header background image
Current Weather 72° F
  • Jefferson County District Attorney Banner
  • Your Rights as a Victim

     

    In 1992, Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing certain rights to victims of certain compensable crimes.

    This includes the right to be "heard when relevant, informed, and present at all critical stages of the criminal justice process." The enabling legislation, called the Victim Rights Act, became effective in 1993. Numerous criminal justice agencies are responsible for ensuring victims' rights, including the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. 

    According to the Victim Rights Act, victims have the right to be:

    • Treated with fairness, respect and dignity;
    • Informed of and present for all "critical stages" of the criminal justice process;
    • Free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse; and to have the right to be informed about what steps can be taken if there is any intimidation or harassment by a person accused or convicted of the crime or anyone acting on the person's behalf;
    • Present and heard regarding bond reduction, continuances, acceptance of plea negotiations, case disposition or sentencing;
    • Able to consult with the district attorney before any disposition of the case, or before the case goes to trial and to be informed of the final disposition of the case;
    • Informed about the status of the case and any scheduling changes or cancellations, if known in advance;
    • Able to prepare a victim impact statement, and to be present and heard at sentencing;
    • Able to have restitution ordered, and to be informed of the right to pursue a civil judgment against the person convicted of the crime;
    • Able to receive a prompt return of the property when it is no longer needed as evidence;
    • Informed of the availability of financial assistance and community services;
    • To be given appropriate employer intercession services regarding court appearances and meetings with criminal justice officials;
    • Assured that in any criminal proceeding the court, prosecutor and other law enforcement officials will take appropriate action to achieve a swift and fair resolution of the proceedings;
    • Able to have a safe, secure waiting area during court proceedings, whenever practicable;
    • Informed, upon request, when a person accused or convicted of the crime is released from custody, is paroled, escapes or absconds from probation or parole;
    • Informed, upon written request, of and heard at any reconsideration of sentence, parole hearing or commutation of sentence;
    • Informed, upon written request, 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;
    • Informed of any rights the victim has pursuant to the Constitution of the United States or the state of Colorado; and
    • Informed of the process for enforcing compliance with the Victim Rights Act.

     

    Compensable Crimes

    • Murder - 1st and 2nd degree
    • Manslaughter
    • Criminally negligent homicide and vehicular homicide
    • Assault - 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, vehicular
    • Menacing
    • Kidnapping - 1st and 2nd degree
    • Sexual Assault - 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, on a child, on a child by one in a position of trust, on a client by a psychotherapist
    • Robbery - aggravated, aggravated of a controlled substance
    • Incest and aggravated incest
    • Child Abuse
    • Sexual exploitation of children
    • Crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles
    • 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
    • Harassment by stalking
    • Ethnic intimidation, and
    • Any criminal attempt, conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or accessory involving any of the crimes specified above.
    • Indecent Exposure
    • Violation of a protection order issued in a criminal sexual assault or domestic violence case.

     

    Critical Stages

    • Filing of charges
    • Preliminary hearing
    • Any bond reduction or modification hearing
    • Arraignment hearing
    • Motions hearing
    • Disposition of the complaint or charges against the person accused
    • Trial
    • Sentencing hearing
    • Appellate review or appellate decision
    • Sentence reconsideration
    • Probation revocation hearing
    • Filing of a complaint, summons or warrant by probation for failure to report or because the location of a person convicted of a crime is unknown
    • Request for change of venue or transfer of probation supervision
    • Request for release from probation supervision before the expiration of original sentence
    • Attack of a judgment or conviction
    • Parole application hearing
    • Parole, release or discharge from imprisonment of a person convicted of a crime
    • Parole revocation hearing
    • Transfer to or placement of a person convicted of a crime in a nonsecured facility, and
    • Transfer, release or escape of a person charged with or convicted of a crime from any state hospital
    • In addition to the right to be informed and present, the victim has a right to be heard at hearings on bond reduction, disposition of the complaint, such as acceptance or a negotiated plea and at sentencing. The victim also has a right to provide input to the court regarding continuances.

    Last Updated: 4-12-2013