Colorado Crime Victim's Rights

 The Rights of Victims of Crime

Crime victims have rights under the Colorado constitution, as guaranteed by a 1993 amendment.  There are also certain crimes that additionally offer compensation to victims who have lost monetarily as a result of the incident.   

Arvada residents who wish to apply for compensation should submit a service request through the Arvada Police Department or call Victim Outreach Information Office at 303-202-2196.

According to the Victim Rights Act, victims have the right:

  • 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 prepare a Victim Impact Statement and to be present and/or heard at sentencing; 
  • 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; 
  • 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; 
  • 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; 
  • 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 or program or is permanently or conditionally transferred or released from any state hospital;
  • 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.

Compensable Crimes

  • Murder - 1st and 2nd degree
  • Manslaughter 
  • Criminally negligent homicide and vehicular homicide 
  • Assault - 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, vehicular 
  • Menacing 
  • Kidnaping - 1st and 2nd degree 
  • Sexual Assault - 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, on a child, on a child by one in a position of trust, on a client by a psychotherapist 
  • Robbery - aggravated, aggravated of a controlled substance 
  • Incest and aggravated incest 
  • Child Abuse 
  • Sexual exploitation of children 
  • Crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles
  • Crimes for which the underlying foundation has been determined to be domestic violence 
  • Careless driving that results in the death of another person 
  • Failure to stop at the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person 
  • Harassment by stalking 
  • Ethnic intimidation, and 
  • Any criminal attempt, conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or accessory involving any of the crimes specified above.
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Violation of a protection order issued in a criminal sexual assault or domestic violence case.

Critical Stages

  • Filing of charges
  • Preliminary hearing 
  • Any bond reduction or modification hearing 
  • Arraignment hearing 
  • Motions hearing 
  • Disposition of the complaint or charges against the person accused 
  • Trial 
  • Sentencing hearing 
  • Appellate review or appellate decision 
  • Sentence reconsideration 
  • Probation revocation hearing 
  • Filing of a complaint, summons, or warrant by probation for failure to report or because the location of a person convicted of a crime is unknown 
  • Request for change of venue or transfer of probation supervision 
  • Request for release from probation supervision prior to the expiration of original sentence
  • Attack of a judgment or conviction
  • Parole application hearing 
  • Parole, release, or discharge from imprisonment of a person convicted of a crime 
  • Parole revocation hearing
  • Transfer to or placement of a person convicted of a crime in a non-secured facility, and 
  • Transfer, release, or escape of a person charged with or convicted of a crime from any state hospital
  • In addition to the right to be informed and present, the victim also has a right to be heard at hearings on bond reduction, disposition of the complaint, such as acceptance or a negotiated plea, and a sentencing. The victim also has a right to provide input to the court regarding continuances.