Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City is committed to assisting and supporting the victims and witnesses of crime Baltimore City. To provide a wide range of helpful and useful services to victims and services, we operate a Victim and Witness Division staffed by experienced and trained professionals.

To learn more, select one of the following:

Resources for Victims and Witnesses

Automated Notification (State Cases)
866-634-8463
TTY: 866-847-1298
www.vinelink.com

Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center Inc.
877-VICTIM-1
www.mdcrimevictims.org

Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation
888-679-9347
www.dpscs.state.md.us/victimservs/FAQcicb.shtml

Maryland Victims' Rights Compliance
Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention
877-927-4632
www.goccp.maryland.gov/victim/victim-compliance-line.php

Maryland State's Attorneys' Association
Victim and Witness Protection and Relocation Program
410-203-9881
www.mdsaa.org/contactus.html

Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore
Victim and Witness Services
410-396-1897
www.stattorney.org

U.S. Attorney Maryland
Victim Witness Assistance
410-209-4800
www.justice.gov/usao/md/victim%20witness/index.html

U.S. Attorney District of Columbia
Victim Witness Assistance
202-252-7130
www.justice.gov/usao/dc/programs/vw/vwa.html

District of Columbia Crime Victims' Resource Center
202-531-3346
www.dccrimevictims.org

District of Columbia Criminal Injuries Compensation
202-879-4216
www.dcsc.gov/dccourts/superior/cvcp.jsp

Office for Victims of Crime (Nationwide Providers)
Ovc.ncjrs.gov/findvictimservices/

Victim and Witness Intimidation

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City has no tolerance for attempts to intimidate victims, witnesses, or officers of the court.

If you have been threatened regarding your involvement in a case, you should immediately contact the law enforcement agency that investigated the case, or the Assistant State's Attorney handling your case. If you do not know the attorney handling your case, please contact our Victim and Witness Services Division at 410-396-1897.

In an emergency situation, call 911. Do so as soon as possible so that the threats can be documented and appropriate action taken.

Community Impact Statements

Individuals who live in a community where a crime has occurred have the right to submit what are known as Community Impact Statements, and the State's Attorney's Office strongly encourages community residents to exercise this important right.

What is a community impact statement?

In an Impact Statement, a community residents or community groups provide an explanation of how the crime affected you, your family, and your community. Statements should include:

  • A "brief" summary of the harm or trauma suffered by you and your community as a result of the crime.
  • A summary of the economic loss or damage suffered by you and your community as a result of the crime.
  • A concise statement of what outcome that you and your community would like and the reasons to support this opinion.

Why is a community Impact Statement so important?

After a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime, a Judge sentences the defendant. The Judge responsible for sentencing the defendant reads and considers Community Impact Statements before setting the sentence.

What else should I know about Victim Impact Statements?

A Community Impact Statement submitted to the Court becomes part of the criminal case file. As a result, everyone involved in the case will receive a copy, including the Judge, prosecutor, defendant, defense lawyer, and probation officer.

Is a community required to submit a Victim Impact Statement?

No. There is no obligation to compose and submit a Community Impact Statement.

Where are Community Impact Statements to be sent?

Community Impact Statements can be submitted in one of three ways: through this Web site, by mail, and by fax.

Compose and submit Community Impact Statements online

To submit by mail, send to:
Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City
Attention: (Assistant State's Attorney who is handling your case)
110 North Calvert Street, Suite 210
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

To submit by fax, send to:
410-637-3172

Still have questions?
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City's Victim and Witness Division at 410-396-1897.

Sample Community Impact Statement

March 3, 2011

The Honorable Peter M. Smith
For the District Court of Maryland

Regarding: State of Maryland V. John Doe
Case Number: 1G67832000

Dear Judge Smith

This letter is a community impact statement on behalf of the Orange View Community Association.

The criminal activity of John Doe has caused us to be denied our safety and quality of life in the Orange View Community. Between the months of June 2010 until December 2010, Mr. Doe burglarized over twenty homes in our community, many of which were occupied at the time of the theft. 

People should not be able to commit crimes like this and get away with it. The emotional impact Mr. Doe caused on our community will be felt for years to come. Many residents have reported being unable to sleep at night, and are constantly afraid that someone will break into their residence while they are home. We don’t want to be held hostage in our community. 

Mr. Doe should be punished to the full extent of the law, and if you do mandate community service hours as part of Mr. Doe’s sentence, we urge that it is fulfilled in the Orange View Community where the offense occurred. A clear message needs to be sent that crime will not be tolerated in the Orange View Community.

We thank you for your time, and appreciate your consideration of this statement during sentencing.

Sincerely

 

The Orange View Community Association

Victim Impact Statements

Crime victims have the right to submit what are known as victim impact statements, and the State's Attorney's Office strongly encourages victims to exercise this important right.

What is a victim impact statement?

