New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

Office of Victim/Witness AssistanceNH Victim Bill of Rights

Victims of felonious crimes committed by an adult offender are entitled to the following rights under RSA 21-M:8-k.

  1. The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.
  2. The right to be informed about the criminal justice process and how it progresses.
  3. The right to be free from intimidation and to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process, including the right to relocate for the victim's safety.
  4. The right to reasonable and timely notice of all court proceedings, including post-conviction proceedings, and administrative proceedings including parole and probation.
  5. The right on the same basis as the accused to attend trial and all other court proceedings, including post-conviction proceedings.
  6. The right to confer with the prosecution and to be consulted about the disposition of the case, including plea bargaining.
  7. The right to have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized.
  8. The right to be notified if presence in court is not required.
  9. The right to be informed about available resources, financial assistance, and social services.
  10. The right to full and timely restitution, as granted under RSA 651:62-67 or any other applicable state law, or victim's compensation, under RSA 21-M:8-h or any other applicable state law, for their losses.
  11. The right to be provided a secure, but not necessarily separate, waiting area during court proceedings.
  12. The right to be advised of case progress and final disposition.
  13. The right of confidentiality of the victim's address, place of employment, and other personal information.
  14. The right to the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence.
  15. The right to have input in the probation pre-sentence report impact statement.
  16. The right to appear and be heard at any disposition and any proceeding involving the release, plea, sentencing, or parole of the accused, including the right to be notified of, to attend, and to make a written or oral impact statement at the sentence review hearings and sentence reduction hearings. No victim shall be subject to questioning by counsel when being heard.
  17. The right to be notified of an appeal, an explanation of the appeal process, the time, place and result of the appeal, and the right to attend the appeal hearing.
  18. The right to be notified of, to attend, and to make a written or oral victim impact statement at the sentence review hearings and sentence reduction hearings. No victim shall be subject to questioning by counsel when giving an impact statement.
  19. The right to be notified of any change of status such as prison release, permanent interstate transfer, or escape, and the date of the parole board hearing, when requested by the victim.
  20. The right to address or submit a written statement for consideration by the parole board on the defendant's release and to be notified of the decision of the board, when requested by the victim.
  21. The right to all federal and state constitutional rights guaranteed to all victims of crime on an equal basis, and notwithstanding the provisions of any laws on capital punishment, the right not to be discriminated against or have their rights as a victim denied, diminished, expanded, or enhanced on the basis of the victim's support for, opposition to, or neutrality on the death penalty.
  22. The right to access to restorative justice programs, including victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue programs offered through the department of corrections.
  23. The right to be informed of the filing of a petition for post-conviction DNA testing under RSA 651-D.
  24. The right to have the prosecuting attorney notify the victim's employer, if requested by the victim, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a court proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause.

In any case where the victim informs the court that he or she requires assistance in making an oral or written impact statement permitted under this section, the court shall allow the victim to designate a representative to write or speak on the victim's behalf.

The victim's impact statement shall not be limited to the injuries, harm, or damages noted in the information or indictment, but may include all injuries, harm, and damages suffered as a result of the commission or attempted commission of the crime whether or not the injuries, harm, or damages were fully determined or discovered at the time the information or indictment was filed.

In addition to the rights listed above under RSA 21-M:8, a new subdivision regarding Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights were added under RSA 21-M:18.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658