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Rights of Crime Victims in Arizona

If you’re being accused injuring or killing someone in a DUI accident, or if you’re accused of a violent offense or a sexually-motivated crime, you may be wondering, “What rights do crime victims have in Arizona? Can their opinions about me affect the outcome of my criminal case?” It’s reasonable for you to wonder, especially because crime victims to have certain rights, and their opinions could sway a prosecutor, judge or jury.

According to the Judicial Branch of Arizona, Maricopa County, “victims of crimes have legal and constitutional rights. Victims’ Bill of Rights are contained in Article II, Section 2.1 of the Arizona Constitution.” Title 13, Chapter 40 of the Arizona Revised Statutes contain all of the laws regarding crime victims’ rights in Arizona.

Automatic Rights of Crime Victims

Under Arizona law, crime victims get certain “automatic rights,” including the right to:

  • Be free from intimidation and harassment.
  • To be treated fairly.
  • To be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Upon request, to be informed when the defendant escapes or is released from custody.
  • Upon request, to be informed of and to be at all criminal proceedings where the defendant is entitled to be present.
  • Whenever there is a negotiated plea, post-arrest decision or sentencing decision, to be heard before all relevant parties, such as the judge and prosecutor.
  • To refuse a deposition, discovery or interview request made by the defense attorney or defendant.

There are a number of other things a crime victim can ask for. For instance, a crime victim can ask to speak with the prosecutor about: a hearing about the defendant’s release, a dismissal of the charges against the defendant, a pre-trial diversion program, and any plea or sentencing negotiations between the prosecutor and the defendant. The crime victim also has the right to speak with the prosecutor in person before the trial.

How do Victims Invoke Their Rights?

Suppose a crime victim wishes to invoke his or her rights in a criminal case. In order for the victim to do this, he or she will have to contact the prosecuting agency that’s handling the case, which in Arizona is either the County Attorney or the Attorney General. Once the offender is convicted and sentenced, the prosecuting agency sends the crime victim a post-conviction notification request form. Once a victim opts in, he or she can receive notice from the applicable agency responsible for victims’ rights, such as the County Attorney, the Adult Probation Department, or the Department of Corrections and so on.

Facing criminal charges in Maricopa County? Contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC for a free consultation.