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Victims' Rights in an Arizona Criminal Case

If you are accused of committing a crime in Phoenix, specifically a crime involving a victim, you should know that under Arizona law, crime victims have certain “legal and constitutional rights,” which can be found in the Victims’ Bill of Rights in Article II, Section 2.1 of the Arizona Constitution, and under Title 13, Chapter 40 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Under Arizona law, crime victims have two things: automatic rights and rights the victim must request. Here are some automatic rights that a crime victim has:

  • To be treated fairly and justly during the criminal process.
  • To be free from abuse, harassment, and intimidation during the criminal process.
  • Upon request, to be informed whenever the offender escapes or is released from custody.
  • To be heard at any hearing or proceeding involving a plea bargain, sentencing, or another post-arrest decision.
  • To refuse to participate in any deposition, interview, or discovery request from the defendant, their attorney, or someone acting on the defendant’s behalf.

What Rights Does a Victim Have to Request?

As we mentioned earlier, not all rights are automatic, some a victim must request. Here are some examples of what a victim has to request:

  • To speak with the prosecutor about: dismissing the charges, not proceeding with a prosecution, plea or sentencing negotiations, a pre-trial diversion program, or a hearing regarding the defendant’s release.
  • To have access to the defendant’s conditions of release.
  • To receive notice of the defendant’s sentence.
  • To be informed of the defendant’s post-conviction release.
  • To be advised of the defendant’s appeal.
  • To be advised if the defendant’s probation is revoked.
  • To be advised if the probation is terminated.

How would a victim opt in on their post-conviction rights? The victim would have to contact the County Attorney or Attorney General, whichever agency handled the case. Once the offender is sentenced for the crime, the prosecuting agency would then send a post-conviction request for to the victim.

Are you facing criminal charges in Phoenix? Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Davidson, a former Maricopa County prosecutor!