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The Victim Rights Act
The enabling legislation known as the Victim Rights Act became effective in January of 1993, and was amended in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2006, and 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. In an attempt to balance the scales of justice, the Victim Rights Act provides victims of crime an active role in the criminal justice process.
For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4.1-301 through 24-4.1-304 at http://dcj.state.co.us/ovp.
The following is a SUMMARY OF RIGHTS guaranteed by the Victim Rights Act
  • To be treated with fairness, respect and dignity;
  • To be informed of all “critical stages” of the criminal justice process (victims of crime must request notification, in writing, for post-sentencing critical stages);
  • To be present at specified critical stages in the criminal justice process;
  • To be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse;
  • To be informed about what steps can be taken including information about protection services, if there is any intimidation or harassment by a person accused or convicted of a crime or anyone acting on that person’s behalf;
  • To be present and heard regarding bond reduction or modification, a subpoena for the victim’s records, acceptance of a plea agreement, sentencing or modification of a sentence;
  • To be heard by phone or similar technology when a victim can’t appear in court;
  • To be informed of the existence of the criminal protection order and upon request of the victim, the procedure for modifying the protection order if a procedure exists;
  • To have the victim’s social security number redacted or excluded from criminal justice documents when records are released to someone other than the victim, a criminal justice agency, or the defendant’s attorney of record;
  • To be informed of the process the district attorney can use to request protection of the victim’s address (the court may or may not grant the request); disposition of the case;
  • To be informed of the status of the case and any scheduling changes or cancellations, if known in advance;
  • To receive and prepare a victim impact statement and to be present and/or heard at the sentencing hearing;
  • To have the court determine restitution and to be informed of the right to pursue a civil judgment against the person convicted of the crime;
  • To prevent any party at any court proceeding from compelling testimony regarding a victim’s address, telephone number, place of employment or other locating information;
  • To receive a prompt return of property when it is no longer needed as evidence;
  • To be informed of the availability of financial assistance and community services;
  • To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services regarding court appearances and meetings with criminal justice officials;
  • To be assured that in any criminal proceeding the court, the prosecutor, and other law enforcement officials will take appropriate action to achieve a swift and fair resolution of the proceedings;
  • Whenever practicable, to have a safe, secure waiting area during court proceedings;
  • To be notified of the referral of an offender to community corrections and to provide a written victim impact statement to the community corrections board and, if permitted by the board, to provide an oral victim impact statement. In addition, a victim has a right to provide a separate oral statement to the community corrections board if the board is considering a transitional referral from the department of corrections;
  • Upon written request, to be informed when a person accused or convicted of a crime is released from custody other than the county jail, is paroled, escapes or absconds from probation or parole;
  • The right to be informed of the filing of a petition to cease sex offender registration;
  • Upon request, to be informed when a person who is accused or convicted of a crime is released, discharged, or permanently transferred from the custody of the county jail;
  • Upon written request, to be informed of and heard regarding any reconsideration of sentence, parole or commutation of sentence hearing;
  • Upon written request, to be informed when a person convicted of a crime against the victim is placed in or transferred to a less secure correctional facility, program, or placed on non-residential status, or is permanently or conditionally transferred or released from any state hospital;
  • The right, at the discretion of the district attorney, to view all or a portion of the pre-sentence report of the probation department;
  • To be informed of the results of any court-ordered HIV testing;
  • To be informed of any rights which the victim has pursuant to the Constitution of the United States or the State of Colorado; and
  • To be informed of the process for enforcing compliance with the Victim Rights Act.