Victim Rights

Overview

Victims of crimes have the right to:

  • To be treated with fairness, respect and dignity;
  • To be informed of all “critical stages” of the criminal justice process (victims of crime must request notification, in writing, for post-sentencing critical stages);
  • To be present at specified critical stages in the criminal justice process;
  • To be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse;
  • To be informed about what steps can be taken including information about protection services, if there is any intimidation or harassment by a person accused or convicted of a crime or anyone acting on that person’s behalf;
  • To be present and heard regarding bond reduction or modification, a subpoena for the victim’s records, acceptance of a plea agreement, sentencing or modification of a sentence; • To be heard by phone or similar technology when a victim cannot appear in court;
  • To be informed of the existence of the criminal protection order and upon request of the victim, the procedure for modifying the protection order if a procedure exists;
  • To receive a free copy of the initial incident report from the investigating law enforcement agency; except that the release of a document associated with the investigation is at the discretion of the law enforcement agency based on the status of the case or security and safety concerns in a correctional facility, local jail, or private contract prison;
  • To have the victim’s social security number redacted or excluded from criminal justice documents when records are released to someone other than the victim, a criminal justice agency, or the defendant’s attorney of record;
  • To be informed of the process the district attorney can use to request protection of the victim’s address (the court may or may not grant the request);
  • To consult with the district attorney prior to any disposition of the case or before the case goes to trial and to be informed of the final disposition of the case;
  • To be informed of the status of the case and any scheduling changes or cancellations, if known in advance;
  • To receive and prepare a victim impact statement and to be present and/or heard at the sentencing hearing;
  • To have the court determine restitution and to be informed of the right to pursue a civil judgment against the person convicted of the crime;
  • To prevent any party at any court proceeding from compelling testimony regarding a victim’s address, telephone number, place of employment or other locating information;
  • To receive a prompt return of property when it is no longer needed as evidence; • To be informed about the possibility of restorative justice practices;
  • To be informed of the availability of financial assistance and community services;
  • To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services regarding court appearances and meetings with criminal justice officials;
  • To be assured that in any criminal proceeding the court, the prosecutor, and other law enforcement officials will take appropriate action to achieve a swift and fair resolution of the proceedings;
  • Whenever practicable, to have a safe, secure waiting area during court proceedings;
  • To be notified of the referral of an offender to community corrections and to provide a written victim impact statement to the community corrections board and, if permitted by the board, to provide an oral victim impact statement. In addition, a victim has a right to provide a separate oral statement to the community corrections board if the board is considering a transitional referral from the department of corrections;
  • Upon written request, to be informed when a person accused or convicted of a crime is released from custody other than the county jail, is paroled, escapes or absconds from probation or parole;
  • The right to be informed of the filing of a petition to cease sex offender registration;
  • Upon request, to be informed when a person who is accused or convicted of a crime is released, discharged, or permanently transferred from the custody of the county jail;
  • Upon written request, to be informed of and heard at any proceeding at which any post-conviction release from confinement in a secure state correctional facility is being considered;
  • Upon written request, to be informed when a person convicted of a crime against the victim is placed in or transferred to a less secure correctional facility, program, or placed on non-residential status, or is permanently or conditionally transferred or released from any state hospital;
  • The right, at the discretion of the district attorney, to view all or a portion of the presentence report of the probation department;
  • To be notified of a hearing concerning a petition for sealing of records;
  • To be informed of the results of any court-ordered HIV testing;
  • To be informed of any rights which the victim has pursuant to the Constitution of the United States or the State of Colorado; and
  • To be informed of the process for enforcing compliance with the Victim Rights Act.
  • The right to be informed of any request for progression from the state mental health hospital on behalf of a person in its custody as a result of a criminal case involving the victim, and the right to be heard at any hearing which a court considered such a request.  “Request for progression” includes any request for off-grounds or unsupervised privileges, community placement, conditional release, unconditional discharge, or a special furlough.
  • The right to be informed of the results of a probation revocation hearing.
  • The right to be informed of the results of the decision by the Governor to commute or pardon a person convicted of a crime against the victim before such information is publically disclosed.
  • The right be heard by phone or similar technology by the community corrections board when the victim is otherwise unavailable

Additional rights and services are provided to child victims of crime. Law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges are encouraged to designate one or more individuals to try to ensure that the child and his/her family understand the legal proceedings and have support and assistance to deal with the emotional impact of the crime and the subsequent criminal proceedings.

If you have any questions or would like more information about your rights, please contact the Victim's Assistance Unit at 303-438-3342.