enter into any plea agreement which the prosecutor deems appropriate;
  16. To be present at any judicial proceeding involving a crime or any juvenile proceeding involving a criminal offense, except as otherwise provided by Article I, paragraph 22 of the New Jersey Constitution;
  17. To be notified of any release or escape of the defendant; and
  18. To appear in any court before which a proceeding implicating the rights of the victim is being held, with standing to file a motion or present argument on a motion filed to enforce any right conferred herein or by Article I, paragraph 22 of the New Jersey Constitution, and to receive an adjudicative decision by the court on any such motion.

RIGHTS OF THE SURVIVORS OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS
(N.J.S.A. § 52:4B-36-1)

  1. A victim's survivor may, at the time of making the in-person statement to the sentencing court authorized by subsection n. of section 3 of P.L.1985, c. 249 (N.J.S.A. § 52:4B-36), display directly to the sentencing court a photograph of the victim taken before the homicide including, but not limited to, a still photograph, a computer-generated presentation, or a video presentation of the victim. The time, length and content of such presentation shall be within the sound discretion of the sentencing judge; and
  2. A victim's survivor may, during any judicial proceeding involving the defendant, wear a button not exceeding four inches in diameter that contains a picture of the victim, if the court determines that the wearing of such button will not deprive the defendant of his right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I of the New Jersey Constitution. Other spectators at such judicial proceedings may also wear similar buttons if the court so determines. If the victim's survivor seeks to wear the button at trial, the victim's survivor shall give notice to the defendant and to the court no less than 30 days prior to the final trial date. 

CRIME VICTIMS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PAY CERTAIN COSTS 
(N.J.S.A. § 52:4B-36-2)

  1. A crime victim shall not be required to pay the maintenance, support, rehabilitation, or other costs arising from the imprisonment or commitment of a victimizer as a result of the crime; and
  2. A crime victim shall not be charged any fee otherwise prescribed by law or regulation to obtain copies of the victim's own records to which the victim is entitled to access as provided in section 1 of P.L.1995, c. 23 (N.J.S.A. § 47:1A-1.1) including, but not limited to, any law enforcement agency report, domestic violence offense report, and temporary or permanent restraining order.  

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Bergen County - Domestic Violence Intake Office: 201-527-2350
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT:
To go to court to get an order called a temporary restraining order (TRO) which may protect you from more abuse by your attacker. The kinds of things a judge can order in a TRO may include:
  1. That your attacker is temporarily forbidden from having contact with you or your relatives;
  2. That your attacker is temporarily forbidden from bothering you at work;
  3. That your attacker has to pay temporary child support or support for you;
  4. That you will be given temporary custody of your children;
  5. That your attacker pay you back any money you have to spend for medical treatment or repairs because of the violence.

VICTIM / WITNESS BROCHURES AND IMPACT FORMS:

  • A Program To Serve Victims and Witnesses Of Crime
  • Programa Para Servir A Las Victimas Y Testigos De Un Crimen
  • Information for Victims of Juvenile Delinquency
  • Victim Impact Statement
  • Condition of Bail - No Contact Form (English)

There are other things the court can order. The court clerk will explain the procedures to you and help you fill out the papers for a TRO. On weekends, holidays and other times when the courts are closed, you still have the right to get a TRO. Call your local Police, they will respond and provide you with a victim notification form and can help you get in touch with a judge who can give you a TRO. You also have the right to file a criminal complaint against your attacker. The police will help you file a criminal complaint. 


IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE: COUNTY-WIDE

CENTER FOR HOPE AND SAFETY
12 Overlook Avenue
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662
Available 24 hours, seven days a week
Numero de emergencia las 24 horas
Hotline: 1-201-944-9600
Telephone: 1-201-498-9247 
TTY: 1-201-836-3071
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY SCREENING PROGRAM
Division of Care Plus NJ, Inc.
Hotline: 1-201-487-8484
Telephone: 1-201-262-7108
www.careplusnj.org 

YWCA - HEALING SPACE
Available 24 hours, seven days a week
Numero de emergencia las 24 horas
Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-201-487-2227
Office Number: 1-201-881-1700

ALTERNATIVES TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (ADV)
Available 24 hours, seven days a week
Numero de emergencia las 24 horas
One Bergen County Plaza 2nd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Hotline: 1-201-487-8484
Telephone: 1-201-336-7575

BERGEN FAMILY CENTER
10 Banta Place, 2nd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Hackensack: 1-201-342-9200
Specializes in Trauma & Sexual Abuse Counseling
www.bergenfamilycenter.org

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE: STATE-WIDE

NEW JERSEY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE
24 hours a day - 7 days a week
Numero de emergencia las 24 horas
Telephone: 1-800-572-SAFE (1-800-572-7233)

VICTIMS OF CRIME COMPENSATION OFFICE
50 Park Place, 5th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
Telephone: 1-877-NJ VCCB1 (1-877-658-2221)
http://www.nj.gov/oag/njvictims/index.html

NEW JERSEY COALITION FOR BATTERED WOMEN
1670 Whitehouse-Hamilton Square Road
Trenton, NJ 08690
Telephone: 1-609-584-8107
http://www.njcedv.org/

NEW JERSEY COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT
2333 Whitehouse Mercerville Rd., Suite B
Trenton, NJ 08619
Telephone: 1-609-631-4450
Hotline: 1-800-601-7200
www.njcasa.org

NEW JERSEY CRIME VICTIMS' LAW CENTER
Richard Pompelio, Esq.
61 Spring Street , 4th Floor 
Newton, NJ 07860
Telephone: 1-973-903-9848
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NEW JERSEY STATE OFFICE OF VICTIM WITNESS ADVOCACY

Division of Criminal Justice
25 Market St.
P.O. Box 085
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone: 1-609-292-676
http://www.njvw.org/

NJ STATE PAROLE BOARD
Information for Crime Victims
Telephone: 1-609-292-4582
http://www.state.nj.us/parole/victim.html