The Victim-Witness Program of the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office provides several different types of notification:
Initial Contact Letter
The victims of violent crime receive a letter usually within one week of the incident. This letter provides victim-witness information, telephone numbers for assistance and serves as notification that the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office will be handling the case.
A letter is sent to the victims and witnesses prior to a subpoena being issued and provides the defendant’s name, the name of the prosecutor assigned to the case, the court the matter is being heard in and the court date. The letter also contains a map, brochures and basic information on the criminal justice system.
The Victim-Witness Program notifies victims of violent crimes of bond hearings, including misdemeanor domestic violence cases to be prosecuted by the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office.
Defendant’s Release from Jail Notification
The Victim-Witness Program provides, upon request, the form the Sheriff’s Department requires to be notified of the defendant’s release from jail. Upon receipt of a completed form, the Victim-Witness Program provides copies to the Virginia Beach Correctional Center (Jail), the applicable court, and the law enforcement officer handling the case.
After Hours/Next Day Docket Information (Hotline)
Sometimes court proceedings cannot take place as scheduled. The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office will make every effort to notify you in advance but may not be successful. There is a hotline service available at (757)385-4401-option #2 after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and continuously on weekends and holidays. This service provides a tape-recorded message that lists the court cases in which witnesses are excused for the following court day. BY CALLING THIS NUMBER, YOU MAY SAVE YOURSELF AN UNNECESSARY TRIP TO COURT.
Case Disposition Letters
After a defendant’s guilt is determined and he is sentenced, the Victim-Witness Program drafts a disposition letter to the victims and witnesses of the case. The disposition letter provides information regarding the outcome of the case, including sentence, restitution, and any conditions of the sentence. If applicable, the “Victim Notification Form” from the Department of Corrections is enclosed.
Virginia Department of Corrections (prison) Release Notification
After a defendant has been convicted and sentenced to the Virginia State Penitentiary, the victim may submit a Victim Notification Form. The Victim-Witness Program provides this form. The Virginia Department of Corrections notifies the victim of the offender’s transfer from one prison to another within the Department of Corrections, escape from a prison and recapture, release, including work release, or discharge from prison, and name change of the offender while in the Department’s custody. Please be advised that if the offender is in custody in a local jail, the form will be forwarded to that facility for notification.
Notification of an Appeal
The Attorney General’s Office will notify you if a convicted felon is granted an appeal provided you submit the Office of the Attorney General’s Victim Information Sheet to their office. The Victim-Witness Program can also provide this form upon request.