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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a victim of crime?
Orders of Protection
Undocumented Victims of Crime
Victim Compensation & Restitution
Reporting a Crime
Crime Stoppers
New York City Courts
Victims of Crime with a Disability
New York City Department of Correction
Safety Planning & Tips


Am I a victim of crime?

  1. What are some types of crimes committed against victims?
    Whether a crime has occurred depends on the circumstances surrounding the situation. The following list includes some commonly used terms for a variety of New York State Penal Law offenses. Some New York State Penal Law crimes associated with the commonly used terms are also included. Please be advised that this is not a complete list of all crimes.
    • Arson
    • Assault
    • Burglary
    • Child Abuse
      • Assault
      • Sex offenses (see below)
    • Domestic Violence
      • Assault
      • Coercion
      • Harassment
      • Menacing
      • Sex offenses
      • Stalking
      • Strangulation
    • Elder Abuse
      • Assault
      • Sex offenses
      • Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person
    • Financial Abuse
      • Larceny
    • Forgery
    • Gang Violence
      • Assault
      • Gang assault
      • Hazing
      • Menacing
      • Reckless endangerment
      • Stalking
    • Harassment
    • Hate Crimes
      • Arson
      • Assault
      • Harassment
      • Menacing
      • Reckless endangerment
      • Sex offenses
      • Stalking
      • Strangulation
    • Murder
    • Identity Theft
    • Kidnapping and Unlawful Imprisonment
    • Labor Trafficking
      • Coercion
      • Harassment
      • Unlawful imprisonment
    • Robbery
    • Sex Trafficking
    • Sex Offenses
      • Aggravated sexual abuse
      • Criminal sexual act
      • Female genital mutilation
      • Forcible touching
      • Rape
      • Sexual abuse
      • Sexual misconduct
    • Stalking
    • Theft crimes
      • Grand Larceny
      • Petit Larceny
    • Vandalism
      • Criminal mischief
      • Criminal tampering
      • Making graffiti
    • Vehicular Theft and Damage
      • Auto stripping
      • Criminal mischief
      • Criminal possession of stolen property
      • Unauthorized use of vehicle
      • Grand larceny of auto

    Information about these crimes is available through the Office of Victims of Crime.

  2. I believe I have been the victim of a crime, but I'm not sure. How do I know?

    If you are in immediate danger, or have been a victim of a crime, please call 911.

    If you are unsure if you have been the victim of a crime, the NYPD encourages you to visit your local precinct and speak to a police officer to discuss the details of your situation.

    • If you are seeking information and services, call the NYC Crime Victim Hotline at 866-689-HELP (4357). For the deaf or hard of hearing, call TDD: 866-604-5350.
  3. Do I have rights as a victim?

    Yes. As a crime victim, you have rights granted by federal and state law. Learn more about your rights through the Office of Victim Services (OVS).

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Orders of Protection

  1. What is an order of protection?

    An order of protection is a document issued by a judge that orders someone to abide by, or refrain from, certain conduct, including, but not limited to, prohibition of contact with someone else, among other stipulations.

  2. How do I obtain an order of protection?

    You can obtain an order of protection through Family Court, Criminal Court, or Supreme Court.

    1. You can request a Family Court order of protection at Family Court. Family Court orders of protection may be issued in instances of violence within a family or within an intimate relationship. The order is issued by a judge in the Family Court when he/she finds that domestic violence has occurred or is likely to occur, including when:
      1. You are related to the person accused (respondent) by blood or marriage;
      2. You are or were legally married to the person accused (respondent);
      3. You have a child with the person accused (respondent); or
      4. You are or were in an intimate relationship with the person accused (respondent).
    2. Only prosecutors can request a Criminal Court order of protection. Criminal Court orders of protection may be issued as a condition of a defendant's release and/or bail, and regardless of the relationship between you and the person from whom you seek protection. The order will generally be issued against a person who has been charged with a crime.
    3. Supreme Court orders of protection may be issued in divorce proceedings.
  3. What should I do after I receive my order of protection?

    Make copies of the order for your records, and keep one copy with you at all times.

