“[A] victim of a crime has a right to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, …”
—The Arizona Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Arizona contains a Victims’ Bill of Rights. It was added to the state’s constitution to preserve and protect a crime victim’s rights to justice and due process.
Under the Victims’ Bill of Rights, the victim of a crime has a right:
To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process.
To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.
To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all criminal proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.
To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea, and sentencing.
To refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by the defendant.
To confer with the prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been charged, before trial or before any disposition of the case and to be informed of the disposition.
To read pre-sentence reports relating to the crime against the victim when they are available to the defendant.
To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim’s loss or injury.
To be heard at any proceeding when any post-conviction release from confinement is being considered.
To a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction and sentence.
To have all rules governing criminal procedure and the admissibility of evidence in all criminal proceedings protect victims’ rights.
To be informed of victims’ constitutional rights.
The Victims’ Bill of Rights is set forth in Section 2.1 of the Constitution of the State of Arizona, and is embodied in Sections 13-4401 through 13-4440 of the Arizona Criminal Code. The texts of both the Constitution and Criminal Code can be obtained at most public libraries in Arizona, or online at the Arizona State Legislature’s Web site, www.azleg.gov.
The above article is an excerpt from Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, 2nd Edition (Fenestra Books, 2012), by Donald A. Loose, republished with the author’s permission.
Disclaimer: Laws change constantly. Specific legal advice should be obtained regarding any legal matter. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created.
Donald A. Loose is an Arizona attorney, and the author of Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, and Estate Planning in Arizona: What You Need to Know. Mr. Loose is a regular guest on radio shows featuring local newsmaker interviews. He may be contacted at email@example.com.