Victims’ Rights in California

Victims’ Rights in California

As of right now, the federal rights victims of violent crime can enjoy are relatively limited. Instead, it is up to the individual states that make up our nation to expand on them and guarantee more protections for those who suffer at the hands of criminals. If you’re in California, you’ll be pleased to learn that, unlike in some other states, you are entitled to a wide-range of protections and securities as a resident of the Golden State. Let us walk you through the process.

Background Behind Marsy’s Law

About 40 years ago, Marsy Nicholas, a student at UC Santa Barbara, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend who harassed and stalked her. While he was initially arrested, he was released on bail just about a week later, and soon thereafter he started running into Marsy’s family in public. Their encounters were very distressing and continued over the years in the form of parole hearings and other events, 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.

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. Marsy’s Law is a similar idea except that it specifically enshrines 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

Finding Legal Representation

Having rights means very little if they are not enforced and protected. As such, you need a competent attorney who will make sure you can enjoy your victims’ bill of rights to the full extent of the law. Here at Justice 4 Crime Victims, our team of attorneys will be ready to help you at every step of the way and treat you with the respect and support you deserve. Call us for a free consultation today: 949-585-9055.