    If you receive a Family Court and Supreme Court orders of protection, the order must be served on the respondent. Service is unnecessary in the case of Criminal Court orders of protection because they are given to the defendant during a court appearance.

  4. How are orders of protection served?

    You may not serve your own order of protection. There are three ways that an order of protection can be served:

    1. The New York City Sheriff's Office will serve a Family Court or Supreme Court order of protection free of charge.
    2. The NYPD can assist you in serving orders of protection. You must go to the precinct where the respondent resides and make the request.
    3. You can request that a friend or relative over eighteen years old serve the papers to the respondent. Your friend or relative must complete an "affidavit of service" and have it notarized.

    Learn more about orders of protection

  5. Can I obtain an order of protection if no one was arrested?

    An arrest is not required for the issuance of Supreme Court or Family Court orders of protection. If you seek a Criminal Court Order of Protection, there must be an arrest.

    To learn how to obtain a Family Court and Supreme Court Order of Protection

  6. What do I do if the respondent violates the order of protection?

    Violating an order of protection is a crime and it is punishable by law. If the order is violated, you should call the police for assistance.

  7. How long do orders of protection stay in effect?

    Orders of protection may be temporary or final. Learn more about Orders of Protection.

  8. I lost my copy of the order of protection. How can I get a new one?
    1. If you lost your Criminal Court order of protection, contact the District Attorney's Office involved in your case and request a copy.
    2. If you lost your Family Court order of protection, call or go to the Family Court where your order was issued, and request a copy.
    3. If you lost your Supreme Court order of protection, call or go to the Supreme Court where your order was issued, and request a copy.
  9. My order of protection is going to expire. How do I extend it or obtain a new one?
    1. You can request an extension. You must provide the court with a reason for the extension.
    2. Temporary orders of protection are usually issued on a court date and expire by the following court date for the case.
  10. Can my children be included in the order of protection?
    1. In Family Court, you may petition to have your child/children included in the order of protection.
    2. In Criminal Court, you can ask the prosecutor to add your child/children, depending on the type of case.

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Undocumented Victims of Crime

  1. I am a victim of a crime and an undocumented immigrant. How will that affect my interaction with police?

    The city's Confidentiality Policy (Executive Orders 34 and 41) prohibits New York City employees, including NYPD officers, from asking about your immigration status. If you are an undocumented immigrant who is a victim of a crime, you may report the crime to the New York City Police Department without fear of being investigated for your immigration status.

  2. What is a U Visa?

    U nonimmigrant status (U Visa) provides victims of certain crimes with temporary immigration status if these victims are, have been, or are likely to be helpful in investigation and prosecution of a crime. Pursuant to federal law victims must also meet additional criteria, including suffering substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime. The NYPD does not provide U nonimmigrant status (U Visa) or immigration benefits

  3. How do I know if I am eligible for a U Visa?

    To find out if you are eligible for a U Visa visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

  4. What is a U Visa Law Enforcement Certification?

    If you are applying for U nonimmigrant status (U visa), you must submit a signed certification (USCIS Form, I-918 Supplement B) from a law enforcement or other qualified government agency stating that you were the victim of a qualifying crime, know about the crime, and are/have been/or will be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of such crime. Law enforcement or other certifying agencies are not required to complete the form. For more information and a list of certifying agencies in New York City, visit the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.

  5. How do I request a U Visa Law Enforcement Certification from the NYPD?

    Find out how to request a U Visa Law Enforcement Certification.

  6. What happens if the NYPD denies my Law Enforcement Certification?

    If your Law Enforcement Certification is denied, you will receive a letter explaining the reason(s) for the denial. You may file for an appeal by submitting a written request.

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Victim Compensation & Restitution

  1. What is victim compensation?

    Victim compensation is reimbursement provided to the victims of crime, and, in some cases, the family members or dependents of victims, to cover out-of-pocket losses and expenses, including funeral expenses, related to a crime. In New York State, victim compensation is obtained through the Office of Victim Services (OVS). OVS will only reimburse a victim or family member of a victim when all other forms of assistance, such as insurance, workers compensation, or other benefits, have been exhausted.

