Marsy's Law and Crime Victim Rights
Crime victims are provided certain rights detailed in the Ohio Constitution Article I, Section 10(a) and the Ohio Revised Code, often called “Marsy’s Law” or the Ohio Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights.
Crime victims have the right to reasonable notice, to be present and heard at all court proceedings, to be informed of the release of the offender, to offer input on negotiated pleas, to a prompt conclusion of their case, and to restitution for economic losses resulting from the criminal offense or delinquent act. Some rights are automatic, some must be requested to be exercised.
The following forms are for use by crime victims, law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts to facilitate understanding and rights election, and simplify compliance with victims’ rights and restitution for crime victims.
Intended Users of This Form: Crime victims, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, probation officers, and custodial officers.
This form is required to be given to a crime victim by the Ohio Revised Code and used by criminal justice partners throughout the criminal process. It contains three sections (Notification of Victim Rights, the Victim’s Rights Election, and Victim Contact Information) to facilitate rights election and compliance from investigation through disposition, including incarceration or community control.
Victims are responsible for keeping their information updated by informing the criminal justice official working on their case of any changes in contact information or rights election.
Intended Users of This Form: Crime victims.
Victims of a criminal offense or delinquent act, or their estate, have a constitutional right to receive compensation (“restitution") for economic loss from the person who committed the act against them. If you would like to seek restitution, let the prosecutor assigned to the case know, prior to a plea or trial. This form can assist you in gathering information to present at the restitution hearing, which would happen after the offender has been found guilty or adjudicated delinquent. Restitution does not necessarily cover every loss suffered by a victim. Victims retain the ability to seek damages in a civil action, if necessary.
These forms were created with feedback from numerous justice system stakeholders, including judicial officers from the various types of courts, law enforcement at the state and local level, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates, and victim rights agencies. The forms will be updated, as necessary. They were published April 6, 2023.
Resources for Crime Victims
General resources for crime victims: Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Services for Victims available at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/individuals-and-families/victims or 800.582.2877.
- Crime victims may be eligible for financial assistance through the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund for expenses such as medical counseling bills, work loss, and funeral expenses even if the suspect has not been arrested or convicted. For more information and to apply, visit ohioattorneygeneral.gov/individuals-and-families/victims/apply-for-victims-compensation or 800.582.2877.
- Victim’s Rights Toolkit, Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center available at ocvjc.org/victims-rights-toolkit
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3431
Policy Counsel, Children & Families Section
Anne M. Murray, Esq.