Victim Services Unit
Victim Services Supervisor - Suzy Boisclair, Ph.D 301-600-1356
Crime can have a devastating impact on victims, witnesses and their families. The Frederick Police Department Victim Services Unit provides immediate support to crime victims, their families and witnesses who my need help coping with the impact of victimization. Our highly trained Victim Advocates can assist you directly as well as coordinate with other agencies in providing support, information, and resources that can effectively meet your needs. These free services provide crime victims with a continuum of support from the crisis period through the investigative and judicial processes.
- Emotional support and crisis intervention
- Information about victim’s rights
- Explanation of criminal justice process
- Assistance with orders of protection
- Safety and emergency planning
- Assistance with Victim Compensation claims
- Links to local and state resources
- Court accompaniment
- Information about restitution
- Assist with victim impact statements
- Liaison with detectives
- Retrieval of property held as evidence
- Interpreter when needed
- Notification of court dates and case status
- Assistance with emergency needs
Who is Eligible for Services?
Services are provided to victims and witnesses: Victims are persons who suffer direct or threatened physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of a criminal act. A person can also be eligible for services if they are the crime victim’s spouse, parent, child or a representative of a victim who is deceased, a minor, incapable or disabled. Witnesses are those who observe a crime and are expected to be summoned to testify.
The Rights of Crime Victims
If charges have been filed against the defendant, your case has moved from the police department to the State’s Attorney’s Office. (SAO) It will be the responsibility of the SAO to ensure that you receive the following rights of crime victims:
- Treatment with dignity and compassion
- Reasonable protection from the accused
- Informed about criminal justice proceedings
- Restitution as provided by law
- Preservation of property and employment
- Attendance at criminal court proceedings
- Accommodations for special needs
- Notification of offender’s arrest or detention
Filing for Criminal Charges
In order for a suspect to be charged with a crime, you must first report the incident to the police. If sufficient evidence exists, they will file charges. If police do not file charges, you may file charges with a District Court Commissioner. If the commissioner declines to do so, request the SAO file charges.
What If I Want to Drop Charges?
In criminal cases, crime is considered a crime against the state. The victim is a witness for the prosecution. Only the SAO can drop charges against a defendant. The community’s safety and other factors are taken into account when deciding whether to proceed with a case.
There are two ways you can receive money to help pay for crime related costs:
Restitution: Ask the SAO to seek restitution from the defendant. Save all receipts or bills you or your insurance company paid or owe.
MD Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Provides financial assistance to innocent crime victims when no other financial resources are available to cover lost wages, medical, mental health or funeral expenses incurred as a direct result of crime. For more information, contact 888-679-9347 or www.dpscs.state.md.us/cicb.
Civil Actions May Help with Costs
Restitution and compensation may not cover a victim’s full economic loss or hard-to-quantify damages like pain and suffering. A civil lawsuit may provide victims better compensation as well as control of the case since they are a party to the civil case, as opposed to a criminal case where the victim is a witness for the state. Plus, offenders can be held accountable to victims regardless of whether there was a criminal conviction or prosecution at all. For more information about civil suits, contact the National Crime Victim Bar Association at 202-467-8716 or www.victimbar.org.
Victim Information & Notification
If the offender is in custody or has a case pending, Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE) is a free, automated service that allows victims of crime to be notified of the following:
- Court case information, dates, and times
- Custody status of the offender
- Probation and Parole status
- Changes in status of a protective order
Information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can register to be notified by phone or email at 1-866-634-8463 or www.vinelink.com
Peace and Protective Orders
Peace and Protective orders are civil orders issued by a judge or court commissioner to prevent one person from committing certain acts against others. The relationship between the person seeking protection and the person alleged to have committed the prohibited act determines which order should be filed. Protective Orders generally apply to people in domestic relationships and Peace Orders apply to all other relationships. Information and forms to apply for these orders can be found at:
- Frederick Courthouse, 100 W Patrick St
- Court Commissioner, 16 W Patrick St
MD Judiciary Case Search
The public has free access to all Maryland Court records for traffic, criminal and civil cases. This is a great resource to learn more about the offender:
Frederick City Police
Records: Police Reports 301-600-3929
Victim Services Unit 301-600-1356
Frederick Courthouse 301-600-1976
District Court 301-600-2000
Circuit Court 301-600-2018
Frederick Court Commissioner
14 West Patrick Street 301-6001501
7300 Marcies Choice Lane 301-600-2009
Frederick Co. Hotline 211
For referral, support, and crisis intervention
Frederick Co. Detention Center 301-600-2533
Frederick Memorial Hospital 240-566-3500
State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) 301-600-1523