  2. How do I know if I am eligible for compensation?

    Eligibility requirements can be found through the NYS Office of Victim Services.

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Reporting a Crime

  1. How do I make a complaint report?

    If you are in immediate danger or have been a victim of a crime, please call 911. The best way to file a complaint report is either with a police officer on the scene of the crime or at a precinct, Housing Bureau Police Service Area, or Transit Bureau District.

    Learn more about filing a complaint report at the Department's How to Report a Crime section.

  2. Is there a time limit to when I can report a crime?

    No. However, it is best to report the crime as soon as possible. Timely reporting may prevent the loss or destruction of valuable evidence. In addition, most crime are subject to various statute-of-limitation restrictions, which prevent prosecution of those crimes after the passage of a designated period of years.

  3. I'm a minor. Can I report a crime? Will you tell my parents?

    Anyone can report a crime. Depending on the circumstances, a police officer or detective may be required by law to speak to an adult in your family.

  4. Whom do I call in a non-emergency?

    If the crime happened a while ago and there is no immediate or ongoing risk of danger to you or another person, please call your local precinct to discuss the details of your situation. For other non-emergencies, please call 311.

  5. How do I get the number of a complaint report?
    1. To obtain a complaint report number, call any police precinct during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    2. If the precinct you are calling is not where the crime occurred, you should tell the officer with whom you are speaking that the crime did not occur in that precinct.
  6. How do I get a copy of the complaint report? Do I have to pay for it?
    1. You can request a Verification of Crime report by completing the Verification of Crime/Lost Property form.
    2. If you are the victim of a crime, the verification will be free of charge.
    3. If you are requesting a Verification of Crime/Lost Property report, you must enclose a stamped, self-addressed 9 1/2" X 4" envelope and mail all requests to N.Y.C. Police Department, Criminal Records Section (Verification Unit), 1 Police Plaza, Room 508, New York, NY 10038.
    4. You must have the number of the complaint report in order to complete the Verification of Crime/Lost Property form.
  7. I filed a complaint report and I do not know what has happened with my case. How do I find out the status?

    You can call the precinct where your complaint/crime was recorded and learn the status of your case. Locate the precinct nearest you.

  8. What can I do if I don't want to proceed with my complaint?

    You are not obligated to participate in an investigation; however, the NYPD may continue to investigate and, in some cases, make an arrest, regardless of whether you would like to proceed or not.

  9. I think I left out helpful important information about a crime that I reported to police. Can I make an addition to a complaint report?

    Yes. If you have helpful information about a crime that you reported, you should contact the detective assigned to the case or call the precinct that took your complaint report.

  10. I was just sexually assaulted. What should I do?
    • If you are in immediate danger or have been a victim of a crime, please call 911. Police officers will come to where you are and assist you in going to a hospital, where trained doctors and nurses can provide sensitive care, collect evidence, and provide medications to protect your health.
    • If you are uncertain about reporting to the police, you should still go to a hospital with a SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam) Program, so that evidence can be preserved and you can make a decision about reporting later on. For a list of SAFE program locations call the Safe Horizon Sexual Assault 24-hour Hotline 212-227-3000, or visit their website at NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
  11. Will the police be notified if I go to an Emergency Room after being sexually assaulted?

    No. There is no requirement to report sexual assault in New York State when the victim is a competent adult. Medical personnel are required to report abuse or neglect of a child by a caretaker or abuse or neglect of a disabled or vulnerable individual to law enforcement or to social services.

  12. What is a Domestic Incident Report (DIR)?

    A DIR is a report made by an officer in response to a domestic violence incident. It includes a summary of the situation and a victim's statement about what happened.

  13. How do I amend a Domestic Incident Report (DIR)?

    If you believe that there is a mistake or you want to provide more information, call or visit your local precinct and request to meet with a domestic violence officer who can complete an additional DIR report. Please be aware that the original DIR cannot be "taken back" or changed. It will remain on the record and could be admissible in court.

