The only parties to Nevada criminal cases are the state versus the alleged offender. Victims may help police with their investigations, but they technically fall outside the purview of the case. However victims may be entitled to some restitution money as well as resources to ensure their safety.
This page provides an overview of crime victim advocates in Nevada including links to helpful resources throughout the state. Victims of violent crimes, property crimes, and identity theft in Las Vegas are encouraged to scroll down to learn more.
Do victims need their own lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Victims are not required to retain counsel in Nevada, but it is still a good idea. Lawyers may be more familiar with how to maximize restitution payments in criminal cases, and lawyers can help victims bring a civil lawsuit against the person who victimized them. Victims who do not hire lawyers can learn about self-help resources below.
What is victim restitution in Las Vegas, Nevada?
If a defendant gets convicted of a crime, the judge may order the defendant to pay money, called "restitution," to any victims of the crime. Restitution typically covers the victims' property damage, medical bills or other losses incurred by the victim due to the defendant's criminal activity. To learn more go to our informational article on Nevada victim restitution laws.
What do I do if I am a crime victim and need emotional or financial help in Las Vegas, Nevada?
One resource Nevada victims can call is the Las Vegas Police Victim Services Detail at 702-828-2955. Office hours are Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This service provides crisis intervention and referrals to organizations offering financial or emotional support.
Another resources is the Clark County Victim-Witness Assistant Center (WVAC) at 702-671-2500. It is open on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They provide witnesses with the following assistance:
- Notification by mail of the status of the alleged offender's case
- Explanation of court rules and procedures
- Assistance in applying for crime compensation
- Processing restitution payments
- Offering vouchers for witness fees
- Transportation to and from the courthouse
- Referrals to social services agencies
- Returning the victim's property, which is being held as evidence, to the victim as soon as possible
WVAC is located on the third floor of the Regional Justice Center, located at 200 Lewis Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101.
Keep reading this page for more specialized self-help resources for crime victims in Nevada.
How do I get immediate financial assistance if I am a victim of a violent crime in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Victims of violent crimes may be eligible for financial assistance through the Nevada Victim of Crimes Program (VOCP). If the victim has died, his/her family may also be eligible. The victim must have sustained physical injuries (or threats of physical injuries) from a violent offense such as:
- The Nevada crimes of assault & battery
- The Nevada crime of sexual assault
- The Nevada crime of domestic violence
- The Nevada crime of child abuse
- The Nevada crime of elder abuse
- The Nevada crime of drunk driving
- The Nevada crime of homicide
The victim (or victim's family) must also meet the following criteria to be eligible for VOCP assistance in Nevada:
- The victim has to be a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident
- The victim cannot have participated in the crime.
- The victim must cooperate with the police during their investigation and with the VOCP.
- The crime must have been reported to authorities (such as the cops or child protective services) within 5 days unless the victim was not mentally capable of doing so
- Adult victims have 1 year from the date of the crime to submit the VOCP application (or within a reasonable time if the victim is incapable of meeting the 1 year deadline). Minor victims of rape, sexual abuse or pornography may file an application when they reach 21 years old.
VOCP can help pay for expenses that are incurred because of a violent crime and that are not covered by other sources. Possible expenses include:
- medial, dental, hospital, home health, and ambulance bills
- mental health counseling
- costs for necessary medical equipment (such as wheelchairs), eyeglass replacements, visual prosthetics
- co-pays for insurance
- prescription medications
- funeral and burial costs
- child care costs incurred due to the crime
- income loss
- loss of support for dependants of a dead victim
- costs for cleanup of the crime scene
- home security repair
- costs for emergency shelter and relocation
However each beneficiary of VOCP is limited to a $35,000 payout. Note that victims who are denied assistance through VOCP may appeal the decision. Also note that the money is not meant to cover the following expenses:
- property damage
- lost or stolen cash or property
- damages for pain and suffering
- any expenses covered by insurance (or other source) or not directly related to the crime
To apply go to the Nevada VOCP application and instructions.
How do I get immediate financial assistance if I am a victim of a sexual offense in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Rape victims may be eligible for the Nevada Victim of Crimes Program (see previous question). In addition Nevada counties must pay for sex offense examinations and some other medical care within 72-hours of the victim arriving for treatment. The county can also cover up to $1,000 for counseling. Contact the Clark County D.A.'s office for more information at 702-671-2500.
How do I stay informed about the whereabouts of the person who victimized me in Las Vegas, Nevada?
First contact the Clark County Victim-Witness Assistant Center (WVAC) at 702-671-2500. Upon written request they will notify victims with the defendant's case status including bail amount, if the defendant is released from custody, and whether the defendant is convicted.
Also go to the VINE website (which is short for Victim Information and Notification Everyday). VINE permits victims to obtain up-to-date information about the custody status of offenders and criminal cases twenty-four hours a day. You can also call VINE at 888-268-8463.
In addition, the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) can answer questions regarding a prison inmate's status including release dates, parole board hearings and credit for good behavior. The NDOC's number is 775-887-3285.
Can victims speak at a defendant's sentencing hearings and parole hearings in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Yes, victims have the right to be heard at a defendant's sentencing hearings and parole hearings:
To learn how to remain informed about a defendant's upcoming sentencing hearing, victims should contact the Clark County Victim-Witness Assistant Center (WVAC) at 702-671-2500.
To be notified of upcoming parole hearings, victims need to make a written request to the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation. For more information call 775-684-2600.
What other resources are available for crime victims in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Nevada has dozens of non-profit organizations aimed to help crime victims with emotional, social and financial issues. Some of them include:
Salvation Army: 702-399-2769
Senior Protective Services: 702-455-8672
Nevada Child Abuse hotline: 702-399-0081
SafeNest Domestic Violence hotline: 702-646-4981
SafeHouse hotline: 702-564-3227
Family Violence Intervention Program: 702-455-3400
Sexual Assault hotline: 702-366-1640
Are you a victim? Call for help . . . .
If you are a victim of a crime in Nevada, call Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). They can talk to you for free about the best way to go about getting you some compensation and safeguarding you and your family.
To learn about victim advocacy in California criminal cases, go to our webpage on Victim advocacy in California.