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Victim and Witness Information

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The Office of the Cass County State's Attorney is staffed by attorneys, support staff, and victim witness coordinators who care deeply about those affected by crime. If you are a victim of crime, you have involuntarily become involved in the criminal justice system and our office is dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you access appropriate resources.

There are many different resources and services available.  Some of these resources are provided directly by the Cass County State's Attorney's Office, and many others are provided by other agencies in our community.

Victim Witness Coordinators - The State's Attorney's Office has a team of victim witness coordinators who help keep victim's informed of the criminal justice process.  You may contact one of our coordinators by calling 701-241-5850 and giving the receptionist the name of the defendant on the case.  They will then connect you with the appropriate victim witness coordinator who will be able to help you with your questions.

Victim Impact Statements 

A Victim Impact Statement is an opportunity for you to explain, in your own words, how being a victim of crime has affected you and the people close to you.  This statement may include an explanation by the victim of the nature and extent of any physical, psychological, or emotional harm or trauma suffered by the victim; an explanation of the extent of any economic loss or property damage suffered by the victim; an opinion of the need for and extent of restitution; and the victim’s recommendation for an appropriate sentence.

A Victim Impact Statement may be submitted by the victim, family members of a deceased victim, or parents of a victim who is a child. Sometimes the court will allow statements from other family and friends of the victim.

The information that you give in your statement is helpful to the court in understanding the full effects of the crime on you. It will be submitted to the judge prior to sentencing. This statement will also be shared with the State’s Attorney Office, defendant's attorney, defendant, and possibly a probation or parole officer. An oral Victim Impact Statement may only be given in a case of violent crimes at the discretion of the judge. If you have any questions or if you wish to make an oral Victim Impact Statement, please contact a victim witness coordinator at your earliest convenience.  If an oral impact statement is given, it will be under oath and subject to cross examination by the defense.

If you prepare a Victim Impact Statement, please make it in your own words and not too lengthy.  Your statement may address the following matters, among others:

Physical - Describe how the crime has physically changed your life:

  • Do you have any physical discomfort or illness because of this crime?
  • What treatment have you received or will you be required to receive in the future?
  • Do you have any permanent or long term disability or injury as a result of the crime?

Emotional - At first, it may be difficult to explain the emotional impact of the crime. When completing your statement consider the following:

  • Do you feel fearful, vulnerable, helpless, violated, angry?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable or frightened in your own home?
  • Have you changed your lifestyle? Do you restrict your activities? Do you avoid going out at a certain time?
  • Has the crime affected your relationship with your family, friends or colleagues?

Financial - Describe any expenses you have had or paid as a result of the crime:

  • Personal belongings or property lost, destroyed, or damaged.
  • Medical expenses incurred.
  • Future medical or counseling expenses your doctor anticipates.
  • Funeral expenses.
  • Lost wages or income.

Submitting a Victim Impact Statement is completely voluntary.  You are not required by law to submit this information to the Cass County State’s Attorney's Office. The Victim Impact Statement must be submitted under oath. To submit your Victim Impact Statement: you may personally bring your completed statement to the Office of the Cass County State’s Attorney and have it notarized at no cost; or you may have the completed statement notarized at your own cost and then deliver it to the Office of the Cass County State’s Attorney.  

If you decide to complete a Victim Impact Statement, it should be submitted as soon as possible so the court has an opportunity to consider your statement at sentencing.  Please submit your Victim Impact Statement to:

Cass County State’s Attorney's Office
Attn: VW Coordinator
PO Box 2806
211 9th Street South
Fargo, ND 58108

Restitution

The court, when sentencing a person found guilty of criminal activity, may order the defendant make restitution to the victim or other recipient. In determining whether to order restitution the court will take into account:

  • The reasonable damages sustained by the victim or victims of the criminal offense which directly relate to the criminal offense and expenses actually incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s criminal action;
  • The ability of the defendant to pay monetary reparations to the victim; and/or
  • The likelihood that ordering restitution will serve a valid rehabilitation purpose.

Submitting a restitution claim form or restitution information to the Cass County State’s Attorney Office is completely voluntary.

If restitution is to be sought or obtained, the Restitution Claim Form should be completed and returned as soon as possible for consideration prior to any court hearings.  Please send the completed form to:

Cass County State’s Attorney Office
Attn: Restitution Supervisor
PO Box 2806
211 9th Street South
Fargo, ND 58108

For any questions pertaining to restitution - please contact the Restitution Supervisor at (701) 241-5855.

Crime Victims Compensation

North Dakota law (Crime Victims Reparation Act) provides monetary compensation to victims of criminal attacks who suffer bodily injury. Victims may be eligible for payments of medical expenses, lost wages, and mental health counseling. Dependents of deceased victims may also be eligible for certain benefits, including funeral expenses.  

To receive a Crime Victims Compensation application or to notify us that you have received compensation from Crime Victims Compensation, please contact a victim witness coordinator at (701) 241-5850,  

Other Services

If you would like information regarding available public or private programs that provide counseling, treatment, or support, please contact one of our victim witness coordinator at 701-241-5850 or check out some of the links and phone numbers under our helpful resources tab.

Please note: This guide is intended for general information only. It is not a statement of the law. It is provided as a service by the Office of the Cass County State’s Attorney.

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