Commitment to Serving Our Community 

The Victim Services Division has been providing support to victims of crime and their families since 1975. Our Victim Advocates care for a victim’s physical, emotional and financial needs after a crime. We do this by providing support, information, links to community resources and assisting in the enforcement of victim’s rights. 

Our services are free of charge and are provided to all individuals regardless of immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or income.

 

How Can the Victim Services Division Help You? 

If you or a member of your family have been the victim of crime, our Victim Advocates are here to help. 

If you are a crime victim we can help you. Below are some services that may be available to you including:  

  • Support and information about your case including: case updates, support in court, education and enforcement of your rights as a victim of crime. 
  • Assistance completing the California Victim Compensation Board Application. 
  • Referrals to community agencies and information to help you locate the right resources to meet your needs. 

 

Your Rights as a Victim of Crime 

Under Marsy’s Law, the California Constitution article I, § 28, section (b) provides victims of crime with 17 enumerated rights.

What rights do I have as a victim of crime? 

As a victim of crime you have the following rights throughout the case…

  • To be treated with fairness, respect, dignity and to have your privacy honored throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process. 
  • To be reasonably protected from the defendant. 
  • To prevent the disclosure of your confidential information or records to the defendant, which could be used to locate or harass you. 
  • To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by the defendant, defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which you consent.  
  • To reasonably confer with the prosecuting attorney regarding the arrest of the defendant, the charges filed, the determination whether to extradite the defendant and to be notified of and informed before any pretrial disposition of the case. 
  • To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including delinquency proceedings at which the defendant and prosecutor are entitled to be present and all of parole or other post-conviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such proceedings. 
  • To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, plea, sentencing, post-conviction release decision or any proceeding in which your safety is at issue. 
  • To a speedy and prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings. 

As a victim of crime you have the following rights regarding bail and post-arrest release…

  • To have your safety and that of your family considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant. 

As a victim of crime you have the following rights post-conviction…

  • To provide information to a probation department official conducting a pre-sentence investigation concerning the impact of the offense on you and your family and any sentencing recommendations before sentencing the defendant. 
  • To receive the pre-sentence report when available to the defendant except for those portions made confidential by law. 
  • To be informed of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant and the release of or escape by the defendant from custody. 
  • To restitution. All monetary payments, monies and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution shall be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to you. 
  • To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence. 
  • To be informed of all parole procedures, to participate in the parole process to provide information to the parole authority to be considered before the parole of the offender and to be notified of the parole or other release of the offender. 
  • To have your safety and that of your family the general public considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made. 

There are many other rights afforded to victims of crime in the criminal justice process. To learn more about the rights that may be available to you, please contact a Victim Advocate. 

 

Financial assistance for victims of crime 

If you or a member of your family have been the victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance through the California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) 

CalVCB may cover... 

  • Medical or dental expenses 
  • Mental health counseling (outpatient);
  • Funeral/burial expenses; 
  • Relocation or home security improvements;
  • Wage loss if you were unable to work as a result of the crime. 

Eligibility… 

To learn if you may be eligible for CalVCB, please contact a Victim Advocate.

 

Restitution for Victims of Crime 

California law requires a judge to order every defendant convicted of a crime to pay restitution to a victim in every case where the victim suffered a financial loss as a result of a crime.  

What costs can I request as restitution? 

Any crime-related expenses such as the value of stolen/damaged property, repair costs, towing fees and any other losses that are not covered by CalVCB. 

How do I collect restitution that is owed to me? 

Depending on the type of sentence imposed on the defendant, restitution is paid into an account. The agency responsible for collecting will forward any restitution payments made by the defendant to the victim.

If the offender was convicted to probation or county jail…

An account in the victim’s name will be created at San Mateo County Revenue Services. The offender will pay into that account. 

For inquiries about restitution collection through San Mateo County Revenue Services, please contact (650) 363-4155 or revenuemaster@smcgov.org

If the offender was sentenced to prison…

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will collect any moneys owed to the victim in restitution.

For inquiries about restitution collection through the CDCR, please contact (877) 256-6877 or victimservices@cdcr.ca.gov

 

Resources for Victims of Crime 

San Mateo County Jail Inmate Locator: 

To sign up to be notified when an offender is released from the county jail, please visit https://smc-inmatelocator.org  or call (650) 363-4424. You will need the offender’s name, date of birth and/or inmate number.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Inmate Locator: 

To be notified if an offender is released, dies, escapes, files an appeal or has a parole hearing, please contact CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services at: 1-877-256-6877  or complete a Victim Request for Services (1707) form at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/application.html. You will need the offender’s name, CDCR number and court case number. 

Rape Trauma Services (RTS) 

Sexual Abuse Support 
Crisis Line: 650-692-7273 
 

Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) 

Domestic Violence Support 
Crisis Line: 800-300-1080 
 

StarVista

Providing counseling, crisis intervention, youth housing and early childhood programs to San Mateo County. 
Crisis Line: (650) 579-0350

 

Helpful documents

 
CJS Brochure (中文)
VSD Survey (En español)
CDCR Form 1707 - Request for Victim Services