Victims with a criminal history

The  VOCA  Act  requires  the  Tribunal  to  take  various  matters  into  consideration  prior  to  making  an  award,  including  the  Applicant’s  criminal  history. 

This  does  not  necessarily  mean  that  your  client’s  application  for  assistance will be rejected by the Tribunal. However, the Tribunal  might  lower  the  amount  of  Special  Financial  Assistance  or  refuse  to  fund  certain  items  due  to  your  client’s criminal history.

There  are  various  contributing  and  mitigating  factors  that  the  Tribunal  will  consider  when  an  Applicant  has  a  criminal  history. The issues that are commonly considered include the severity of the offending, whether the crimes were committed due to substance addiction, the proportionality between the Applicant’s offending and the crime that was committed against them and so on. It may help to show the Tribunal that the  Applicant  is  no  longer  involved  in  any  criminal  activity,  has since offending participated in rehabilitation programs, or has attempted to better themself and assist their community.

It  is  therefore  important  to  let  the  solicitor  know  if  your  client  has  a  criminal  history  so  that  they  can  adequately  advise your client of their options and potential difficulties in  obtaining  assistance.  A  copy  of  their  criminal  record  is  preferred but not necessary as we are able to obtain it from the Tribunal directly.


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