Tex. Code of Crim. Proc. Article 56A.051
General Rights


(a)

A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:

(1)

the right to receive from a law enforcement agency adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;

(2)

the right to have the magistrate consider the safety of the victim or the victim’s family in setting the amount of bail for the defendant;

(3)

if requested, the right to be informed in the manner provided by Article 56A.0525 (Authorized Form of Notifications):

(A)

by the attorney representing the state of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed if those proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled before the event; and

(B)

by an appellate court of the court’s decisions, after the decisions are entered but before the decisions are made public;

(4)

when requested, the right to be informed in the manner provided by Article 56A.0525 (Authorized Form of Notifications):

(A)

by a peace officer concerning the defendant’s right to bail and the procedures in criminal investigations; and

(B)

by the office of the attorney representing the state concerning the general procedures in the criminal justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and parole process;

(5)

the right to provide pertinent information to a community supervision and corrections department conducting a presentencing investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim’s family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner before any sentencing of the defendant;

(6)

the right to receive information, in the manner provided by Article 56A.0525 (Authorized Form of Notifications):

(A)

regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by Chapter 56B (Crime Victims’ Compensation), including information related to the costs that may be compensated under that chapter and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that chapter;

(B)

for a victim of a sexual assault, regarding the payment under Subchapter G for a forensic medical examination; and

(C)

when requested, providing a referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;

(7)

the right to:

(A)

be informed, on request, and in the manner provided by Article 56A.0525 (Authorized Form of Notifications), of parole procedures;

(B)

participate in the parole process;

(C)

provide to the board for inclusion in the defendant’s file information to be considered by the board before the parole of any defendant convicted of any offense subject to this chapter; and

(D)

be notified in the manner provided by Article 56A.0525 (Authorized Form of Notifications), if requested, of parole proceedings concerning a defendant in the victim’s case and of the defendant’s release;

(8)

the right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the defendant and relatives of the defendant, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the defendant; if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim’s contact with the defendant and the defendant’s relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings;

(9)

the right to the prompt return of any of the victim’s property that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney representing the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for that purpose;

(10)

the right to have the attorney representing the state notify the victim’s employer, if requested, that the victim’s cooperation and testimony is necessary in a proceeding that may require the victim to be absent from work for good cause;

(11)

the right to request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the victim services division of the department;

(12)

the right to be informed, in the manner provided by Article 56A.0525 (Authorized Form of Notifications), of the uses of a victim impact statement and the statement’s purpose in the criminal justice system as described by Subchapter D, to complete the victim impact statement, and to have the victim impact statement considered:

(A)

by the attorney representing the state and the judge before sentencing or before a plea bargain agreement is accepted; and

(B)

by the board before a defendant is released on parole;

(13)

for a victim of an assault or sexual assault who is younger than 17 years of age or whose case involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004 (Family Violence), Family Code, the right to have the court consider the impact on the victim of a continuance requested by the defendant; if requested by the attorney representing the state or by the defendant’s attorney, the court shall state on the record the reason for granting or denying the continuance; and

(14)

if the offense is a capital felony, the right to:

(A)

receive by mail from the court a written explanation of defense-initiated victim outreach if the court has authorized expenditures for a defense-initiated victim outreach specialist;

(B)

not be contacted by the victim outreach specialist unless the victim, guardian, or relative has consented to the contact by providing a written notice to the court; and

(C)

designate a victim service provider to receive all communications from a victim outreach specialist acting on behalf of any person.

(b)

A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in the case.

(c)

The office of the attorney representing the state and the sheriff, police, and other law enforcement agencies shall ensure to the extent practicable that a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is provided the rights granted by this subchapter and, on request, an explanation of those rights.
Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 469 (H.B. 4173), Sec. 1.05, eff. January 1, 2021.
Amended by:
Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 107 (S.B. 2101), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2023.
Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 206 (S.B. 1401), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2023.

Source: Article 56A.051 — General Rights, https://statutes.­capitol.­texas.­gov/Docs/CR/htm/CR.­56A.­htm#56A.­051 (accessed Jun. 5, 2024).

56A.001
Definitions
56A.051
General Rights
56A.052
Additional Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault, Indecent Assault, Stalking, or Trafficking
56A.053
Failure to Provide Right or Service
56A.054
Standing
56A.101
Victim Privacy
56A.102
Victim or Witness Discovery Attendance
56A.151
Victim Impact Statement
56A.152
Recommendations to Ensure Submission of Statement
56A.153
Notification to Court Regarding Release of Defendant with Access to Child Victim
56A.154
Change of Address
56A.155
Discovery of Statement
56A.156
Inspection of Statement by Court
56A.157
Consideration of Statement by Court
56A.158
Defendant Response to Statement
56A.159
Transfer of Statement After Sentencing
56A.160
Survey Plan Regarding Statements
56A.201
Designation of Victim Assistance Coordinator
56A.202
Duties of Victim Assistance Coordinator
56A.203
Designation of Crime Victim Liaison
56A.204
Duties of Crime Victim Liaison
56A.205
Psychological Counseling for Certain Jurors
56A.301
Definitions
56A.302
Applicability
56A.304
Payment of Fees Related to Examination
56A.305
Payment of Costs for Certain Medical Care
56A.306
Procedures for Transfer and Preservation of Evidence
56A.307
Procedures for Submission or Collection of Additional Evidence
56A.308
Confidentiality of Certain Records
56A.309
Rules
56A.351
Presence of Sexual Assault Program Advocate
56A.352
Representative Provided by Penal Institution
56A.401
Notification of Rights
56A.403
Duties of Peace Officers Regarding Victims of Sexual Assault
56A.451
Notification of Rights
56A.452
Notification of Scheduled Court Proceedings
56A.453
Notification of Plea Bargain Agreement
56A.454
Victim Contact Information
56A.501
Definitions
56A.502
Applicability
56A.503
Notification of Release or Escape
56A.504
Notification Regarding Defendant Subject to Electronic Monitoring
56A.505
Notification of Right to Notice
56A.506
Victim or Witness Contact Information
56A.507
Time for Notice
56A.0525
Authorized Form of Notifications
56A.0531
Assertion of Rights
56A.551
Definition
56A.552
Notification of Victim
56A.553
Notification of Witness
56A.554
Request for Notification
56A.555
Notice of Transfer from or Return to Custody
56A.601
Database for Defendant Release Information
56A.602
Victim-offender Mediation
56A.603
Clearinghouse Annual Conference
56A.604
Crime Victim Assistance Standards
56A.3045
Payment of Costs Related to Testimony
56A.3515
Presence of Sexual Assault Program Advocate or Other Victim’s Representative During Law Enforcement Interview

Accessed:
Jun. 5, 2024

Art. 56A.051’s source at texas​.gov