Victim Services FAQs

General Questions

Where is your office located?

Our office is located on the first floor of the General District Courthouse at 236 N. King Street in Hampton.

I received a subpoena. Do I have to appear in court?

Yes. The subpoena serves as notice for your presence in court on the given date and time as indicated. 

Can I drop charges against the person who is being prosecuted?

In criminal cases, the defendant is being charged by the Commonwealth of Virginia, not the victim. Although the victim may have made the report or called the police, it is the responsibility of the Commonwealth to prosecute the defendant. The victim always has the right to discuss the case with the Commonwealth Attorney, however, the victim cannot dismiss the criminal charges.

Can your office get me into the Witness Protection Program?

The Witness Protection Program is a federal program sponsored by the U.S. Marshal Service. The Hampton Victim Services Unit and the Federal Witness Protection Program are two separate programs; however, if you have been threatened, please contact the Hampton Police Department at 757-727-6111.

I do not live in or near Hampton. Do I still need to go to court?

In some cases our office will pay for or will reimburse travel expenses.

What services do you provide?

Hampton VSU provides direct services to all victims of crime including, but not limited to, courtroom assistance, financial services, and referrals to counseling.

How can I get my property back from the police department?

Once your case has been disposed of in the courts, you should contact the police officer or detective on your case regarding retrieving your property from the Hampton Police Division. 

How do I know if my case is going forward?

Hampton Victim Services will attempt to contact all victims and witnesses if a case is being continued or not going forward. It is important that we have accurate information to include phone number and address on file so that we can contact you. You can call the After Hours Docket Line number at 757-727-6399 after 5 p.m. the day before your scheduled court date as well. 

How can I find out who the Attorney or Advocate is that is assigned to my case?

You may either contact the Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney Office at 757-727-6442 or the Hampton Victim Services Unit at 757-726-6978 to find out who is the prosecuting attorney and/or Victim Advocate.

I have been contacted by the defense attorney in my case and someone showed up at my home stating they are from the attorney’s office. Do I have to speak with them?

Please be advised that a Commonwealth’s Attorney and/or Victim Advocate will never show up at your home without making an appointment with you in advance. You are not required to speak to anyone, and it is up to you to decide to whom you want to speak. However, if you do discuss the case with the defense counsel or their investigator, please inform the Commonwealth’s Attorney or the advocate assigned to your case. 

What is the Victim Impact Statement (VIS)?

The Victim Impact Statement is a written or oral statement made as part of the judicial legal process. It allows crime victims the opportunity to speak during the sentencing portion of a court case. It is a victim’s right and a crucial part of the sentencing. It assists the judge in making a determination of sentence for the defendant. Your Victim Advocate will make sure that you have completed the VIS, and it needs to be received back into the office two weeks before the sentencing date.

I do not speak English. Can you provide a translator?

Yes, our office will provide a translator for court and/or any meetings with the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Crime Victim’s Rights

I am a crime victim. What are my rights?

Crime victims in Virginia have numerous constitutionally protected rights. For a complete list of rights, please see Section 19.2-11.01 of the Code of Virginia or contact Hampton Victim Services Unit.

I am a crime victim. Do I have to get an attorney?

You do not need to hire an attorney to criminally prosecute the defendant in your case. The Commonwealth’s Attorney (prosecutor) represents the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the office prosecutes all felony cases and serious misdemeanors.

What do I do if the defendant or the defendant’s family and friends are harassing me or making threats?

You should immediately contact the Hampton Police Department as well as contact your Victim Advocate. 

I am a victim of crime but no one has been arrested. Do I still have rights, and can I still receive assistance?

As a victim of crime, you still have rights and can receive services. 

Financial Information

What is restitution?

Restitution is compensation paid to a victim by the defendant in a criminal case for losses, damages, and injuries the victim received as a result of the criminal offense. Restitution is ordered by the court at the time of sentencing and is considered part of the sentencing.

Who is entitled to restitution?

Anyone who has been the victim of a criminal offense and has suffered injuries, economic losses or damages can seek restitution. You should speak to your Victim Advocate for more information about restitution.

When can I expect to receive my restitution payments?

You should keep in mind that an order for restitution is not a guarantee of payment and if the defendant in your case has been ordered to substantial incarceration, payments will not begin until after he/she is released. Restitution payments are made to the clerk of court of the sentencing court. Once payments are made to the clerk’s office, it can take up to 21 days for the payment to be processed.

Restitution was ordered in my case and I have since moved. What do I need to do?

You should contact the clerk of court or the Victim Services Unit immediately to report your new address. It is your responsibility to keep the court and our office informed of any changes in your address and phone. All unclaimed restitution payments are sent to the Virginia Victim Fund. 

What is the Virginia Victim Fund (VVF)?

VVF is a state program created to help victims of crime with out of pocket expenses. These can include medical bills, prescriptions, funeral expenses, and other expenses related to the crime. 

Where does VVF money come from?

VVF is funded by fines and fees collected from offenders. No tax dollars are ever used.

How can I apply for the VVF?

You should speak with the Advocate assigned to your case. He or she will schedule an appointment with you to come into the office to complete the application. You should bring all documentation (medical bills, ambulance bills, prescription receipts, funeral expenses, death certificate, etc.) associated with the crime to be submitted with the application. If additional information is needed, you will receive a letter from the VVF. 

What does "VVF is the payer of last resort" mean?

This means that the victim must have used all sources of compensation (personal private insurance, hospital charity fund, etc.) before the VVF will pay any expenses related to the crime. GoFundMe accounts and other fundraising accounts are also considered to be collateral resources.