Victim Witness ServicesTrempealeau County District Attorney's OfficeRobin Leonard, Victim Witness Coordinator
36245 Main Street, P.O. Box 67
Whitehall, WI 54773
Phone: (715) 538-2311, ext. 278
Chapter 950 of the Wisconsin Statutes requires counties to respect victim and witness rights. The Victim Witness Coordinator assures that victims and witnesses are treated with dignity and respect. You can read the full text of the law detailing these rights in Chapter 950 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
We assist victims and witnesses throughout the criminal court process by answering questions, keeping victims informed of case development, providing information and referrals to community service providers, assisting with restitution, and offering personal assistance when possible. Please contact us with any questions.
Your Rights as a Victim
- To be treated with fairness, dignity and respect for your privacy.
- To not have personal identifiers including email disclosed or used for a purpose unrelated to the official duties of an agency, employee or official.
- To be informed of your rights and how to exercise those rights.
- To information regarding the offender's release from custody.
- To be notified of a decision not to prosecute if an arrest has been made.
- To speak with (confer) the prosecutor representative upon your request, about the possible outcome of the case, potential plea agreements and sentencing options.
- To attend court proceedings in the case.
- To be notified of the time, date and place of upcoming court proceedings, if you so request.
- To be provided with a waiting area separate from defense witnesses.
- To a speedy disposition of the criminal case.
- To have your interest considered when the court is deciding to grant a request for a delay (continuance).
- To be notified if charges are dismissed.
- To be accompanied to court by a service representative. This right is limited to specific types of crimes.
- To ask for assistance with your employer if necessary, resulting from court appearances.
- To request an order for, and to be given the results of, testing the offender for sexually transmitted diseases or HIV. This right is limited to specific types of crimes.
- To provide a written or oral victim impact statement concerning the economic, physical and psychological effect of the crime upon you to be considered by the court at sentencing.
- To have the impact of the crime on you included in a presentence investigation.
- To be provided sentencing or dispositional information upon request.
- To restitution as allowed by law.
- To a civil judgment for unpaid restitution.
- To compensation for certain expenses as allowed by law.
- To have your property expeditiously returned when it is no longer needed as evidence.
- To be notified of the offender's eligibility for parole and to have input into the parole making decision.
- To be notified by the Department of Corrections of specific types of releases, escapes or confinements as provided by law.
- To be notified of a pardon application to the governor and to make a written statement regarding the pardon application.
- To contact the Department of Justice about any concerns you may have about your victim rights.
Contact InformationPlease notify the Victim Witness Coordinator of any change in your address or phone number.
Defense AttorneysVictims and witnesses have the right to discuss cases with defense attorneys or investigators. Victims and witnesses have the right to ask that a police officer or prosecutor be present during the interview. Always ask for identification from any person who wants to discuss a pending case.
JuvenilesPolice agencies, subject to their policies, may disclose to the victim the name and address of a juvenile offender and the juvenile's parents. (Parents may be liable for up to $5,000 for damages resulting from the acts of their child.) Juvenile contact information may also be obtained from the Victim Witness Coordinator. This information is confidential and cannot be disclosed to any other person.
Police ReportsDue to possible interference with a pending case, copies of police reports should be requested only from the District Attorney's Office. The prosecutor will decide what reports can be released. After the case is closed, all police reports are available from the arresting agency.
PropertyThe police will notify a person when their property is no longer needed as evidence. If you have questions about property held by the police or need the property returned quickly, ask the District Attorney's Office for assistance.
Threats and IntimidationIf you receive any threats or other form of intimidation from your cooperation with law enforcement and prosecutors, call 911 immediately. Also report the incident to the Victim Witness Coordinator.
Victim CompensationAn innocent victim who suffers injury from a crime may apply to the State of Wisconsin for injury or death benefits up to $40,000. Injuries may include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of financial support, reasonable replacement costs of property being held as evidence and funeral expenses. To apply, call the Office of Crime Victim Compensation at (800) 446-6564.
TestifyingSubpoenaA subpoena is a court order directing a person to appear in court on a certain date and time. Failure to appear may result in an arrest warrant, fines and jail. Report to the District Attorney's Office before court.
FeesThe Victim Witness Coordinator will assist victims and witnesses in obtaining witness fees and travel costs for attending court hearings.
Tips for Testifying
- Always tell the truth. If you do not remember or are unable to answer a question, make that clear.
- Listen carefully to the entire question before answering. If you do not understand, ask that the question be explained or clarified.
- Answer only the question that is asked. Do not volunteer information, ramble or stray from the question that is asked.
- Beware of questions involving distances or time. If you estimate, make sure that you state that your answer is only an estimate.
- Speak clearly and loudly. The entire jury and the court reporter must be able to hear and understand you.
- Dress conservatively and be courteous. The jury will be judging your believability based on many things, including your appearance and behavior in court.
- Do not become upset with or verbally fight with the defense attorney. Remain calm and considerate and answer the defense attorney's questions truthfully.
- If asked if you have talked to anybody about this case, admit that you have. There is nothing improper about discussing the facts of the case with attorneys, police officers, or other investigators prior to trial.
- If you believe that you have information that the prosecutor may not be aware of, make certain that you inform the prosecutor immediately. If you recall a misstatement, point it out to the prosecutor so that it can be corrected.
Victim Witness Coordinator
36245 Main Street
P.O. Box 67
Whitehall, WI 54773
(715) 538-2311, ext. 278