V.I.N.E. is an acronym for Victim Information and Notification Everyday. V.I.N.E. provides a very important service to notify victims of violent crime of an impending release or court event involving their attacker.
The V.I.N.E. program requires that the victim register to be notified of any changes in an offenders status such as an impending release, court date, or escape. If you need assistance or have questions, you can contact the Sheriffs Office at 210-335-6292. To register for V.I.N.E. in Bexar County, follow the directions below or visit the national V.I.N.E. website.
There are currently four steps to becoming involved with the V.I.N.E. program:
Preparing for Your First Call
Fill out as many of the blanks on the V.I.N.E. Registration Form as you can. The form can be downloaded here (PDF format).
The Law Enforcement Case Number is a unique identifying number assigned by law enforcement.
To translate the offenders name to number, match each letter to a number using the keypad. Use 1 for Q and Z. For example, John is 5646. Write the offenders name as a number in the space provided on the form.
You can get the court case number from the District Attorneys Victim Assistance Program listed in the Helpful Numbers section further down on this page.
Select a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that is easy for you to remember.
Locating Information on Offender Status and Court Dates
Call toll-free 1-877-TX4-V.I.N.E. (1-877-894-8463) from a touch tone phone. (If you are calling from a rotary phone, please stay on the line to speak with an operator.)
Follow the voice instructions using the information you wrote on the V.I.N.E. Registration Form. If you need assistance, press zero (0) to speak with an operator when the system prompts you to choose an option.
After Texas V.I.N.E. locates the offender, you will be given the Offenders Number. Write this number on the V.I.N.E. Registration Form and save the form in a safe place.
Registering for Notification
Texas V.I.N.E. allows you to register for automatic notification of changes in offender jail status and court events. You will need to register separately for each type of notification.
When you register, you will be asked to provide two things:
- A phone number where you wish to be notified. Register as many phone numbers as you like - including your home and work phone. Do not register a phone that rings to a receptionist or a switch board.
- A four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number). Use the PIN you already have chosen. You may use the same PIN with each phone number you register.
Receiving a Notification Call
Texas V.I.N.E. will automatically notify registered persons of offenders status and court event changes. To confirm that you have received the notification, enter your four-digit PIN. Texas V.I.N.E. will keep calling for 24 hours until this PIN is entered.
You will receive notification under the following circumstances:
- The offender is released or transferred.
- A court event has been set or changed.
- The offender has died in jail or escapes.
Aid you in preparing an application through the Crime Victim Compensation fund:
Victims may receive help in paying certain bills that are incurred as a result of a crime. The Victim Assistance Division can help you understand the requirements that must be met to be eligible for the Crime Victim Compensation fund. If you meet the basic requirements my office will assist you in preparing the application to the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.
Refer you to various social service agencies:
There are many social service agencies that can help you in the aftermath of a crime. The Victim Assistance Division can help put you in contact with the agencies that may be able to help you.
Notice to Adult Victims of Family Violence
It is a crime for any person to intentionally cause you any physical harm, even if that person is a member or former member of your household.
It is important that you tell the officer if you, your child, or any other household resident has been injured, or if you feel you are going to be in danger after the officer leaves.
IMPORTANT: If the officer at the scene believes that family violence has occurred, the officer will arrest the offender at the scene if she/he is present. If the offender is not present when the officer arrives and the officer believes that family violence occurred, the offender may be arrested for family violence at a later date. In both cases, it is the police ( NOT the victim) who files charges.
You Have The Right To:
- Safety for yourself and your children - For information about shelters in your area contact your local law enforcement agency or victim services representative, 210-335-5069.
- Counseling, information - about the legal system, and getting the offender court-ordered into a counseling program. Contact your local law enforcement agency or victim services representative.
- Court-ordered protection from the offender - Protective orders are issued through the County Attorney's Office. This order must be issued directly to the offender. It orders him to stay away from you and your family; to stop any communication, direct or through others, that is threatening or harassing; and to stop committing family violence against you.
Any person charged with an offense has a right to bail and is subject to a speedy release. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has no control over this action.