About 40 years ago, Marsy Nicholas, a student at UC Santa Barbara, was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend. One week later, the alleged murderer was released on bail and back in the community, where he ran into Marsy’s mom. Their encounter was unfortunately not the only one. Over the course of the years. Marsy’s family had to interact with him at parole hearings and other settings, encounters that were so distressing Marsy’s mom had a heart attack. Her story is similar to the story of many families across the Golden State. But fortunately for all of them, there is a law in California that guarantees victims of violent crime enjoy certain rights and protections.
California Adopts Marsy’s Law
Inspired by his sister’s tragic and unfortunate death, Dr. Henry T. Nicholas passed a ballot measure in California aimed at reforming the way crime victims and their families are treated by their state. Since then, countless of families have come to enjoy certain protections and benefits previously unavailable to those in the same unfortunate circumstances.
What’s Included in Marsy’s Law?
You are probably familiar with the Bill of Rights. Well, Marsy’s Law enshrined a Crime Victims Bill of Rights, or a set of rights and protections for those who suffer at the hands of crime in the state of California. Some of those enumerated rights include:
- Privacy protections so that you don’t have to worry about your abuser.
- Having your safety considered when the defendant’s bail is being set.
- Receiving a notice of plea bargaining and giving you a voice in the process.
- Presenting a victim impact statement for the judge to consider before sentencing.
- Having your personal property returned to you as soon as possible if it was used as evidence
- Receiving restitution for losses suffered as a result of criminal activity
Retaining the services of a competent attorney will ensure these and other protections are respected. Your rights matter too, and our office will fight hard for them.
Finding an Attorney
Hiring an attorney can help you enforce the rights you are entitled to. In addition to that kind of help, you can also have a strong advocate and supporter when you find the right attorney. At Justice for Crime Victims, Michael L. Fell will be a compassionate champion who will defend your interests and help you see justice. If you are interested in a free consultation or would like to learn more about his office, give him a call today: 949-585-9055.