Right to Information

It is crucial that a crime victim  receives information about the procedure and content of the criminal process against the offender.

Such information guides the victim and facilitates the progress of the case. Well-informed victims are in a stronger position and will be able to better navigate the ongoing process. You will find a detailed description of your rights as a victim during the investigation.

The information must be conveyed to the victim in a simple and clear manner to be fully understood. If the victim feels vulnerable and in need of support, they may be accompanied by a family member, friend, lawyer, or victim support technician who can assist in understanding and recording the provided information.

A crime victim has the right to receive information about their rights, the status of the case or investigation—except in situations where it is not allowed due to judicial secrecy—and the major decisions made therein. This information should be provided at each stage (of the investigation or process) by the responsible authority, with the Public Prosecutor's Office playing a particularly significant role. Besides, victim support services also have an important function in providing information.

The Pro Victim Institute can assist you by informing you about your rights, how to exercise them, and how to obtain information about the case.


Information on Rights

From the moment they first contact an authority, be it the Public Prosecutor or the police, victims  have the right to be informed about the following aspects:

  • types of support  that they can obtain and who can provide it, including medical assistance, psychological support, specialised support, and, where justified, shelter;
  • how and where to report the occurrence of a crime;
  • how and under what conditions they can obtain protection;
  • how they can receive legal advice and judicial support;
  • how and under what conditions they can receive compensation  from the individual who committed the crime;
  • how to benefit from interpretation and translation services;
  • if the victim does not reside in Brazil, what special procedures exist for them to defend their interests in the country;
  • how to file a complaint if their rights are not respected by the authorities;
  • contact details of the authorities the victim should use to transmit or request information about the process;
  • which restorative justice services are available;
  • how and under what conditions they can be reimbursed for expenses resulting from their participation in the process.

This information may vary according to the specific needs and personal circumstances of the victim and the type of crime. Additional information may be provided at other stages of the process.


Information About the Process

Whenever requested, the victim has the right to be informed about the follow-up given to the report of the fact (the "complaint"), including the decision to charge the defendant, to archive or temporarily suspend the process or enter into a non-prosecution agreement; or transact a penalty, as applicable. They also have the right to be informed of the date, time, and place of the trial, as well as the verdict.

For this purpose, it is advisable for the victim to state, when they are informed about their rights, that they wish to be notified of all decisions made in the criminal process and the respective rationale.

The victim has the right not to want to be informed about everything mentioned. However, they cannot refuse to be informed of their position as a plaintiff or accuser since this requires notification to proceed with the defence of their rights and interests.

The victim has the right to be informed of the release or escape from prison of the defendant or convicted individual. Moreover, especially in cases where the defendant poses a significant danger, the victim has the right to information about major judicial decisions affecting the defendant’s status, particularly the application of coercive measures.

This information should be provided to them at each stage of the process by the responsible authority.

The victim also has the right to consult the case, except when, during the inquiry phase, it is under judicial secrecy, and the police authority opposes the consultation, believing it could harm the investigation or the rights of the participants in the process. However, as long as they appoint a lawyer, they can always access the complete records of the proceedings already conducted and filed in the police inquiry.

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