  14. If I don't live in New York City but am a victim of a crime in New York City, do I report the crime to the NYPD?

    Yes. Learn more about how to report a crime to the NYPD.

  15. If I don't live in New York City, do I receive victim services in New York City or where I live?

    If you need victim services, you can receive them where you live. For additional assistance, you can call the Safe Horizon Hotline at 866-689-HELP (4357).

  16. If I don't live in New York City, can I receive victim compensation?

    Yes. You can request compensation from the NYS Office of Victim Services by filing a compensation form. This form must be completed within one year of the crime.

    If you need assistance filling out this form, please call the Safe Horizon Crime Victims Hotline at 866-689-HELP (4357).

    For the deaf or hard of hearing, call TDD: 866-604-5350.

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Crime Stoppers

If you are in immediate danger, or have been a victim of a crime, please call 911. DO NOT report to Crime Stoppers.

  1. What is Crime Stoppers?

    Crime Stoppers is a program that allows people to submit information about a crime anonymously.

  2. Why report through Crime Stoppers?

    Crime Stoppers allows for anonymous reporting, and if the information or tip you provide leads to an arrest and an indictment of a violent felon, you may receive a monetary reward.

  3. How do I report to Crime Stoppers?
    1. To submit a tip over the phone, call 800-577-TIPS; for Spanish speakers, call 888-57-PISTA.
    2. You can also text 274637(CRIMES) and text TIP577, followed by the tip information.
    3. Or visit NYPD Crime Stoppers to submit a tip.
  4. Is Crime Stoppers anonymous and confidential?


  5. If I call or email Crime Stoppers, is my information recorded?

    No. Your phone number, e-mail address, or IP address is never captured, tracked, or saved.

  6. If I submit a tip, will I have to make a statement to the police or appear in court?


  7. What types of crimes can I report through Crime Stoppers?
    1. You can report any crime to Crime Stoppers. If you are in immediate danger, or have been a victim of a crime, please call 911.
    2. You can also report to Crime Stoppers if you suspect animal abuse, neglect or malnourishment.

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New York City Courts

  1. What are the different courts in New York City?
    1. The main courts in New York City are divided into five different types:
      1. Civil Court of the City of New York
      2. Criminal Court of the City of New York
      3. Supreme Court of the State of New York
      4. Family Court of the City of New York
      5. Surrogate Court of the City of New York
    2. Learn more about the services these courts provide.
  2. Is there someone available to explain the court process to me?

    Yes. The Safe Horizon Crime Victims Hotline can connect you with a victim advocate who can provide basic information. If you need further assistance, you will be provided with referrals. You may also contact the assistant district attorney assigned to your case.

  3. If I report a crime, do I have to go to court?

    If the district attorney needs your testimony, he or she may require you to come to court.

  4. What if I am threatened because I plan to press charges and testify?

    Threatening a witness or victim is a crime and is punishable by law. If you are threatened, contact the police immediately, and notify them of the threats against you.

  5. Do cases always go to trial?

    No. For a variety of reasons, many cases do not go to trial. If your case does not go to trial and you have questions, contact the Assistant District Attorney assigned to your case.

  6. Why are some cases closed, dismissed or declined to be prosecuted?
    1. Cases are closed, dismissed or declined to be prosecuted for a variety of reasons. Please keep in mind that you may still receive victim services.
    2. Depending on the stage in the criminal justice process at which point your case was closed, dismissed or declined to be prosecuted, contact either the detective or the Assistant District Attorney assigned to your case to obtain more information.
  7. What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

    A felony is a crime that is punishable by a term of incarceration of more than one year in prison, probation, or a fine. A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by less than one year in jail, probation, or a fine.

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  1. How do I locate my nearest precinct?

    Locate the nearest precinct.

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  1. When and how do I get back my property from the NYPD?

    Find out how to get your property back through the NYPD Property Clerk Division.

    Borough Telephone Number
    Manhattan Property Office 646-610-5906
    Bronx Property Office 718-590-2806
    Brooklyn Property Office 718-624-5364 or 718-624-6330
    Queens Property Office 718-433-2678
    Staten Island Property Office 718-876-8413
  2. Can the police help me retrieve my property from my home?

