Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
The Sussex County Prosecutor's Office of Victim Witness Advocacy's mission is to ensure that victims of crime are treated with fairness, compassion and respect by the criminal justice system as mandated by Paragraph 22, Article 1 of the New Jersey Constitution. In order to accomplish this mission, the Unit provides services to assist victims and witnesses in coping with the aftermath of victimization and help make their participation in the criminal justice system less difficult and burdensome. Additionally, information on crime victims' rights and the impact of crime on victims is disseminated to the public, law enforcement, and social service agencies in order to help broaden the understanding and assistance of crime victims.
We all know about crime, but we don't expect it to involve us. We think of crime as something that happens to someone else.
What happens if crime touches your life? What do you do, where do you go, and what can be expected of you?
The Office of Victim Witness Advocacy can answer these questions for you. Specially trained Victim Advocates provide services to help victims of crime. If you have been the victim of a crime these services can provide the information and support you need, completely free of charge.
If you have been the victim of an assault, a property offense, or any other crime, the first step is to call the police. They can take action to investigate the crime and they can refer you to the Office of Victim Witness Advocacy for assistance. If someone is arrested for committing an indictable crime against you, you will automatically be contacted by the Office of Victim Witness Advocacy.
The Office of Victim Witness Advocacy provides the following services and information:
- Staff available to answer your questions on the telephone, in person or via e-mail
- Explanation of how the criminal justice process works
- Explanation of legal terms and various types of court hearings
- Notification on the status and disposition of cases
- If you will be required to appear in court and what you will need to do
- Court accompaniment
- Crisis intervention
- Assistance in getting your property back when it is no longer needed as evidence
- Assistance in making a victim impact statement to the Court
- Transportation to court on a case by case basis
- Child care assistance during court hearings
- Referrals to local social service agencies
- Assistance in filling out victim compensation claims
- Assistance with obtaining restitution
- Directions to courthouse
- To be treated with dignity and compassion by the criminal justice system
- To be informed about the criminal justice process
- To be free from intimidation
- To have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized
- To make at least one telephone call which is reasonable in both length and location called
- To medical assistance, if it appears necessary
- To be notified if presence in court is not needed
- To be informed about available remedies, financial assistance and social services
- To be compensated for losses when possible
- To be provided a secure waiting area during court proceedings
- To be advised of case progress and final disposition
- To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence
- To submit a written statement about the impact of the crime to the County Prosecutor's Office which shall be considered prior to the Prosecutor's final decision concerning whether formal criminal charges will be filed
- To make, prior to sentencing, an in-person statement directly to the sentencing court concerning the impact of the crime
If you have been injured as a result of a crime, have missed work, have had to go for counseling or have medical expenses not covered by insurance, you may be able to receive money to cover some of your costs. If a family member was the victim of a homicide or vehicular homicide, you may qualify for assistance with burial expenses. Other benefits are available, however property crimes are generally not covered by the Victims of Crime Compensation Board.
You can apply for compensation even if the offender has not been caught or convicted, but you must report the crime to the police.
A Victim Advocate can help you fill out an application form or you can obtain one directly from:
50 Park Place
Newark, NJ 07102
Toll free number: 1-877-658-2221
General questions on adult criminal matters and victim assistance
Laura Santaita, Victim Advocate - Domestic Violence Unit
For assistance with Domestic Violence cases in both Family and Superior Court
Questions about crimes committed by juveniles (under age 18) and Juvenile Family Court matters
All Advocates are Certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselors.