Colorado Victim Rights Act
In 1992, Colorado passed a constitutional amendment that provides crime victims with certain and specific rights. The principal of the Amendment is to ensure that the justice system provide victims with rights that are pursued and enforced with the same diligence as those rights guaranteed to criminal defendants with the understanding that victims of crime, through no fault of their own, suffer physical, emotional and financial loss. Their lives are irrevocably changed, as are the lives of their family and friends.
Senate Bill 06-177 was signed into law on April 24, 2006 and became effective July 1, 2006. This new legislation modifies existing guidelines for ensuring the rights of victims and witnesses to crimes. The new Victim Rights Act (VRA) expands the current definitions of "crime", "critical stages", "cold case" and "custody" and further mandates new and specific procedures by State & Local law enforcement, Probation, Corrections, Prosecutors and Advocates within the criminal justice system.
The information provided on this site represents a summary of the crimes and critical stages covered under the Colorado Victim Rights Act. For a complete list of the crimes and associated statutes related to these crimes please review TITLE 24 – ARTICLE 4.1 PART III of the Colorado Constitution
VRA brochure – English - http://dcj.state.co.us/ovp/Documents/VRA/English%20Brochure.3.2011.pdf
VRA brochure – Spanish - http://dcj.state.co.us/ovp/Documents/VRA/SpanishBrochure_12008.pdf
The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of this state guarantee rights to the victims of the following crimes:
• Murder in the first or second degree
• Criminally negligent homicide
• Vehicular homicide
• Assault in the first, second or third degree
• Vehicular assault
• First or second degree kidnapping
• Sexual assault
• Unlawful sexual contact
• Sexual assault on a child
• Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust
• Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist
• Robbery, Aggravated Robbery & Aggravated Robbery of controlled substances
• Incest and Aggravated Incest
• Child abuse
• Sexual exploitation of children
• Certain crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles
• Domestic Violence crimes
• A bias-motivated crime
• Careless driving that results in the death of another person
• Failure to stop at the scene of an accident where the accident results in the death of another person
• Any criminal attempt, criminal conspiracy, criminal solicitation, accessory to a crime involving any of the crimes specified in this subsection
• Retaliation against or tampering with a witness or victim, Intimidating a witness or a victim and Aggravated Intimidation of a witness or a victim
• Indecent exposure
• Violation of a protection order issued under section 18-1-1001, C.R.S.
If the victim is deceased or incapacitated, these rights are guaranteed to the victim’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other or other lawful representative.
Victims of the crimes listed above have the right to:
• Treatment with fairness, respect and dignity.
• Information on all charges filed and assurance of swift and fair resolution of the proceeding.
• Input into decisions regarding plea bargains and to be present and have input at sentencing and parole hearings.
• Information regarding restitution or civil remedies.
• Release of property within five (5) days after the case is settled and the property is no longer needed as evidence.
• Be informed about what steps can be taken if he or she is subjected to intimidation or harassment.
• Assistance with employment problems resulting from being the victim of a crime.
• Notification of all case dispositions, including appeals.
• Timely notification of all court dates.
• Secured waiting area when available.
• Information regarding community resources and other information that will assist recovery.
• Notification of any change in the status or the release from custody of the accused.
After a person is convicted of a crime against a victim and upon the written request of that victim, state or local correctional authorities will notify the victim of:
• The institution where the person is incarcerated or otherwise being held.
• The projected release date of the person.
• Any release of the person including furlough, work release or community corrections in advance of release.
• Date and location of scheduled parole hearings.
• Any escape of the person from a correctional facility or program.
• Any release or discharge from confinement of the person and conditions of that release.
• The death of the person while in a correctional facility or program.
In addition, upon request of the victim, correctional officials will keep confidential addresses, phone numbers, and places of employment or other personal information of the victim or the victim’s immediate family.