What can a victim advocate do for me?
A victim advocate is here to assist you with understanding the judicial process of your case by acting as a liaison, as needed, between you, the officers, detectives, creditor’s and any other representatives from other agencies. The victim advocate will advise you of your rights, as well as, inform you of resources that are available to you. She may also provide you with limited counseling and can refer you for long-term services when appropriate.
What are compensation benefits and how do I get them?
What DCVC pays for:
Based upon eligibility and the individual needs of the crime victim, DCVC is authorized to provide up to a total of $15,000 for medical and dental services with proper documentation.
Counseling services, lost wages/loss of support, funeral/burial expenses, payment for funeral/burial may be up to $4,000.
Please remember that DCVC is the payer of last resort. Crime victims must utilize private insurance, Medicaid, or other third party payers before requesting DCVC reimbursement for services.
This service does not pay for:
- Property damage
- Property replacement costs
- Non-criminal related traffic offenses
- Pain and suffering
- Relocation expenses
This service is provided through DCVC. Click here for more information.
Who can qualify for financial assistance and what are the eligibility requirements for compensation benefits?
If you are a crime victim, an immediate family member of a crime victim, or someone who is paying bills or taking care of a crime victim, you may apply. To be eligible, the crime must have occurred in this state and reported to law enforcement within 48 hours of occurrence, that you were not doing anything illegal at the time of the crime, that you submitted the application within 180 days from the crime date, and when all other insurance and payment sources have been exhausted.
As a victim, do I have the right to attend the bond hearing?
Yes. Upon the defendant(s) arrest, a victim’s advocate will make a reasonable attempt to contact you to advise when the bond hearing is scheduled, providing that you checked ‘yes’ on your victim’s rights form that the law enforcement officer had you sign. You have the right to attend, as well as, make recommendations during any pretrial hearing. At the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns pertaining to the incident and/or defendant(s) bond. For example, if you were afraid for your safety you would want to present this to the judge to take into consideration.
As a victim of Domestic Violence, can I drop the charges against the defendant?
When a police officer arrives on scene for a domestic violence call, he/she is mandated by the Laws of South Carolina to document the incident appropriately. If probable cause exists, the officer will formally charge the suspect while on scene. However, if there is not enough substantial evidence at this time to support the charge, then the officer must present the facts of the case to a county magistrate to determine whether or not probable cause exists for an arrest. Once the suspect is arrested, there will be a bond hearing to determine the conditions of his/her release that the defendant must adhere to until the trial date. There will be a period of time between the bond hearing and the trial. You, the victim, will have the opportunity to voice your concerns to the judge at the trial.