Victim Services

Crime can have a devastating impact on victims, witnesses and their families. The Frederick Police Department Victim Services Unit provides immediate support to crime victims, their families, and witnesses who may need help coping with the impact of victimization.

Trained Victim Advocates

Our highly trained Victim Advocates can assist you directly as well as coordinate with other agencies in providing support, information, and resources that can effectively meet your needs. These free services provide crime victims with a continuum of support from the crisis period through the investigative and judicial processes.

Services Provided

  • Assessment of needs and links to resources to meet needs
  • Coordination with police and legal personnel handling your case
  • Court accompaniment
  • Crisis intervention and emotional support
  • Explanation of the criminal justice process
  • Explanation of how to file for criminal charges
  • Information on how to obtain an order of protection
  • Information on Victim Compensation
  • Information specific to your crime and recovery process
  • Interpreter when needed
  • Safety and emergency planning

Who is Eligible for Services

Services are provided to victims and witnesses. Victims are persons who suffer direct or threatened physical, psychological or financial harm as a result of a criminal act. A person can also be eligible for services if they are the crime victim’s spouse, parent, child or a representative of a victim who is deceased, a minor, incapable or disabled. Witnesses are those who observe a crime and are expected to be summoned to testify.

Maryland Crime Victims’ Rights

Under the Maryland Constitution and state laws and guidelines, victims of crime must be:

  • Informed by the Police or the State’s Attorney’s Office of the arrest of a suspect and closing of a case
  • Informed of their rights
  • Informed on how to apply for services
  • Notified of court hearings and offender custody status
  • Notified of criminal injuries compensation and other social services
  • Notified of crisis intervention and counseling services
  • Notified of domestic violence programs and support groups
  • Permitted to be present and heard at criminal justice proceedings
  • Permitted to seek restitution from their offender(s)
  • Told of protection available and how to obtain protection
  • Treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity

Filing for Criminal Charges 

In order for a suspect to be charged with a crime, you must first report the incident to the police. If sufficient evidence exists, they will file charges. If the police do not file charges, you may file charges with a District Court Commissioner. If the commissioner declines to do so, request the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) file charges. 

What If I Want to Drop Charges 

In criminal cases, crime is considered a crime against the state. The victim is a witness for the prosecution. Only the SAO can drop charges against a defendant. The community’s safety and other factors are taken into account when deciding whether to proceed with a case.

Victim Compensation 

There are two ways you can receive money to help pay for crime-related costs. One is Restitution.  You may ask the SAO to seek restitution from the defendant. You need to save all receipts or bills you or your insurance company paid or owe and share these with the SAO.

The other source of victim compensation is the MD Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). This resource provides financial assistance to innocent crime victims when no other financial resources are available to cover lost wages, medical, mental health or funeral expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime. For more information, contact 410-585-3010 or Governor’s Office of Crime Control Prevention

Civil Actions May Help with Costs 

Restitution and compensation may not cover a victim’s full economic loss or hard-to-quantify damages like pain and suffering. A civil lawsuit may provide victims better compensation as well as control of the case since they are a party to the civil case, as opposed to a criminal case where the victim is a witness for the state. Plus, offenders can be held accountable to victims regardless of whether there was a criminal conviction or prosecution at all. For more information about civil suits, contact the National Crime Victim Bar Association at 202-467-8716.

Victim Information & Notification 

If the offender is in custody or has a case pending, Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) is a free, automated service that allows victims of crime to be notified of the following:

  • Changes in status of a protective order
  • Court case information, dates, and times
  • Custody status of the offender
  • Probation and Parole status

Information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can register online to be notified by phone or email at 866-634-8463.

Peace & Protective Orders

Peace and Protective orders are civil orders issued by a judge or court commissioner to prevent one person from committing certain acts against others. The relationship between the person seeking protection and the person alleged to have committed the prohibited act determines which order should be filed. Protective Orders generally apply to people in domestic relationships and Peace Orders apply to all other relationships. Information and forms to apply for these orders can be found at:

  • Frederick County Courthouse, 100 W Patrick Street (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • District Court Commissioner, 7300 Marcie’s Choice Lane (whenever Courthouse is closed)
  • Download forms at Maryland Court Forms

Maryland Judiciary Case Search

The public has free access to all Maryland Court records for traffic, criminal and civil cases. This is a great resource to learn more about the offender:

Tips for Crime Victims

Important Telephone Numbers

  • Adult Protective Services: 301-600-2635
  • Child Protective Services; 301-600-2464
  • Frederick County Hotline: 211 (For referral and crisis intervention)
  • Frederick County District Court Commissioner: 301-600-2009
  • Frederick County Circuit Court: 301-600-1976
  • Frederick County District Court: 301-600-2000
  • Frederick County State’s Attorney Office Victim/Witness Coordinator: 301-600-1515
  • Frederick Health Hospital: 240-566-3500
  • Heartly House (Services for Victims of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence): 301-662-8800
  • Frederick Police Department Victim Services Unit: 301-600-1356
  • Frederick City Police
    • Emergency: 911
    • Non-Emergency: 301-600-2100