What is the Office of the Victim Advocate?
The Office of the
Victim Advocate (OVA) is an independent state agency charged with the
responsibility of protecting and enforcing the rights of crime victim’s
throughout the state of Connecticut.
What can the Office of the Victim Advocate do?
Among other things, the Office of the Victim Advocate:
- Monitors services provided to crime victims by state agencies and
- Receives and investigates victims’ complaints
regarding their treatment in the criminal justice process, including but
not limited to:
- Complaints against law enforcement agencies
- Victim Compensation
- Court-based and non-profit advocates
- The Judge
- The Prosecutor
What are my rights as a crime victim in an adult criminal proceeding?
Can intervene in court cases to advocate for a crime victim when their rights
have been violated.
- Can make recommendations to the legislature,
criminal justice professionals, and victim service providers for changes in
state policies and laws to benefit crime victims.
- Provides public education and outreach regarding services
available to victims of crime and their families.
As a crime victim
you have constitutional rights, such as being treated with fairness and
respect; to receive notification of court proceedings, and to communicate with
the prosecution about the case. Contact our agency for a full list of your
rights as a crime victim.
What are my rights as a crime victim in a juvenile delinquency
As a crime victim in a Juvenile Delinquency
proceeding, you have the following rights:
Right to Attend Delinquency Proceedings: Any victim
of a delinquent act, the parents or guardian of such victim, and any appointed
victim advocate will not be excluded from the delinquency proceedings unless
the judge specifically orders otherwise.
- Victim’s input as part of pre-disposition investigation by Probation
Officer in delinquency matter: Prior to the disposition of the case of any
child convicted of a delinquent act, the probation officer is required to
conduct an investigation which includes an inquiry into the concerns of the
complainant or victim and any damages suffered by the victim including medical
expenses, loss of earnings and property loss. The case of any child will
not be disposed of until such investigation has been completed and the results
have been placed before the judge.
- Statement of Victim/Victim’s Representative at Delinquency Proceeding: Any victim
of alleged delinquent conduct, the parents or guardian of such victim, an
appointed advocate, or the victim’s counsel shall have the right to appear
before the court in any proceeding on the alleged delinquency of a child for
the purpose of making a statement to the court concerning the disposition of
Who is considered a crime victim? What is the definition of a
the purpose of the work conducted by the OVA, the Connecticut General Statute
1-1k, defines a "Victim of crime", "crime victim" as: “Except
as otherwise provided by the general statutes, ‘victim of crime’ or ‘crime
victim’ means an individual who suffers direct or threatened physical,
emotional or financial harm as a result of a crime and includes immediate
family members of a minor, incompetent individual or homicide victim and a
person designated by a homicide victim in accordance with section 1-56r.”
How do I contact the Office of the
can contact the Office of the Victim Advocate by calling 860-550-6632;
toll-free within Connecticut at 888-771-3126; via email at email@example.com; by facsimile at 860-560-7065 or through
mail to the Office of the Victim Advocate, 505 Hudson Street, 5th
Floor, Hartford, CT 06106.
I file a complaint?
Should you have a
complaint with a representative of an agency, law enforcement officer, etc. you
should first try to resolve the issue directly with an agency head or
supervisor. If you feel that you have gone unheard and feel that your
rights as a crime victim are being violated, you should contact the OVA at
860-550-6632 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was told that as a crime victim I can receive money to cover certain
expenses. How do I apply for compensation?
The Office of
Victim Services is the agency that provides crime victim compensation.
Compensation is only available for certain-crime related expenses.
For more information on victim compensation, please visit Judicial Branch
website at www.jud.ct.gov or
call the OVS toll-free from with-in Connecticut at 1-888-286-7347.
· Application for
Personal Injury Compensation
· Application for
The police gave me a yellow piece of paper and told me to contact the
Victim Advocate; do I call the Office of the Victim Advocate?
