The Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program was established in 1986 to provide assistance to crime victims who suffer personal injuries as a result of that crime, and for those who suffer such injury due to a crime that occurred in Boundary County, the Boundary County Prosecutors Office is the point of contact to assure that you are aware of your rights as a victim and to provide information of assistance which may be available to you under Idaho law. The following provides a brief overview of Idaho law pertaining to victims' rights.
The rights of victims of crime are established under Article 1, Section 22 of the Idaho Constitution, which states that crime victims have the right to be treated with fairness, respect, dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process and to be kept informed as to the progress of the proceedings arising from the criminal act. The victim has the right to be present at all proceedings which involve resolution of the case, including those considering a plea of guilty, sentencing, incarceration or release of the defendant, unless it is deemed that manifest injustice would result. Victims are also entitled to restitution as provided by law, and the Boundary County Prosecutors Office is again available to assist victims in attaining such restitution.
In addition to victims' rights defined in the Idaho Constitution, Idaho Code 72-1002, the Crime Victims Compensation Act, makes provisions for financial assistance for financial victims of crime, including the spouse or dependents of a deceased victim. In order to qualify, the crime must be reported to law enforcement officials within 72 hours of the crime or there must be sufficient documentation provided to show good cause why such report was not made; the victim must cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime, and the victim's own misconduct must not have caused or contributed to the injury. Claims for compensation must be filed within one year of the occurrence of the crime.
Compensation, up to a maximum of $25,000, is available after all other sources of payment, such as insurance, workers compensation, etc., have been exhausted in payment of reasonable expenses which are a direct result of the crime. These costs may include medical care and counseling, lost wages and funeral expenses, but do not cover such expenses as property loss, pain and suffering, injuries resulting from a traffic accident unless it was intentionally caused by the operator of the vehicle, nor payments that would benefit an offender or an accomplice.
Claim forms for benefits under the Crime Victim's Compensation Act are available at hospitals, law enforcement agencies, Idaho Industrial Commission offices and at all Idaho County Prosecutors Offices. Once an application is filed, a case manager is assigned by the Idaho Industrial Commission, which is the agency responsible for administering the Act, who will obtain documentation needed to verify the claim and make a determination to accept or deny the claim. The claimant will then be notified of that decision in writing.
If you have questions regarding the Idaho Crime Victim's Compensation Act, feel free to contact the Boundary County Prosecutors Office at (208) 267-7545, or contact the Sandpoint office of the Idaho Industrial Commission, 1500 Highway 2, Suite 200, Sandpoint, ID 83864, telephone 1-800-950-2110.
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