As a victim, any time you do not understand what is happening or why, or if you have any questions, call the Prosecutor at (660) 582-8285. Making this telephone call is important because as a victim you are an integral part of the system and we want you to understand what is happening.
If you are the victim of a crime, there are certain steps that need to be followed in order to get a case started.
First, a police report needs to be made. To make a report you should contact the Maryville Public Safety Department (562-3209) if the crime occurred within the city limits of Maryville, or contact the Nodaway County Sheriff's Department (582-7451) if the crime occurred outside the city limits but within Nodaway County.
Law enforcement will complete their investigation into the crime and when they are done they will forward their report to our office if they determine that charges are appropriate. You should cooperate with them during their investigation.
Once a report is received by the Prosecutor's Office, it will be reviewed by the Prosecuting Attorney. Often the Prosecutor must return the report ot the law enforcement officer if additional items of information must be secured to complete the determination process. The information needed can vary from a person's criminal history to a obtaining additional statements from witnesses.
Once charges are filed, victims are notified by mail.
If you are the victim of a crime there are a few things that will be asked of you.
• If you move or have a change of address or telephone number, you need to contact the Nodaway County Prosecutor's Office (582-8285) and provide the new information. This is needed to keep you informed of court dates, to ensure we are able to reach you for a trial and to make sure you receive your restitution, if applicable.
• Any time you do not understand what is happening or why, or if you have any questions, call the Prosecutor at (660) 582-8285. Making this telephone call is important because as a victim you are an integral part of the system and we want you to understand what is happening.
Compensation for Losses... Restitution
Your private insurance may provide coverage for personal injury/property loss due to a crime. If the defendant is placed on probation, the judge may order the offender to pay restitution/cost for injuries, damages or loss. The Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney makes every effort to obtain an order of restitution for victims. Actual collection of the restitution is normally handled by the Court.
Crime Victim Compensation
In the State of Missouri, a victim of a crime may be reimbursed for certain expenses incurred as the result of that crime.
• hospital or doctor bills.
• counseling fees.
• funeral/burial expenses.
• loss of wages as the result of physical injury or death.
Who is eligible?
• victims of an injury or death occurring in Missouri.
• victims who have filed a police report about the incident within forty-eight (48) hours.
• victims who have cooperated with police and prosecution.
• victims who file their claims within one (1) year of the crime.
Crime Victims' Compensation will pay a maximum of $25,000.00. For more information or to receive a claim form please contact:
Crime Victims' Compensation Program
P.O. Box 3001
Jefferson City, MO 65102-3001
http://www.dolir.mo.gov/ (quick link to Crime Victims Compensation)
As a victim you also have the right to sue the defendant for damages in a civil suit, which is separate from the criminal case. Sometimes you can also sue other parties that share the responsibility for your losses, such as property owners or businesses.
For minor civil disputes, such as small sums of money, a victim should consider filing a suit in Small Claims Court, (660) 582-5431. An attorney is not required to file this type of suit.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will this take to be disposed of?
A misdemeanor case will usually take about three months to be disposed of, but can be completed on the first court date. A felony case takes longer because of the number of motions and hearings that can take place.
2. What is a subpoena?
A subpoena is a court order to appear in court. A subpoena is typically served by a deputy from the Sheriff's Department. If you fail to appear in court when specified on your subpoena the Judge can hold you in contempt of court.
3. What is a preliminary hearing? (felony cases only)
A preliminary hearing is required in felony cases. A preliminary hearing is easiest thought of as a mini-trial, where the Prosecutor must prove that a crime was committed, that it happened in Nodaway County and that the defendant is "likely" the one who did it. Typically a victim must appear and testify at the preliminary hearing.
4. What happens after a preliminary hearing?
At a preliminary hearing if the Judge finds probable cause, the case is transferred to the Circuit Court where the rest of the proceedings will occur. If the Judge does not find probable cause at the preliminary hearing, the case is dismissed.
5. Can I receive money for my losses?
While the Prosecutor's Office will seek to obtain restitution, if the victim has lost money/restitution because of the crime, the victim can file a civil suit/small claim against the offender for recoupment of their losses, by contacting Small Claim's court at (660) 582-5431 or speaking to their attorney.
6. Who decides if a case goes to trial?
The defendant gets the final say in if they want a trial or if they want to plead guilty. If the defendant wants to go to trial, they will decide if they want a jury trial (trial to a jury of 12) or a bench trial (trial to the Judge).
7. How and when is sentencing done?
Sentencing in all cases is determined by the Judge. In a misdemeanor case the defendant is usually sentenced when they plead guilty. In a felony case, a sentencing assessment report (SAR) is ordered at the time of plea which takes about four weeks and sentencing occurs then.
8. What if I don't want to prosecute and/or testify?
If you do not want to prosecute you should notify the law enforcement officer and sign a victim referral of non-prosecution. However, this does not mean that the charges will be dropped. The prosecutor will review the situation with you.
9. What if the defense attorney (or someone from their office) contacts me about the case?
If the defense attorney or anyone from their office contacts you regarding the case, you DO NOT have to speak to them. You can if you want to, but you are not required to speak with them. If you do want to speak to them only with the Prosecutor also present, we can arrange for that to occur.
10. What if I am threatened to drop the charges?
If you are threatened in order to get the charges dropped on a case you should make an immediate police report. You also should notify the Prosecutor's Office.
In an effort to assist victims in coping with the aftermath of a crime, the Nodaway County Prosecutor's Office seeks to provide services to victims which include:
• keeping the victim informed about the case
• informing the victim about his/her rights
• providing information on property recovery
• assisting victims in obtaining Crime Victim Compensation Forms, when applicable
• responding to questions and inquires from victims about their case
• vigorously seeking restitution through the Court for victims
A crime victim has the right to
• reasonable protection from harm and/or threats.
• be informed about financial assistance and victim compensation.
• receive information about the status of the case.
• be present at all proceedings at which the defendant has such a right.
• be informed, in a timely manner, of court dates and final dispositions.
• have stolen property returned as soon as possible.
• receive restitution, when possible.
• appear at a sentencing and make an oral/written statement.