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Sheriff's Office - Charleston County, South Carolina
 
Victim/Witness Advocate

VICTIMS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO!!!

 

A Message from Sheriff J. Al Cannon, Jr.

Victim/Witness Program

Victim's Bill of Rights

Services Rendered

Information/Referral Phone Numbers

 

A Message from Sheriff J. Al Cannon, Jr.

The best thing that we can do for victims is to identify and take into custody those who commit criminal acts and to investigate the case in a professional manner so as to ensure the successful prosecution of the person(s) charged.  Because of our concentration on these issues, it may sometimes appear that we are not concerned with victims.  This is not the case!  In fact, it is our concern for victims that has us do the very best job we can.

Since victims of or witnesses to a crime often have little understanding about the Criminal Justice System, they often feel victimized a second time by the system itself.  Our Victim/Witness Advocates can help alleviate some of these feelings by explaining the system, how it works, and what is expected to happen.

If you are a victim or know someone who is, call our Victim/Witness Advocates.  We're here to help you.

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Victim/Witness Program

In an effort to assist victims of and witnesses to crime, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office has established a Victim/Witness Assistance Program.  This program offers valuable information and assistance to victims/witnesses concerning their rights under South Carolina Law.

"Victim" as defined by S.C. State Code of Law, Title 16, is a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as the result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime.  "Victim" also includes the immediate family of any victim who is minor of who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim.

"Witness" is defined as any person who has been, or is expected to be summoned to testify for either the prosecution or the defense, or who by reason of having relevant information, is subject to call or likely to be called as a witness for the prosecution or defense, whether or not any action or proceeding has yet been commenced.

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Victim's Bill of Rights

To the extent reasonably possible and subject to available resources, victims, and witnesses of crime are afforded the following rights under South Carolina Law, Section 16-3-1530.

  • A right to be treated with dignity and compassion.

  • A right to protection from intimidation and harm.

  • A right to be informed concerning the Criminal Justice Process.

  • A right to reparations.

  • A right to preservation of property and employment.

  • A right to Due Process in Criminal Court proceedings.

  • Victims and witnesses who are very young, elderly, handicapped, or have special needs, have a right to special recognition and attention by all Criminal Justice, Medical, and Social Service Agencies.

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Services Rendered

Incident Reports: Section 16-3-1535 requires that victims be provided a copy of the incident report relating to their case free of charge.

Information: Comprehensive explanation of programs and services provided by various agencies for victims/witnesses of crime, to include restitution.

Referrals: Recommending or obtaining assistance from other sources that are not provided directly by the program.

Counseling: Providing emotional and moral support to the victim during the aftermath of a crime.

Personal Advocacy: Acting on behalf of victims or witnesses to ensure that they receive appropriate assistance from Social Service Agencies and the Criminal Justice System.

Employment Intervention: Interact with employer on behalf of victims to explain time off from work due to court appearances and conferences with law enforcement personnel.

Restitution: Assist victims of violent crimes in completing the appropriate forms for compensation from State Assistance Programs.

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Information / Referral Phone Numbers

  • Sheriff's Office Victim/Witness Advocate (843)745-2250, (843)745-2251, (843)745-2252

  • Charleston County Detention Center (Jail) (843) 529-7300

  • Charleston County Family Court (843) 958-4400

  • Charleston County Solicitor's Victim Assistance (843)958-1900

  • Crime Stoppers (843) 554-1111

  • Elder Support Line (843) 766-7180

  • Hotline 211

  • My Sister's House (843) 744-3242

  • People Against Rape (843) 745-0144

  • Survivors of Homicide Support Group - a free therapeutic support group that meets twice per month.  (843) 745-2250 and 745-2251

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