Law Enforcement Responsibilities
Law enforcement agencies have the responsibility to provide the victim written information about community services, the availability of financial resources such as Victim's Compensation, the availability of protective orders, how to obtain public records related to the case, translation services, creditor and landlord intervention, child care, and transportation services related to court appearances. Victims also have the right to seek civil justice against the accused. In addition, law enforcement agencies are required to provide the address and phone number of the District Attorney's Office, file number of the case, and the name, business address, and telephone number of any law enforcement officer assigned to investigate the case. The agency must also keep the victim informed as to whether a suspect has been taken into custody and, if known, whether the suspect has been released from custody, and any conditions imposed upon the suspect.
Following are only a few of the rights guaranteed by the Victims Rights Act:
- To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity;
- To be informed of and present for all "critical stages" of the criminal justice process;
- To be 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;
- To be present and heard regarding bond reduction, continuances, acceptance of plea negotiations, case disposition, or sentencing;
- 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 have restitution ordered and to be informed of the right to pursue a civil judgment against the person convicted of the crime;
- To receive a prompt return of the property when it is no longer needed as evidence;
- To be 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;
- Whenever practicable, to have a safe, secure waiting area during court proceedings;
- Upon request, to be informed when a person accused or convicted of the crime is released from custody, is paroled, escapes, or absconds from probation or parole;
- Upon written request, to be informed of and heard at any reconsideration of sentence, parole hearing, or commutation
- of sentence.
- To receive a free copy of the initial incident report when requested, (other documents are at the discretion of the investigating officers).
- To be notified of a hearing concerning a petition of records in your case.