Is there any legal help for victims in Melbourne, VIC?
Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) were established in the year 1996, by Melbourne legislation as a part of the Victims of Crimes Act. The purpose is to provide monetary assistance to victims of crime as well as acknowledge the trauma endured by them. Furthermore, VOCAT aspires to be a compassionate forum for applicants to relate their experiences as victims of crime. The applications for financial aid are carefully assessed by Tribunal members, who are also Magistrates or Judicial Registrars of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. At Daniel Lawyers & Associates, we have extensive experience in helping clients draft their applications for VOCAT.
One must be a victim of a violent crime and should have consequently endured serious injury or loss to apply for monetary assistance by VOCAT.
- The injury may be due to innumerable reasons such as robbery, violent c acts, domestic violence, actual physical bodily harm, mental impairment, or emotional disorder.
- It is vital for the client to be able to establish a link between the crime and the injury clearly.
- Additionally, the crimes should’ve been reported to the police within a reasonable time.
- Reporting to the police within a specific time is essential as it proves to the tribunal that a crime has been committed.
- It is important to note that the crime must’ve taken place within the last two years.
- If a family member or your partner committed the crime, it can be an emotionally tricky situation. Even in such cases, you can still apply to the tribunal.
Our lawyers specialise in the area of Victims of Crime Compensation. We guide clients with their VOCAT application. The application process is typically hassle-free. It involves filling in an Application for Assistance form and submitting it to the tribunal. Moreover, this is nearly a cost-free process.
Even if the application gets refused, the tribunal would pay for the lawyer’s fees if the client has a lawyer. The monetary aid is usually provided at the tribunal’s discretion. If the need arises, victims are also assisted in making an application by Victoria Legal Aid.
Furthermore, the tribunal also helps its clients with a range of other expenses such as the cost of counselling, medical costs, safety-related expenses, and funeral fees aside from the financial support. If the survivor has lost earnings or has other costs related to their speedy recovery, he/she can get assistance for these expenses too.
The amount of assistance a client is eligible for is based on the factors listed below:
- Whether the person was injured in the crime
- Someone who witnessed a crime or is a parent of a child victim
- A relative or dependant of someone has died as a result of an act of violence.
If the offender is proven guilty of the offence, a victim of the crime is eligible to receive compensation via a court order. In order to receive this compensation, all applications must be filed by the survivor within a span of 12 months following the court’s decision.
At Daniel Lawyers & Associates, we have VOCAT Lawyers in Melbourne with proven expertise on the matter. They can provide sound advice to their clients for appealing to the sentencing judge. Hence, the survivor can receive compensation for any pain and suffering experienced as a direct result of the crime. That is the reason it is vital to discuss details of the claim with a VOCAT lawyer as early as possible. Hence, the judge can release the order for compensation. This order would mandate the offender to pay the compensation.