What are My Rights as a Victim/Witness?
Section 28 Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Nebraska states the following regarding victims' rights:
- "A victim of a crime, as shall be defined by law, or his or her guardian or representative shall have: The right to be informed of all criminal court
proceedings; the right to be present at trial unless the trial court finds sequestration necessary for a fair trial for the defendant; and the right to be informed of,
be present at, and make an oral or written statement at sentencing, parole, pardon, communication, and conditional release proceedings. The enumeration of certain rights
for crime victims shall not be construed to impair or deny others provided by law or retained by crime victims;"
- "The Legislature shall provide by law for the implementation of the rights granted in this section. There shall be no rights granted by this section;"
- "Nothing in this section shall constitute a basis for error in favor of a defendant in any criminal proceeding, a basis for providing standing to participate as
a party to any criminal proceeding, or a basis to contest the disposition of any charge." (Adopted 1996)
Nebraska Revised Statutes Authority-
Section 81-1848, R.R.S. of Nebraska sets out the rights of victims and witnesses of crimes. It states that victims (as Section 29-119, R.R.S. defines) have the following rights.
- "to examine information which is a matter of public record;"
- "to receive from the county attorney advance reasonable notice of any scheduled court proceedings and notice of any changes in that schedule;"
- "to be notified by the county attorney . . . notice of the time and place of the sentencing proceeding and . . . of the final disposition of the case;"
- "to be notified by the county attorney . . . of subsequent judicial proceedings if the defendant was acquitted on ground of insanity;"
- "after conviction of an offender, to be notified of the tentative date of release and the earliest parole eligibility of such an offender;"
- "to be notified of any parole hearings, to testify before the Board of Parole, or submit a written statement for consideration by the Board, and to be notified
of the decision of any action taken by the Board."
Victims and witnesses of crimes shall have the following rights:
- "to be informed on all writs of subpoena or notices to appear that they are entitled to apply for and may receive a witness fee;"
- "to be notified that a court proceeding to which they have been subpoenaed will not go on as scheduled in order to save the person an unnecessary trip to
- "to receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of their cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts and to be provided
with information as to the level of protection available;"
- "to be informed of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a witness or a victim of a crime, including information on how
to apply for the assistance and services;"
- "to be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive any witness fee to which they are entitled;"
- "to be provided, whenever possible, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require them to be in close proximity to defendants and families
and friends of defendants;"
- "to have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when no longer needed as evidence;"
- "to be provided with appropriate employer intercession services to insure that employers of victims will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order
to minimize an employee's loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearance;"
- "to be entitled to a speedy disposition of the case;"
- "to be informed by the county attorney of the final disposition of a felony case in which they were involved and to be notified . . . whenever the defendant in
such case is released from custody;"
- "to have the family members of all homicide victims afforded all of the rights under subsection (2) of this section and services analogous to those provided
under section 81-1847."
V I N E Toll Free: 1-877-NE-4-VINE (1-877-634-8463)
What is VINE?
VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a free, anonymous, computer- based service which provides information and notification services any time of the day or night. This service is available in English and Spanish.
How do I register with VINE?
For inmate custody information or to register for automated telephone notification, call the toll-free number 1-877-NE-4-VINE (1-877-634-8463) and follow the prompts. Information is available for county jail inmates as well as for Department of Correctional Services inmates.
Registration: To register with VINE, call the toll-free number directly from a touch-tone phone. Computer prompts will be given by the
VINE service. You will need to provide a telephone number where you may be reached; you will also need to select a four-digit PIN code.
What is a PIN? The PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a four-digit number you choose and is used to confirm that you receive
notification calls from VINE. It is important to choose a number that is easy for you to remember. Write the number down and keep it in a secure place.
What Information is Available to Me?
- VINE will quickly provide the caller with status information for county jail inmates and Department of Correctional Services inmates.
- For County Jail Inmates-Information on custody status, facility and what charges have been filed.
- For Department of Correctional Services Inmates-Custody status, facility and/or location information, parole hearing status and eligibility date, and sentence
Vine Registration Information
When you call the VINE hotline, record the following for your information. Your registration will remain anonymous and will provide you with important information any time of
the day or night.
- Inmate Name
- Inmate Number
- Institution Name
- PIN Number
Who Sponsors VINE?
VINE is provided by the Nebraska Sheriff's Association, Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition, Nebraska Coalition for Victims of Crime, Nebraska County Attorney's Association, Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, Nebraska Crime Commission and the Criminal Justice Information System Advisory Committee.
* * * The VINE service is provided to assist you in getting information. Do not rely solely on VINE or any other service for your protection.
For more information contact:
Central Records Office-Active Records
ATTENTION: Victim/Witness Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Corrections/Board of Parole
Lincoln, NE 68509-4661
Or visit the VINE web site at www.vinelink.com
Phone: (402) 471.2654