Our justice system, despite tireless advocates and long ambitions, is not perfect. Sometimes, it can leave victims of violent crime dissatisfied at best and vulnerable at worst. About 40 years ago, for example, the Nicholas family came to face with this grim reality. Marsy Nicholas was a student at UCSB who had the misfortune of being in an abusive relationship –– a relationship that cost her her life. Her ex-boyfriend was released on bail just one week after his arrest –– and shortly thereafter he began harassing Marsy’s family. Inspired by his sister’s tragic story, Marsy’s brother decided to spare others from the same fate –– and worked diligently to pass what became known as Marsy’s Law, a set of constitutional protections enshrined under California law.
But the law can’t just exist in the books –– it has to be enforced. Which is where Justice 4 Crime Victims comes in. Let us tell you more.
What is Marsy’s Law?
In essence, Marsy’s Law is a Bill of Rights but specifically for victims of violent crime. Marsy’s Law guarantees certain protections and rights to those who have had the misfortunate of suffering from serious crime –– and for the purpose of making their experience in the legal system considerably better.
But what exactly are these rights? Some of them 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 when you’re at your most vulnerable –– especially if the lawyer in question is an expert when it comes to Marsy’s Law. Michael L. Fell from Justice for Crime Victims is exactly that person. If you are interested in a free consultation and are located anywhere in Orange County, California, give him a call today: 949-585-9055.