In an impact statement, a victim provides an explanation of how the crime affected you, your family, or even your community. Statements should include:

  • A "brief" summary of the harm or trauma suffered by the victim or family as a result of the crime.
  • A summary of the economic loss or damage suffered by the victim as a result of the crime. Include requests for restitution for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • A concise statement of what outcome the victim would like and the reasons to support this opinion, including support for or opposition to treatment or community service programs.
  • Highlights about the victim, past accomplishments, hopes for the future, and what the crime has done to change these activities.
  • The overall effect the crime has had on the victim and family.

Why is a victim impact statement so important?

After a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime, a Judge sentences the defendant. The Judge responsible for sentencing the defendant reads and considers victim impact statements before setting the sentence.

What else should I know about victim impact statements?

A victim impact statement submitted to the Court becomes part of the criminal case file. As a result, everyone involved in the case will receive a copy, including the Judge prosecutor, defendant, defense lawyer, and probation officer.

Is a victim required to submit a victim impact statement?

No. There is no obligation to compose and submit a victim impact statement.

Where are victim impact statements to be sent?

Victim impact statements can be submitted in one of three ways: through this Web site, by mail, or by fax.

Compose and submit Victim Impact Statements online

To submit by mail, send to:
The Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City
Communications and Community Affairs Division
100 North Calvert Street, Suite 302
Baltimore, MD 21202

To submit by fax, send to:
410-637-3172

Still have questions?
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City's Victim and Witness Division at 410-396-1897.

Crime Victim Notification Request and Demand for Rights Form

In 1996, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation that gives victims of violent crimes the right to be notified of all court proceedings, and if the offender is incarcerated, the right to be notified of their release.   If you wish to be notified, you must fill out a Crime Victim Notification Request and Demand for Rights Form, which may be obtained from the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City. To receive a form, please call 410-396-1897.

Your Legal Rights in the Criminal Justice System
Your Rights as a Victim in the Criminal Juvenile Justice Process Brochure

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE)

In addition to completing the Crime Victim Notification Request and Demand for Rights Form, victims may also register for VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday).  VINE is a free service which allows crime victims across Maryland to receive automated, timely, and reliable information about criminal cases 24 hours a day - over the telephone, through the Internet, or by e-mail.  Victims can also request to be notified about the current status of an inmate and can register to be notified immediately upon a change in the inmate's status, such as a release, escape, or court appearance.  For more information or to register for notification please call 1-866-634-8463 or Click the following links:

Vinelink Website

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board provides financial assistance for innocent victims of crime. The Board may compensate victims who suffer physical injury for their medical expenses and loss of earnings. In cases of homicide, the Board may assist with funeral expenses and loss of support on the part of the victim's dependents. 410-585-3010 or 1-888-679-9347 toll-free.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Website

Crime Victims Have Rights

  • Obtain information about your case, including current status
  • Participate in programs and services available in your local area:
  • Financial Assistance
  • Crisis intervention services
  • Domestic violence programs
  • Crime victim advocates
  • Counseling
  • Support groups
  • Receive and submit a “Crime Victim Notification Request and Demand for Rights Form”
  • Attend all adult and certain juvenile criminal justice proceedings
  • Request restitution
  • Submit a written statement and speak at sentencing/disposition
  • Be informed of the release, transfer, escape, or death of an inmate
  • Attend and testify at parole hearings

On the Day of the Trial

When you are summoned to Court, you need to be available for the entire day. It is difficult to determine how long you will be in court. You may be excused or you may be needed for more than a day. Often victims and witness have to wait until preliminary procedures are completed. You may want to eat before coming to court and remember to bring any medications that you are required to take throughout the day.

Food, beverages, radios, recorders, cameras, weapons, sharp objects, electronic games, and large bags are not allowed into the courthouse and will be confiscated upon entering.

If you need handicapped or other special arrangements made for the day of your testimony, please calls the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City’s Victim and Witness Division at 410-396-1897. If the case is in Juvenile Court, please call 443-263-8146.

Exclusive Waiting Room for Victims and Witnesses

We maintain a dedicated waiting room for the exclusive use of victims and witness at the Baltimore City Circuit Court. The room is located in room 410 of the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse (110 North Calvert Street, Baltimore Maryland 21202). The waiting area provides a safe and comfortable location for victims, witnesses, and their families to wait prior to testifying. Please feel free to use the facilities at your convenience.

If you are a victim or witness in district or juvenile court, please check in with the Assistant State’s Attorney upon entering the courtroom and have a seat in the first few rows of the courtroom.

Tips for Appearing in Court

Be on time.

Wear business attire to court.

Avoid distracting habits such as chewing gum.

Before testifying, try to recall information accurately in your mind.

Tell the truth.  Answer the question to the best of your memory. Do not exaggerate.

Stop testimony immediately if the judge interrupts you or an attorney makes an objection.

Speak loudly so that you can be heard. Physical gestures, such as nods of the head are insufficient. You must articulate your response.

Listen carefully and answer only the question that is asked of you. Do not volunteer additional information.

Do not give conclusions or opinions unless asked to do so.

Notify the Community Services Division immediately if you change your address or phone number. If the case is in Juvenile Court please call 443-263-8100.