Marsy's Law Protects Victim Rights
On April 6, Ohio House Bill 343, also known as Marsy’s Law, went into effect after Governor DeWine signed it into law earlier this year. This legislation ensures that each and every crime victim in Ohio, no matter where they live, is empowered to use their Marsy’s Law constitutional rights in the justice system.
HB 343 mandates compliance and outlines specific requirements within the legal system to ensure the protection of victim rights, including:
The Supreme Court must create a victim’s rights request form, which ensures that each and every criminal justice system official is aware of the rights each victim has chosen to assert.
New procedures to ensure that victims’ rights to be notified, present and heard during criminal justice proceedings are protected.
The right of victims to have their names, addresses, and identifying information protected from public release.
Guidance for officials within the criminal legal system as well as victims on mandatory restitution proceedings.
Specific procedures for attorneys enforcing victims’ rights at the trial and appeals court levels.
“The passage of HB 343 is a huge win for victims in Ohio,” said Abigail Hefflinger, staff attorney and director of Court Advocacy and CASA at Crime Victim Services. “This bill ensures that not only the courts, but each and every victim, knows what their rights are and that they will be protected under law.”
Crime Victim Services has been providing advocacy and support services to victims of crime since its inception in 1980. Over the last 43 years, CVS has advocated for more than 89,000 victims in the court systems in Allen and Putnam counties.
Now Licensed Social Workers and other professional advocates who specialize in felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases, as well as specialized Victim Advocates for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors work alongside prosecutors to ensure that victims find safety, healing, justice and restitution and thrive in their recovery.
To learn more about victim advocacy through the criminal legal system, visit crimevictimservices.org/courtadvocacy.