Can a victim advocate tell a victim that they do not have to talk to a defense attorney or is this practicing law without a license?
Are victim advocates legally able to discuss and explain crime victim rights (Marsy’s Law)?
Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center believes advocates can inform victims of their rights— including providing written information about victims’ rights, but cannot advise a victim to take a particular course of action. Advocates can find written information in the Attorney General’s Ohio Crime Victims’ Rights Handbook or case-specific information online at VictimsRightsToolkit.org. Advocates can also speak with Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center victims’ rights attorneys for additional written information. Language and terminology are crucial, and Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center would recommend that the advocate facilitate communication with the prosecutor or refer the victim to a victims’ rights attorney for further information.