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Victim Services F.A.Q.

Can I check to make sure the offender in my case is incarcerated?

 Yes.  The VINE link system will give you 24 HOUR access to find out if an offender is in the Department of Correction custody and it can also provide you other important custody information on the offender.  VINE will also allow you to leave a phone number or email address where you can be called or sent notification automatically when that offender is released, transferred or escapes. Call 1-877-338-8463 from a touch tone phone and follow the instructions.  You can also register for notification online at http://www.vinelink.com or please contact the Dover Police Department’s Victim Services Unit at 302-736-7134 to obtain additional information on the VINE System.

 I sustained injuries due to the crime and I do not have insurance coverage.  Is there anythingavailable to help me pay for my crime related medical/dental cost, mental health costs?

Yes.The State of Delaware has established by statute the Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) to help innocent victims of certain crimes with financial assistance for such things as: medical, mental health, dental, funeral, and various other out of pocket expenses due to the criminal act.  Crime victims, survivors, family members or dependents may be eligible to receive assistance.

For more information, please contact the Dover Police Departments’ Victim Services Unit who can assist you with any questions or aide you in filing the claim paperwork that must be submitted.  Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 4:00 at 302-736-7134 OR information on qualified services and assistance or go to the State of Delaware website: http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/VCAP/ 

Can I get a copy of the police report for my case?

Yes. Delaware law provides that crime victims/survivors are entitled to receive a Victim Information Form from the law enforcement officer investigating the case.  This sheet will provide you with the officer’s name, badge number, case number, date of incident and information on who to contact if you are being harassed, victims compensation information and services that are available to you as a crime victim or survivor throughout the criminal justice system/process.

If for some reason you did not receive a Victim Information Form, or if you have misplaced your initial contact sheet, you can personally come to the lobby of the Dover Police Department (photo identification will be required) weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and ask to speak to someone in the Records Unit.

Do cases always have to go to trial?

No.  Although the defendant has a right to a trial, most cases are resolved through plea agreements. You must still check with the Department of Justice to make absolutely certain of your responsibilities for appearing in court.  In Kent County you can call the Department of Justice at 302-739-4211 and ask for information as to the status of the case and your appearance.

If I am called as a witness to testify, what do I say? 

Tell the truth.  You should always contact the prosecutor or victim assistance staff before the trial starts if you have any questions.  In Kent County you can call the Department of Justice at 302-739-4211.

Why are charges dropped? 

Charges may be dropped before the indictment or information because they may have been initially inappropriate, or some charges are so similar it is not appropriate to proceed on all of them.  Charges may be dropped after indictment or information because there are problems with evidence, witness availability, valid defenses, credibility, or other reasons. 

Why charges are reduce/please agreements made. 

Charges are reduce/please agreements made when: the penalty and possible sentencing conditions are similar to what the defendant would get for the original charges: of the prosecutor believes there may not be enough evidence to get a conviction on the original charges.  Please agreements remove all of the risk that is part of a jury trial.  It is a sure thing.  When the defendant enters a guilty plea, there is no appeal.

For more information or questions, please contact the Victim Services Unit at the Dover Police Department at 302-736-7134