Texas legal rights

Do You Know Your Rights as a Victim of Sexual Assault in Texas?

If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault, would you know what your legal rights are? It is important for victims to educate themselves because the rights of victims of sex crimes vary from state to state. Under Texas law, you have the right:

 

  • To be provided compassionate and skilled treatment in any emergency room (Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 323);

 

  • To decide whether to file a police or information report;
  • To be provided written notice of your rights as well as information and referrals about sexual assault programs, at initial contact with law enforcement (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.07);

 

  • To have the perpetrator tested for HIV and receive notice of the test results after indictment (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 21.31);

 

  • To take or decline to a lie detector test (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 15.051);

 

  • To use a pseudonym to keep your name, address and phone number out of public court files relating to your case (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 57.02);

 

  • To be notified of all legal proceedings, including parole proceedings, after making a written request for notification (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.02(3)(A), 56.02(B)(7);

 

  • To keep your address confidential upon meeting certain requirements through the Texas Address Confidentiality Program. (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.81);

 

  • To have your safety considered by the judge when bail is set for the perpetrator (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.02);

 

  • To be provided a private waiting area, separate from other witnesses, before testifying in the criminal proceeding (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.02(8));

 

  • To write a victim impact statement and have the statement considered during punishment and parole proceedings (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.03);

 

  • To seek reimbursement through the Texas Attorney General’s Crime Victims’ Compensation Program for financial losses resulting from criminal conduct, including medical costs, moving costs and lost wages (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 56.31-56.64).