No, this is a
common error. Actually, you would contact the court-based advocate at the
specified court location. If there is not an advocate at the court location,
you should contact the State’s Attorney in that court. To find contact
information for the advocates and State’s Attorneys in a specific court, please
click on Judicial Branch
If your matter is
related to domestic violence, you would contact family services at the court location.
You can find their contact information in the Judicial Branch Directory
referenced above or contact, Connecticut
Coalition against Domestic Violence (CCADV) toll-free within
Connecticut at 888-774-2900 for a domestic violence advocate.
If your matter is
related to a drunken driving incident contact Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) for an advocate
toll free within Connecticut at 800-544-3690.
If your matter is
related to a sexual assault incident contact, Connecticut Sexual Crisis Services (CONNSACS) for a sexual
assault advocate toll-free within Connecticut at 888-999-5545.
I am a crime victim, what services are available to me?
There are many
resources available to crime victims in Connecticut. Please visit the OVA website to find Connecticut Crime Victim Resources or call the OVA at
What is restitution?
As a crime victim you have the
right to ask for restitution and for the court to consider it. Restitution is,
generally speaking, the out of pocket expenses associated with the crime you
have suffered. In Connecticut
restitution can be ordered through both (1) a condition of probation and (2) a written order of restitution. The Written Order of Restitution
is similar to a Civil Judgment, but without the hassle of hiring an attorney
and going through the Civil Court process.
The Written Order of Restitution can be requested by the prosecutor or
the victim and ordered by a Judge at the end of a case. The order is good for
What is the process for obtaining restitution in adult criminal court?
Once an offender
has been convicted of committing a crime, in addition to any other sentence
imposed by the court, the judge must order financial restitution to the crime
victim under terms it determines are appropriate with exceptions if:
- The offense resulted in injury or damage to or loss of property to the crime victim;
- The crime victim requests restitution; and
The court finds that the crime victim has suffered injury or damage or
loss of property.
The amount of restitution
ordered to be paid to the crime victim must be based on “easily ascertainable
- Loss of property;
- Actual expenses for treatment of injury;
- Lost wages from injury;
- May include costs of counseling reasonably related to the offense.
*Restitution may not be ordered for mental anguish, pain
and suffering, or other intangible losses.
To determine appropriate terms of restitution, the court must consider the following:
- The financial resources of the offender and the burden restitution will
place on other obligations of the offender;
- The offender’s ability to pay on installments or other conditions;
- The rehabilitative effect on the offender of payment of restitution; and
- Other circumstances including financial burden on the victim.
*The court may
forego setting terms of restitution if the offender’s current financial
resources are such that no appropriate terms can be determined. The
court’s written order of restitution is enforceable as a civil judgment for ten
years after the sentence or ten years after the offender’s release from
confinement, whichever is longer.
Can I obtain restitution in a juvenile delinquency proceeding?
Yes, pursuant to
CGS §46b-140, upon conviction of a child as delinquent, the court may
order the child or the parents or guardian of the child, or both, to make
restitution to the victim of the offense. If the child has engaged in
conduct which results in property damage or personal injury, the court may
order the child or the parent(s) or guardian of the child, if such parent
or guardian had knowledge of or condoned the conduct of the child, or both the
child and the parent(s) or guardian, to make restitution.
can I find an Order of Restitution Form?
Click on Order of
Restitution Form to print a pdf copy.
Do I automatically receive notification of court proceedings?
No! Connecticut’s notification system is an “opt-in”
system, which means you need to sign-up for notification. Notification
Request for Notification of Status of Inmate Form (JD-VS-5)
forms to the:
If you have
questions, regarding these forms, please contact the above referenced agencies.
Connecticut SAVIN is a free,
confidential service that provides crime victims and their family members,
victim advocates, and members of the community free and confidential
notification of court related events. The Connecticut Judicial Branch provides
this toll-free, automated notification service.
How do I file a restraining order?
For information on
how to apply for a restraining order, please view the Judicial Branch
Orders: How to Apply for Relief of Abuse. The forms
you will need to complete are:
- If you want temporary custody of your children, you will need to complete an