Massachusetts law about victims and witnesses of crimes

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on legal issues for victims or witnesses of crimes.

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Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance
MOVA upholds and advances the rights of crime victims and witnesses by providing outreach and education, policy advocacy, policy and program development, legislative advocacy, grants management, and service referrals.

Office for Victims of Crimes, U.S. Department of Justice.
A resource put out by the United States Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crimes. The OVC also administers the Crime Victims Fund providing funding for victim compensation and assistance throughout the United States.

Victim assistance, Mass.gov.
From referrals to court advocacy and more, learn how Massachusetts can help you or your family members if you're a victim of a crime.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.6, § 178A Right of victim of crime, witness or family member of homicide victim to obtain criminal offender record information of person accused or convicted; disclosure of other information by criminal justice agencies

MGL c.10, § 66 Victims of drunk driving fund

MGL c.12, § 11K Crime victim compensation division

MGL c.233, § 20 Competency of witnesses; husband and wife; criminal defendant; parent and child 

MGL c.258B Rights of victims and witnesses of crime

MGL c.258C Victim compensation

MGL c.263A Witness protection

MGL c.268, § 13B Intimidation of witness, jurors and persons furnishing information in connection with criminal proceedings

MGL c.268, § 14B Witnesses in criminal actions; discharge, etc. from employment

Massachusetts regulations

120 CMR 400 Victim input and notification of parole hearings and decisions

120 CMR 401 Victim access hearings

803 CMR 9 Victim notification registry

940 CMR 14 Compensation of victims of violent crimes

Federal laws

18 USC § 3771 Crime victims' rights 

18 USC § 3772 Sexual assault survivors' rights 

34 USC § 201 Victim rights, compensation, and assistance

Selected cases

Web sources

The aftermath of crime guidebook,  Mass. Office of Victim Assistance.
This guide covers: Trauma and the Healing Process, Seeking Justice through the Criminal Justice System, Victims and the Prosecution Process, Post Disposition Services for Victims, Financial Remedies for Victims of Crimes, and information for advocates.

CLAVC: Civil Legal Aid for Victims of Crime
Civil Legal Aid for Victims of Crimes helps people find free legal aid and public benefits assistance in the aftermath of a crime.

Massachusetts guide to evidence: Article VI witnesses, Supreme Judicial Court’s Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law.
The purpose of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence is to make the law of evidence more accessible and understandable to the bench, bar, and public.”

Massachusetts victims of violent crime compensation, Mass. Attorney General. 
If you, a family member or a loved one has been the victim of a violent crime, you can fill out an application with the Victim Compensation Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

Representing victims of human trafficking in Massachusetts: a guide for attorneys, Rachel Bier, James Bor-Zale, Elizabeth Mooney, and Stephanie Neely of Wilmerhale and Betsy Byra and Julie Dahlstrom of Boston University School of Law Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program, 2020.

Victim Rights Law Center
The Victim Rights Law Center provides free legal services for sexual assault victims.

Victim-witness advocate reference manual, Mass. District Attorneys Ass'n., 2010. 
"Victim-witness advocates are professionals trained to support crime victims and witnesses." This guide provides everything an advocate might need to know.

Print sources

Contact for Massachusetts law about victims and witnesses of crimes

Last updated: December 21, 2023

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