Navigating Your Rights
Missouri Crime Victim Rights
Article 1, Section 32 of the Missouri State Constitution guarantees that crime victims have the right to:
- Be present at all criminal justice proceedings at which the defendant has such right
- Be informed and heard at guilty pleas, bail hearings, sentencing's, probation revocation hearings and parole hearings
- Be informed of trials and preliminary hearings
- The speedy disposition and appellate review of cases
- Reasonable protection from the defendant or any person acting on behalf of the defendant
- Information concerning the release, escape, recapture or death of the accused while in custody or confinement
- Information about how the criminal justice system works, the rights and availability of services and information about the crime
- The rights of crime victims are further established and defined in the Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 595.209.
Section 595.209 of the Missouri Revised Statutes specifies that victims of certain dangerous felonies are automatically afforded these rights. Victims of all other crimes and witnesses of crimes are also guaranteed these rights but they must submit a written request to the appropriate agency (i.e. law enforcement agencies, juvenile authorities, custodial authorities, prosecutors, probation and parole, etc.) to ensure that their rights are afforded to them.
Sexual Assault Survivor Rights
This act provides that sexual assault survivors retain these rights regardless of whether a criminal investigation or prosecution results or regardless if the survivor has previously waived any of these rights. A sexual assault survivor, for purposes of this act, is any person who is 14 years of age or older and who may be a victim of a sexual offense who presents themselves to an appropriate medical provider, law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, or court.
Under this act, a sexual assault survivor has the right to:
- Consult with an employee or volunteer of a rape crisis center;
- A sexual assault forensic examination;
- A shower and change of clothing;
- Request to be examined by an appropriate medical provider or interviewed by a law enforcement officer of the gender of the survivor's choosing, when available;
- An interpreter who can communicate in the language of the sexual assault survivor's choice, as reasonably available;
- Notification and basic overview of the options of choosing a reported evidentiary collection kit, unreported evidentiary collection kit, and anonymous evidentiary collection kit;
- Notification about the evidence tracking system;
- Notification about the right to certain information considered a closed record, such as a complete incident report; and
- Be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse in any related criminal or civil proceeding and the right to reasonable protection from the offender.
Additionally, this act provides that a survivor must be informed of the survivor's rights by a medical provider, law enforcement officer, and a prosecuting attorney in a timely manner. A document shall be developed by the Department of Public Safety, in collaboration with certain Missouri-based stakeholders, which shall be provided to a sexual assault survivor explaining the survivor's rights.
Ex-Partes & Orders of Protection
An ex-parte order is a, cost free, temporary measure of protection issued by the court. If you are a victim of dating/domestic violence, you can go to the Cole County Circuit Court and request an ex-parte order of protection against the accused abuser. The accused abuser does not have to be present for you to be granted an order. An ex-parte may:
- Order the accused abuser not to abuse, threaten to abuse, molest, stalk, or disturb your peace.
- Order the accused abuser not to enter the premises of your home whether you own, lease or merely occupy the home.
- Make temporary order of custody of minor children
- Order specific personal property and effects to turned over to you.
- Order the accused abuser not to communicate with you in any way, including email or through third parties.
- Include other terms that the court decides are necessary to ensure your safety.
You can file for an ex-parte in the county where the abuse occurred or the county in which you reside. In Cole County, you can file at the Circuit Clerk’s Office in the Cole County Court House from 8:00am-4:00pm or at the Sherriff’s Office from 4:00pm-8:00am. The clerk or Sheriff’s Office will contact you within 3-4 hours to notify you if your ex-parte was approved.
Cole County Circuit Clerk
301 E High St, Jefferson City, MO 65101
Cole County Sheriff’s Office
350 E High St, Jefferson City, MO 65101
The court may immediately issue an ex-parte order of protection. The order takes effect as soon as a judge grants it and lasts until a full order hearing is held. A hearing on the full order of protection will be held within 15 days unless the court finds good reason for a continuance. Notify LUPD of your ex-parte and contact LUPD or call 911 if the accused abuser violates any condition of the ex-parte.
No, a RACS Victim Advocate can help you file, provide transportation, and go with you to the hearing! You don’t have to do this alone!
The state of Missouri has a fund to help some crime victims with certain financial losses. You may be eligible if:
- You are a victim of a violence crime and suffered personal bodily injury;
- You are a relative who requires counseling to better assist a sexual assault victim with recover;
- You are a spouse, child or other dependent of a victim who has died as a direct result of a crime, or you assumed financial obligations incurred as a result of the victim’s death; or
- You are a Missouri resident who suffered personal injury in a state that does not have a crime victims’ compensation program and the injury would be covered in the crime had occurred in Missouri.
To be eligible, you must have:
- Reported the incident within 48 hours to the proper law enforcement agency or had a good reason for delay;
- Filed the compensation claim within 2 years of the crime or discovery of the crime; and
- Incurred medical expenses and lost time from work, or incurred no medical but lost at least two weeks’ wages. The rate of compensation is $40 per day or $200 per week.
Depending on the case, victims’ compensation may be available for medical care, psychiatric treatment or other counseling, funeral expenses and wage loss reimbursement for the victim. Total recovery may not exceed $25,000.
Procedures for institutional action in cases of alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking:
If the assailant is a student, regardless of criminal or civil action, campus administrative action may be initiated through the Student Conduct system. Specific violation related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and retaliation in the Lincoln University Student Code of Conduct is Sexual Misconduct (Article II.B.9)
Sanctions for students may include residence hall transfer or suspension, interim suspension, long-term suspension, or permanent suspension (see the Lincoln University Student Code of Conduct & Victims’ Rights in cases of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking for more info). Any disciplinary sanction may include the completion of an appropriate counseling or other rehabilitation program.
A person alleging sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking may also utilize the complaint and investigatory procedures set forth in the university’s policy against Sexual Harassment which can be obtained at Lincoln University Human Resources Office in order to remedy any hostile environment.
Although Lincoln University strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking report the incident to the Lincoln University Police Department in a timely manner, it is the victim’s choice to make such a report and the victim has a right to decline involvement with the police.