Victim’s Attorney

The victim's attorney's role is to assist the victim throughout the legal proceedings: explaining the unfolding of these procedures, providing counsel, informing the victim about their rights, and assisting them in exercising these rights and defending their interests.

The role that a victim's attorney can assume in the process depends on the victim’s own position within it. To learn more about the victim’s position in the process, click here.

If the victim participates in the process solely as a witness, their attorney can accompany them in the acts where their participation is required and inform them about their rights when necessary, but cannot intervene.

If the victim takes part as a prosecuting assistant, they must be represented by an attorney. In this case, the attorney's role is to oversee the prosecution and advocate for the victim's right to compensation. The attorney is responsible for submitting the compensation claim and relevant evidence, particularly regarding damages suffered by the victim, participating in the trial, questioning the defendant, witnesses, and possibly experts on aspects related to the compensation claim, and appealing if they disagree with the decision on this or any other fact related to the process. It is important to note that the victim does not need an attorney to file a compensation claim, as the Public Prosecutor themselves can do so when filing charges. However, it is crucial to provide the prosecutor with all essential documents and facts for the compensation claim, even requesting the addition of these documents to the police inquiry, even if not requested by the police officer.

If the victim wants to actively participate in evidence production, they must be represented by an attorney. Acting in the victim’s interest, the attorney will, for example, submit or request the collection of evidence deemed important, question the defendant, witnesses, and experts during interrogatories in which they participate, or appeal decisions they disagree with. In summary, a victim is not always accompanied by an attorney: as a witness, the victim can have an attorney if they wish; to act as a prosecuting assistant, the victim must have an attorney.

Being a crime victim does not automatically grant the right to have an attorney appointed and paid for by the State. Only if the victim cannot afford attorney fees do they have the right to request free legal aid.

Typically, the victim is represented in the criminal process by the prosecutor. The victim should convey their desires and expectations to the prosecutor. Therefore, the appointment of a prosecuting assistant is optional. If you believe an attorney has violated your rights, you should report this to the Brazilian Lawyer Order. [link]

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