Crimes Covered by the Victim Rights Act
The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of the state [Section 24-4.1-302(1) C.R.S.] guarantee certain rights to victims of the following criminal acts:
Criminally negligent homicide and vehicular homicide;
Incest and aggravated incest;
Sexual exploitation of children;
Crimes against at-risk adults and at-risk juveniles;
Violation of a criminal protection order issued against a person charged with sexual assault;
Crimes for which the underlying foundation has been determined to be domestic violence;
Careless driving that results in the death of another person;
Failure to stop at the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person;
Retaliation against a victim or witness;
Tampering with a victim or witness;
Intimidation and aggravated intimidation of a victim or witness; and
Any criminal attempt, conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or accessory involving any of the crimes specified above.
If a victim is deceased or incapacitated, these rights may be exercised by the victim’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other, or other lawful representative.
The Victim Rights Act
The enabling legislation known as the Victim Rights Act became effective in January of 1993, and was amended in 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2006. In an attempt to balance the scales of justice, the Victim Rights Act provides victims of crime an active role in the criminal justice process.
The following is a summary of the rights guaranteed by the Victim Rights Act (For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4.1-301 through 24-4.1-304 at http://dcj.state.co.us/ovp):
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 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, acceptance of a plea agreement, sentencing or modification of a sentence;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 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 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;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;Upon request, to be informed when a person who is accused or convicted of a crime is released from the custody of the county jail;Upon written request, to be informed of and heard regarding any reconsideration of sentence, parole or commutation of sentence hearing;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 or program 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 pre-sentence report of the probation department;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; andTo be informed of the process for enforcing compliance with the Victim Rights Act.
Additional rights and services are provided to child victims of crime. Law enforcement, 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.