Crime Victims Rights
State law guarantees crime victims and witnesses certain notification rights and participation in the criminal justice system.
- General Legal Terms
- The Missouri Court Process
- Crime Victims Rights Publication
- Missouri Crime Victim’s Rights and Resources
- Missouri Constitution Article 1 Bill of Rights Section 32
- Section 595.209 of the Missouri Revised Statutes outlines the rights of victims and witnesses to have written notifications.
- Missouri Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Victim Services
- Understanding Missouri Department of Corrections Probation and Parole
Crime Victims’ Compensation Programs
Crime Victims’ Compensation is available for families in Missouri or Kansas who have been impacted by homicide.
The Missouri Crime Victims’ Compensation Program provides financial assistance to people who sustained traumatic injuries resulting from certain violent crimes. We know that injuries can be more than just physical. The CVC Program can cover trauma that leads to emotional and mental health issues.
- For Missouri click here: https://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cvc/
The Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board provides victims with financial assistance for loss of earnings and out-of-pocket loss for injuries sustained as a direct result of violent crime. This includes reasonable medical care, mental health counseling or other services necessary as a result of the injury. In the event of the death of the victim, reasonable medical expenses and the partial cost of funeral, burial or cremation is reimbursable. Personal property loss is not covered, with the exception of clothing and bedding seized as evidence, or property that had to be removed during the crime scene clean-up process.
- For Kansas click here: https://ag.ks.gov/victim-services/victim-compensation
The Sunshine Law
Missouri’s Sunshine Law allows citizens to access documents about the case.
Go to the website for details: https://ago.mo.gov/missouri-law/sunshine-law/
Top Ten Things to Know about the Sunshine Law
- When in doubt, a meeting or record of a public body should be opened to the public.
- The Sunshine Law applies to all records, regardless of what form they are kept in, and to all meetings, regardless of the manner in which they are held.
- The Sunshine Law allows a public body to close meetings and records to the public in some limited circumstances, but it almost never requires a public body to do so.
- Except in emergency situations, a public body must give at least 24 hours’ public notice before holding a meeting. If the meeting will be closed to the public, the notice must state the specific provision within Section 610.021, RSMo., that allows the meeting to be closed.
- Each public body must have a written Sunshine Law policy and a custodian of records whose name is available to the public upon request.
- The Sunshine Law requires a custodian of records to respond to a records request as soon as possible but no later than three business days after the custodian receives it.
- The Sunshine Law deals with whether a public body’s records must be open to the public, but it generally does not state what records the body must keep or for how long. A body cannot, however, avoid a records request by destroying records after it receives a request for those records. For more information concerning records retention schedules, please visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s Website – the Local Records Division for local public governmental bodies, and the Records Management Division for state agencies.
- The Sunshine Law allows for public meetings to be both audio and video recorded by attendees. Each public governmental body may set up guidelines regarding the recording process. These guidelines can be found in the body’s Sunshine Law Policy. No one is allowed to record a closed meeting, if they are not given permission to do so.
- When responding to a request for copies of its records, the Sunshine Law limits how much a public body can charge – per page, and per hour – for copying and research costs.
- There are specific provisions governing access to law enforcement and judicial record.