Victim/Witness Specialists

Information given to the victim specialist is shared with the prosecuting attorney.


  1. What type of notifications will I receive? Who notifies me?{cc1}

    There are several types of notification you can receive. If the defendant is arrested on the offense the jail will attempt to notify you of the defendant’s release. You can ensure notification by signing up for notification from the VINE link notification system at You will receive a letter from the charging attorney’s office notifying you of your rights as a crime victim, the next hearing date and time, and information on how to request restitution for financial loss due to the crime (restitution). If the charging attorney’s office has victim witness staff you will receive notification from them. If a charging attorney’s office does not have victim witness staff you may receive notification from a legal assistant or a legal advocate from the Alexandra House.
  2. Can I dismiss my case and/or the Domestic Abuse No Contact Order?{cc2}

    Once a case is charged from a prosecutor’s office, the office is the party moving forward with charges. You have the right to provide input to the prosecuting attorney’s office with what you hope to see happen in the case. You can provide that input by speaking with a victim witness staff, asking an Alexandra House legal advocate to relay your input to the prosecuting attorney, or by contacting the prosecutor’s office. A Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) is a court order signed by the Judge usually at the first appearance. The DANCO can only be modified or vacated by a Judge. The DANCO is usually signed for up to a year to be in place while the criminal case is being prosecuted. You can contact the prosecutor’s office from the routes listed above to inform them of your wishes regarding the DANCO. In some cases a DANCO can be modified at a future hearing. In most cases, the DANCO will remain in effect until the case is resolved.
  3. When do I receive my restitution I requested?{cc3}

    If the defendant enters a plea of guilty or is found guilty by the court restitution can be ordered as part of a defendant’s sentence. This typically means the defendant will have until the end of their probation term to complete payments, unless otherwise ordered. The defendant will set up a payment plan with their probation officer to make monthly payments towards the total amount owed.
  4. Do I have to come to court?{cc4}

    You are not obligated to come to court unless you receive a subpoena. However, as the victim or witness to a crime committed by an adult offender, you have the right to be at any hearing. Many juvenile hearings are closed and you should ask your Victim Witness Specialist whether you may attend. Victim Witness Specialists are available to escort or accompany you to the courtroom and explain the proceedings if you wish.
  5. What should I do if I'm afraid the offender will want to retaliate against me or my family members?{cc5}

    The county attorney can request that a No Contact Order be issued as a condition of the defendant’s release. Also, in cases of domestic abuse, you can get help in obtaining an Order for Protection through Alexandra House, 763-576-9999. Visit their website for more information. Any violations of these orders should be reported to the police and the probation office immediately.
  6. What do I do about expenses related to this crime?{cc6}

    There are several resources available for financial assistance. Your Victim Witness Specialist can help you sort out which is best for you. Emergency funds may be available on a limited basis to help with emergencies not covered by insurance or other sources. The State of Minnesota also has funds available to assist victims of crime with medical, dental, psychological or funeral expenses related to a crime.
  7. How do I request a copy of my police report?{cc7}

    Access to law enforcement data is governed by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, a lengthy and complicated statute. To assist crime victims in their quest to obtain law enforcement data, the Crime Victim Justice Unit developed a handout with basic tips for victims, which explains the applicable laws, gives information about what fees may be charged for copies of that data, and suggests strategies for victims when they encounter problems. Download How Do I Get a Copy of My Police Report for more information.
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