    If you fear for your safety, we recommend that you call or go to your local precinct to arrange an escort. Do not go to the location first. Officers may escort you to your home and wait until you retrieve your personal items.

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Victims of Crime with a Disability

  1. I am a victim of crime with a disability and need transportation to make a complaint and get to court. Will the NYPD provide transportation?

    Yes. The NYPD works with the MTA and Access-A-Ride to provide 24-hour transportation for elderly/disabled complainants, victims and witnesses who may have difficulty using public transportation. Contact an officer at your local precinct to arrange transportation services.

  2. I am hard-of-hearing/deaf. Can I request an interpreter to help me report the crime and help me during the investigation and/or court process?

    Yes. Sign language interpreters will be provided for members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Contact the NYPD employee with whom you are meeting and ask them to schedule an interpreter.

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New York City Department of Correction

  1. How do I find out if the person who committed a crime against me is incarcerated?
    1. The Victim Information and Notification Everyday (V.I.N.E.) is a 24-hour service that provides you with automated notifications of the release dates and status of people incarcerated in the New York City Department of Correction or State Department of Corrections jail and prison systems. When you sign up, V.I.N.E. will ask if you prefer to be notified by text, phone call, and/or email.
    2. You may sign up for V.I.N.E. or learn more about V.I.N.E. by calling 888-846-3469 or TDD 866-847-1298.
    3. The following resources are available if you would like further information about an inmate:
      1. New York City Department of Correction
      2. New York State Department Of Corrections and Community Supervision
      3. Federal Bureau of Prisons
  2. What if the person who committed a crime against me goes to federal prison? How do I find out if he/she is incarcerated?
    1. Victims of federal crimes are entered into the Victim and Witness Notification System (VNS) through the Federal Bureau of Prisons. If you were not automatically entered into the VNS and wish to be, please contact the U.S. Attorney's Office in the jurisdiction where the offender was prosecuted.
    2. VNS will notify you when the offender reaches the release date, if he/she escapes, is granted a furlough , is transferred to a residential reentry center , has an upcoming parole hearing, dies, or is placed in a residential reentry center .
    3. Your first notification will be by mail, providing you with a special pin and victim ID number. Once you have received this notification, you can either call the VNS Call Center for information about an inmate (you must know your pin) or visit the VNS website to sign up and receive notifications by email.
  3. What is the difference between a jail and a prison?
    1. A jail is a detention center for people who are accused of committing a crime and have not been released on bail, or for people who are serving short sentences after a conviction of a misdemeanor or violation.
    2. A prison is for people who have been convicted of a felony. Prisons are run by the state and federal governments.
  4. What is a Victim Impact Statement?

    Victim impact statements are written or oral accounts, in your own words, about how a crime has affected you. A victim impact statement may be used during a sentencing or parole board hearing of an offender. Judges and the Board of Parole use victim impact statements to help them determine the sentence of an offender, or to decide whether to grant an offender parole. Learn more through the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

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Safety Planning & Tips

  1. Will this website show up on my computer history?

    Yes. The safety exit button featured on our website can quickly remove you from our website at any time and redirect you to (google). However, this button will not erase your history and cookies from your computer. Learn how to erase your computer's history and cookies through Safety and Crime Prevention Tips.

  2. What is a safety plan?

    A safety plan is a personalized, practical list of strategies that can help you reduce or eliminate dangerous situations, and inform you about the best ways to react when you are at risk.

  3. Who can help me create a safety plan?

    Every situation is different. To develop a detailed personalized safety plan, please call the NYC 24-hour Hotline at 866-689-HELP (4357) to be connected with a victim advocate who can help you create one.

    In addition, an NYPD crime prevention officer may be able to conduct a security survey of your home or business, as well as provide you with recommendations on improved safety options.

  4. Where can I find information on safety tips?

    The Department's Safety and Crime Prevention Tips contains information on protecting your personal property, burglary prevention, credit card fraud, identity theft, and other helpful safety tips.

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