Victim’s Resource Center
In May 2018, we inaugurated our Victim Resource Center in an effort to create a space within our office dedicated to victims. We are committed to working with victims throughout the legal process while utilizing our relationships with various victim advocacy organizations.
You can start the process of filing an order of protection in our office at one of our confidential kiosks. Our staff can answer questions and offer help with the forms if you need it. No appointment is necessary. Once you have filled out the forms, you will have to take them across the street to District Court for filing, Room 274. Paperwork processing time at the court can take up to four hours.
A temporary order of protection is an order granted for the protection of a victim of domestic abuse and in effect for 30 days. Under New Mexico law, only individuals that are household members can apply for a temporary order of protection. A “household member” is defined as a legally married spouse, a parent, a grandparent, a step-child, a grandchild, a co-parent, or individuals in a continuing intimate relationship.
You will need basic contact information for you (the Petitioner) and for any other person for whom you are also seeking protection (a Protected Party), such as:
- Addresses and contact information
- Date of birth, if known
- Employer information, if known
- Information about children, if any
- Details of the bad or dangerous conduct of the person you are seeking protection from (the Respondent)
- The location of this person, if known
More information on filing an order of protection can be found on the Second Judicial District Court website.
There are certain requirements that must be met to qualify for a housing letter:
- You must have an open case in our office and be cooperative in the prosecution of said case.
- You must have a restraining order against the defendant.
- You must have spent at least 1 night in a shelter or safe house and be able to provide a letter verifying your stay.
More information here.
The respite area is located on the first floor of the office. It is equipped with a small dining area, comfortable furnishings, two televisions, a refrigerator, light snacks, and a microwave. Victims and their families are welcome to utilize the respite area while waiting for pretrial interviews, hearings, and trial outcomes at the court next door.
The Victim Resource Center provides “essentials” bags to victims of domestic violence that include gender non-specific items such as toiletries and basic clothing. We also have gender specific clothing items, school supplies, makeup, lunchboxes, and other toiletries for any victim being served on a case within our office.
The Victim Resource Center can help you find and connect to the resources that will best serve your needs.
Victim advocates support victims, help them understand their rights under the New Mexico Victims of Crime Act, and keep them involved with their cases as they move through the criminal justice system. Victim advocates are not attorneys, but are knowledgeable professionals who are available to assist crime victims with various needs and concerns pertaining to the prosecution of the criminal case including connecting victims to resources and assisting in the courtroom.
Victim Impact Program
This special division is a vital part of the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. It provides extensive assistance and referrals to victims of both misdemeanor and felony crimes. Victim advocates help victims understand their rights under the New Mexico Victims of Crime Act and keep them involved with their cases as they move through the criminal justice system.
The Victims of Crimes Act provides certain rights to victims of violent crime. This division is here to help victims understand those rights, to keep victims informed about their case, and to provide information regarding available victim assistance programs.
The Victim Impact Program division provides guidelines for possible financial assistance available for medical expenses and lost wages incurred as a result of crimes. We are committed to working with you as your case proceeds through the criminal justice system.
Contact us at (505) 222-1204 to set up an appointment with one of our Victim Advocates and find out how we can help you.
New Mexico Victims of Crime Act (NMSA § 31-26-1)
The Victims of Crime Act provides certain rights to victims of violent crimes. Our office is here to help you understand those rights, to keep you informed about your case, and to provide information regarding victim assistance programs available to you. We will provide information for possible financial assistance programs available to help offset medical expenses and loss of wages incurred as a result of the crimes. We are committed to working with you as your case proceeds through the criminal justice system.
Victims have the right to:
- Be treated with fairness and respect
- Timely disposition of the case
- Be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process
- Receive notification of court proceedings
- Attend any public court proceeding the accused has a right to attend
- Confer with the prosecution
- Make a statement at any sentencing or post-sentencing hearing of the accused
- Receive restitution from the offender
- Receive information about conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, escape, or release of the accused.
- Have the prosecuting attorney notify victim’s employer, if requested, of the necessity of the victim’s cooperation and testimony in a court proceeding that may require the absence of the victim from work
- Return of evidence belonging to the victim
- Be informed at sentencing of any earned merits deduction eligibilities.
When do the rights of the victims take effect?
- When formal charges of an alleged criminal offense is made by the victim or agency
- Inducement, information, or criminal complaint is delivered to the District Attorney’s office
Victim Responsibilities – A victim can exercise their rights if they:
- Report the criminal offense within five days of the occurrence or discovery of the offense unless reasonable not to do so.
- Keep the District Attorney’s office informed of current address, phone numbers, and email, even after sentencing
- Fully cooperate with and fully respond to reasonable requests by law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office