South Carolina Governor's Office





Summary of Acts 141 & 343 Law Enforcement:


scales of justice

  • Must provide a free copy of the initial incident report.
  • Must provide a document which describes a victim's constitutional rights and statutory responsibilities as well as local victim assistance and social service providers and the victims compensation program.
  • Must assist eligible victims in applying for compensation benefits as requested.
  • Must intervene with creditors or employers of a victim.
  • Must inform a victim of the status and progress of the case from incident to disposition in summary court, or referral to the Department of Juvenile Justice or referral to a prosecuting agency.
  • Must notify of arrest, bond hearings, pretrial releases, and of the right to attend summary court bond hearings and make recommendations to the judge; this includes any type of juvenile hearing or release.
  • Forward victim contact information to the summary court or the prosecuting agency before a bond or release hearing.
  • Must provide any measures necessary to protect victims, including to and from court.
  • Must make reasonable efforts to provide separate waiting areas for victims from defendants for proceedings in circuit and family courts.
  • Return personal property as quickly as possible.
Prosecuting Agency:


  • Must inform of the status and progress of a case, with the exception of preliminary hearings.
  • Must notify of each hearing, trial, or other proceeding as scheduled or canceled to include all juvenile hearings and releases.
  • Must inform about collection of restitution fees, expenses, and recovery of evidence.
  • Assist with victims' compensation benefits.
  • Make referrals to counselors, social service agencies, and victim assistance providers, and intercede with creditors or employers of the victim.
  • Must notify of the right to submit an oral or written statement for consideration by a family or circuit court judge, to include juvenile proceedings.
  • Must provide a form and assist with preparing a Victim Impact Statement for consideration by a circuit or family court judge (including juvenile proceedings) and file a sealed copy with the indictment to be opened only after the defendant has been adjudicated, found guilty, or pled guilty.
  • Must forward a copy of each victims' Victim Impact Statement form to these state departments: the Department of Corrections; the Department of Probation, Pardon & Parole Services; the Juvenile Parole Board; and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • Must inform victims of how to contact the Department of Corrections, the Department of Probation, Pardon, & Parole Services, the Juvenile Parole Board, or the Attorney General's Office.
  • Inform about applicable practices of the criminal or juvenile justice systems as well as the right to legal counsel and available civil remedies.
  • Familiarize victim with courtroom procedure and protocol as well as attempt to minimize inconvenience.
  • Discuss the case and meet about the disposition of the case (diversions, pleas negotiations, etc.)
  • Intervene if a victim/witness is threatened or harassed. Return personal property as quickly as possible.
Circuit Court or Family Court:


  • Must protect the rights of the victim as diligently as those of the defendant.
  • Must address the issue of restitution.
  • Must review any Victim Impact Statements, oral or written, before sentencing.
  • Must treat sensitively the very young, elderly, handicapped, or others who have special needs.
  • Must verify that a victim has been notified before proceeding with a bond trial, plea, sentencing, or other hearings; If not, hearing must be delayed to allow time for reasonable notice.
  • Must impose conditions of release that sufficiently protect the victim from the defendant.
    Summary Court (Magistrate or Municipal):
  • Must protect the rights of the victim as diligently as those of the defendant.
  • Must provide a form to victims who wish to make a written impact statement that includes: personal information, itemized list of losses, injury details, psychological services, personal welfare changes and other pertinent information.
  • Must verify that victim has been notified before a bond hearing, and if not, must delay to allow notice.
  • Must notify each victim of the right to: be present and participate in all hearings; be represented by counsel; pursue civil remedies; and, submit an oral or written Victim Impact Statement for consideration at sentencing.
  • Must impose conditions of release that sufficiently protect the victim from the defendant.
  • Must return the victim's personal property as quickly as possible.
  • Must inform the victim of the procedures and practices of court.
    Jail:
  • Must notify of a release, transfer, or escape of offenders accused or convicted of the crime upon the request of the victim.
Attorney General:


  • Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the Attorney General's Office must request the victim's contact information from the Department of Corrections, the Department of Probation, Pardon, & Parole Services, the Juvenile Parole Board, or the Department of Juvenile Justice. These agencies must supply the requested information to the Attorney General.
  • Must confer with victims regarding the appeal and keep victims informed of the status and progress of the case.
    Department of Juvenile Justice:
  • Must confer with victims before issuing a recommendation or placing an offender in a diversion program, referring the offender to a prosecuting agency or for evaluation, or other actions.
  • Must keep victims informed of the status and progress of the case.
Post-Conviction Agencies:



The Department of Corrections, the Department of Probation, Pardon, & Parole Services, the Juvenile Parole Board, or the Department of Juvenile Justice must notify, upon request, of post-conviction proceedings affecting probation, parole, or release and of the victim's right to attend.

return to top