Victims Rights

Illinois Constitutional Amendment – Section 8.1 of Article I

(a) Crime victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights:

  1. The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy and to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
  2. The right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on a request for access to any of the victim’s records, information, or communication which are privileged or confidential by law.
  3. The right to timely notification of court proceedings.
  4. The right to communicate with the prosecution.
  5. The right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea or sentencing.
  6. The right to be notified of the conviction, the sentence, the imprisonment, and the release of the accused.
  7. The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
  8. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused through the criminal justice process.
  9. The right to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in denying or fixing the amount of bail, determining whether to release the defendant, and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction.
  10. The right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim’s testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.
  11. The right to be present at all court proceedings subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate and other support person of the victim’s choice.
  12. The right to restitution.

(b) The victim has standing to assert the rights enumerated in subsection (a) in any court exercising jurisdiction over the case. The court shall promptly rule on a victim’s request. The victim does not have party status. The accused does not have standing to assert the rights of a victim. The court shall not appoint an attorney for the victim under this Section. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to alter the powers, duties and responsibilities of the prosecuting attorney.

(c) The General Assembly may provide for an assessment against convicted defendants to pay for crime victims’ rights.

(d) Nothing in this Section or any law enacted under this Section creates a cause of action in equity or at law for compensation, attorney’s fees, or damages against the State, a political subdivision of the State, an officer, employee, or agent of the State or of any political subdivision of the State, or an officer or employee of the court.

(e) Nothing in this Section or any law enacted under the Section shall be construed as creating (1) a basis for vacating a conviction or (2) a ground for any relief requested by the defendant.