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98% of crime victims report that they do not know their rights. 

                                                    Knowledge is power.

Missouri, like many states, has rights to protect victims of crime and violence.

Knowing your rights can make your experience with the criminal justice system better. According to Article 1, Section 32 of the Missouri State Constitution, you have the right to:

  • Be informed about the crime

  • Information about the criminal justice system

  • Be present at all criminal justice proceedings at which the defendant has such right, including juvenile proceedings where the offense would have been a felony if committed by an adult

  • Be informed of charges filed, preliminary hearing dates, trial dates, continuances and case dispositions

  • A speedy disposition and appellate review of case

  • Request restitution

  • Reasonable protection from defendant or persons acting on behalf of the defendant

  • Information about the release, escape, recapture or death of the accused while in confinement

  • Be provided with a secure waiting area for court proceedings

This is just a brief overview of your rights. A full description is available here.  If you feel your rights as a victim are being violated, contact us immediately at (314) 652-3623.

As of 2020, Missouri added an additional Bill of Rights for sexual assault survivors. 

General rights:

  • Reasonable protection from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant.

  • To be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse.


Before, during, and after an interview:

  • To consult with an employee or volunteer of a crisis center (sometimes called an “advocate”) during any interview by a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or defense attorney, unless this person cannot arrive promptly. The interviewer will contact the advocate for you before starting the interview.

  • To have your lawyer present during an interview by a law enforcement officer.

  • To have a support person of your choice present during any interview by a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or defense attorney. If the interviewer determines that having the support person present would hurt the interviewer, the support person may be asked to leave.

  • To be interviewed by a law enforcement officer of the gender of your choice. If a law enforcement officer of that gender is not reasonably available, you may not be interviewed by an available law enforcement officer unless you agree.


Before, during, and after a forensic examination:

  • To consult with an advocate before and during a forensic examination.

  • To have a support person of your choice present.

  • To delay the exam if a victim advocate cannot arrive soon, and to be informed of what it means to delay the exam.

  • To receive an examination at no charge, paid for by the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

  • To shower at no cost after an examination, unless showering facilities are not reasonably available.

  • To prompt analysis of sexual assault forensic evidence.

  • Evidence collected from your forensic sexual assault examination shall not be used to prosecute you for misdemeanor crimes or search for further evidence of any unrelated misdemeanor crimes, including misdemeanor drug offenses under chapter 579 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

  • To be informed, upon your request, of the results of the analysis of your sexual assault forensic evidence. You may receive this information through a secure and confidential message in writing from the crime laboratory.

No law enforcement official, prosecutor, or defense attorney may discourage you from receiving a forensic examination for any reason.


Other rights:

  • To have your lawyer present during any interaction with the legal or criminal justice systems.

  • To receive certain information after making a request in writing, including the following:

    • A complete, unaltered copy of the law enforcement report within 14 days of your request.

    • Timely notice of outcome of the case.

    • Timely notice of the offender’s location upon conviction of a sex offense.

    • Timely notice of the sex offender registry information.

  • To be able to proceed with an investigation or filing criminal charges without taking a polygraph examination.

  • To be heard at any proceeding where your rights are at issue.


To access these rights and other helpful information, follow this link--> Missouri DPS SA Bill of Rights

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