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Know Your Rights

COVID-19 Update:
Some of the information on these pages may have been temporarily changed by governments and courts in response to Coronavirus. 

People often have a number of legal needs as a result of becoming a victim of crime. Get information about your civil legal needs here, and learn what your rights are.

The information here is offered only as a public service and does not count as legal advice. If you're having a specific problem, you should find a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the legal problem you're facing. 

Not sure of whether a crime has happened to you? Our checklist may help you identify if you are a crime victim.

Looking for information about criminal court?  Learn about criminal court basics or talk to a crime victim advocate near you. 

State and U.S. laws grant crime victims certain rights. In New York State, crime victims have a number of rights within the criminal justice system, such as the right to protection and financial repayment. 

Topics covered:

  • Types of Crimes
  • Your Rights as a Crime Victim
  • Crime Victim Compensation
  • Restitution
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation
  • Your Rights to Language Access
Learn more

Many victims of crime experience problems in different areas of life, including their family life. There are legal solutions for some of these family-related problems.

Topics covered:

  • Child Support
  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Paternity
  • Divorce
  • Mediation in Family Law Cases
Learn more

Safety is important, especially for victims of crime. Knowing and dealing with the emotional impact of what happened to you is just as important as dealing with your safety needs.

Topics covered:

  • Impact on Victims of Crime
  • Safety Plans and Safely Storing Evidence
  • Domestic Violence Programs and Shelters
  • Orders of Protection from Family Court
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders
  • Internet & Cell Phone Safety
  • Keeping Your Address Confidential in Family Court
  • NYS Address Confidentiality Program
  • Safety and Voting
  • Offender Custody Status
Learn more

Many immigrants who are victims of crime are afraid to get help because they believe they will be deported. But there are protections for legal and undocumented crime victims.

Topics covered:

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petition
  • Battered Spouse Waiver
  • U Visa
  • S Visa
  • T Visa
  • Other rights of immigrant victims of crime
Learn more

Financial loss can be one of the results of becoming a crime victim, for example stolen money, destroyed belongings, lost income or medical expenses.

Topics covered:

  • Covid-19 Updates
  • Types of Costs Crime Victims May Have
  • Crime Victim Compensation
  • Restitution
  • Foreclosure
  • Public Assistance
  • Identity Theft
  • Financial Fraud
  • Other Types of Financial Fraud and Scams
  • Mediation in Financial Matters
Learn more

After becoming a victim of a crime, some people are worried about their housing needs. Am I safe in my home? Can I pay my mortgage? Am I being discriminated against because I'm a crime victim?

Topics covered:

  • Covid-19 Updates
  • Foreclosure
  • Crime Prevention
  • Eviction
  • NYS Housing Protections
  • Protection for Domestic Violence Victims
  • Emergency Housing
  • Mediation in Housing
Learn more

Are you a crime victim? Are you afraid to take time off from work to go to court or to get medical help because you may lose your job? Know what your employment rights are.

Topics covered:

  • Covid-19 Updates
  • Laws that Protect Employees
  • Medical Leave Protections
  • Other Legal Protections
Learn more

Anyone can become a victim of crime. The type of crime often plays a significant role in how you are affected and the kinds of help available to you. 

Topics covered:

  • Intimate Partner and Family Violence
  • Revenge Porn or Sexual Image Exploitation
  • Sexual Abuse and Assault
  • Elder Abuse
  • Human Trafficking
Learn more

Although anyone can be a victim of crime, members of the LGBTQ+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and others) experience unique challenges and concerns.

Topics covered:

  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • LGBTQ+ Victims of Intimate Partner Violence
  • Name Change
  • Hate Crimes
Learn more