City of Aiken Victim Services
The Aiken Department of Public Safety Victim Services Division is designed to provide assistance to victims and witnesses of crime and other traumatic incidents in accordance with S.C Code of Laws Title 16, Chapter 13, Article 15, Victim and Witnesses Services.
Victims Bill of Rights
- To be treated with fairness and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process.
- To be informed of your constitutional rights provided by statute.
- To be reasonably informed when the accused or convicted person is arrested, released from custody, or has escaped.
- To be informed of and present at all criminal proceedings which are dispositive of the charges where the defendant has the right to be present.
- To be reasonably informed of and be allowed to submit either a written or oral statement at all hearings affecting bond or bail.
- To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a plea, or sentencing.
- To be reasonably protected from the accused or persons acting on his/her behalf throughout the criminal justice process.
- To confer with the prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been charged, before the trial or before any disposition.
- To have reasonable access after the conclusion of the criminal investigation to all documents relating to the crime against the victim before trial.
- To receive prompt and full restitution from the convicted person or persons of the criminal conduct that caused the victim’s loss or injury including both adult and juvenile offenders.
- To be informed of any proceeding when any post-conviction action is being considered and be present at any post-conviction hearing involving a post-conviction release decision.
- To a reasonable disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case.
During Preliminary Investigation:
- Describe constitutional rights and responsibilities of victims
- Provide a list of social service providers who can assist with counseling services, medical treatment, compensation programs, emergency needs, and legal advocacy.
On Scene Assistance:
- Victim Advocate responds to scenes that involve severe emotional and or physical trauma
During Follow-Up Investigation:
- Victim Advocate contacts victims to provide support and services based on the victim’s needs
- Victim Advocate provides an explanation of the prosecution of the case and court procedures
Assistance to Investigations:
- Victim Advocate assists with scheduling interviews, arranging transportation, and coordinates the return of property to victims
- Victim Advocate notifies victim of subject’s arrest and court hearings
- Victim Advocate provides information to victims about municipal court
- Victim Advocate accompanies victim to court
Assistance to victims who have been threatened:
- Pursuant to Section 16-9-340 S.C Code of Laws (Intimidation of Witnesses), all reported threats towards victims/witnesses shall be investigated by the Department
- Appropriate assistance will be determined and provided to victims/witnesses
Availability of Victim Witness Information:
- The Department’s communication center will serve as the point of contact 24 hours a day regarding assistance information. The communication center may:
- contact the Victim’s Advocate or the supervisor
- refer the victim to contact the Aiken County Help line 2-1-1
- refer to the Aiken county Human Services Directory for services provided by other organizations in the Department’s jurisdiction
- refer the victims to the SCVAN website for further victim/witness assistance services
Victim Restitution in Municipal Court:
- The Victim’s Advocate will assist victims with requesting restitution in municipal court cases by following appropriate procedures
Confidentiality of Information:
- Victim/witness information is kept confidential pursuant to department policy
Types of crimes in which victims receive assistance
- Attempted Murder
- Assault & Battery crimes
- Breaking & Entering Auto
- Child Abuse/ Endangerment/ Neglect
- Domestic Violence crimes
- Criminal Sexual Conduct crimes
- Felony DUI
- Financial Transaction Card Fraud
- Grand Larceny
- Malicious Injury to Personal Property over $1,000
- Malicious Injury to Real Property over $1,000
- Robbery crimes
- Violation Order of Protection/ Restraining Order
Victims Services also provide assistance for families of deceased individuals who were victims of murder, suicide or other traumatic incidents.
Victim Services works closely with state and local organizations
- State Office of Victim Assistance
- South Carolina Victim Assistance Network
- Aiken County Victims’ Services
- Solicitor’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program
- Cumbee Center / Shelter
- Child Advocacy Center
- Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health
- Department of Social Services
- Red Cross
- Salvation Army Shelter
- Aiken Center
- Nurture Home
- ACTS (Area Churches Together Serving)
- Health Department of Aiken County
- Employment Security Commission
- Lower Savannah Council on Governments
- Aiken County HELP Line 2-1-1
For more information or questions please contact Victims Assistance Advocate at 803-642-7620.