Victim Rights Act
Summary of Act
The following is a summary of the rights guaranteed by the Victim Rights Act:
- Treatment with dignity, compassion, and respect
- Be informed about what steps can be taken if he or she is subjected to intimidation or harassment
- Information on all charges filed
- Notification of any change in the status of the accused, arrest, release or transfer
- Input into decisions regarding plea bargains, sentencing and parole hearings
- Restitution or civil remedy
- Release of property after the case is settled and it is no longer needed as evidence
- Employer intercession
- Notification of all case dispositions
- Timely notification of all court dates
- Instruction on community resources and other information that will assist with recovery
For a full list of rights, please refer to C.R.S 24-4.1-302.5
Crimes Covered Under the Act
- Criminally negligent homicide and Vehicular homicide
- Harassment biased motivated
- 2nd degree burglary
- 1st degree Arson
- Sexual Assault
- Child abuse
- Child prostitution
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Indecent exposure
- Crimes against at-risk adults, elderly or handicapped
- Crimes for which the underlying foundation has been determined to be domestic violence
- Failure to stop at the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person
- Ethnic intimidation
- Retaliation against a victim or witness
- Intimidation of a witness or victim
- Violation of a criminal protection order issued against a person charges with sexual assault
- Tampering with a victim or witness
- Human trafficking- adults and children
- Retaliation against a judge or juror
- Retaliation against an elected official
- 1st degree burglary
- Invasion of privacy for sexual gratification
- Any criminal attempt, conspiracy solicitation, and accessory to any of the above crimes
Law Enforcement's Responsibility
Law Enforcement agencies have the responsibility to provide victims of crime with written information as assured in the Victims Right Act:
- Community services such as crisis intervention services, victim assistance resources, legal resources, social services, mental health services, medical emergency services, financial services, and other support
- The availability of financial resources such as victim compensation benefits and how to apply for those benefits
- The availability of protective court orders to obtain protection from the person accused of committing the crime
- The availability of public records related to the case
- The status of the case, prior to the filing of charges
- Shall make all reasonable attempts to protect the victim(s) family from harm, harassment, intimidation, or retaliation resulting from cooperation with the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of the crime
- Provide victims of cold cases with information concerning any change in the status of the case
- Upon written request, provide victims of cold cases in which the statue of limitations is longer than three years, an annual update concerning the status of the case
- Translation services, assistance in dealing with creditors due to financial setbacks caused by the crime, and childcare to enable a crime victim to cooperate for criminal proceedings
In addition, law enforcement agencies are required to:
- Provide the victim of crime with the business address and telephone number of the District Attorney's Office, the file number of the case and the name, business address and telephone number of any law enforcement officer assigned to investigate the case
- Keep the victim of the crime informed as to whether a suspect has been taken into custody and, if known, whether the suspect has been released from custody and any bond conditions imposed upon the suspect
Your Responsibilities as a Victim
If you would like to be informed of developments regarding your case, please follow these steps:
- Keep appropriate criminal justice authorities informed of current address, names, telephone numbers, or any changes in your information or your representative.
- Provide a written request to the appropriate agency if you want to be notified of information regarding the post-sentencing process.
Process for Ensuring Victim Rights
Colorado state law provides that victims of crime may enforce compliance with the provisions of the constitutional amendment by notifying the Governor's Victim Compensation and Assistance Coordinating Committee.
Defend Your Rights
- If possible first attempt to seek compliance at the local level.
- Contact the person whom you feel has not provided you with your rights.
- Seek assistance from your victim advocate, or other supportive persons.
- Seek assistance from the elected official or the head of the agency you feel is not providing you with your rights.
Contacts may be verbal or in writing, accurate records of your efforts will be helpful to you and the Coordinating Committee, should you decide to file a formal request for compliance with the VRA.
If all local efforts to obtain your rights have failed, you may request assistance from the Coordinating Committee.