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 Contra Costa County
Office of the District Attorney
Mark A. Peterson

Seek Justice | Serve Justice | Do Justice

Contra Costa County District Attorney Logo

In order to preserve and protect a victim’s rights to justice and due process, a victim shall be entitled to the following rights: 

1. Fairness and Respect: To be treated with fairness & respect for his or her privacy & dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process. 

2. Protection from the Defendant: To be reasonably protected from the defendant & persons acting on behalf of the defendant. 

3. Victim Safety Considerations in Setting Bail & Release Conditions: To have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in fixing the amount of bail & release conditions of the defendant. 

4. Prevention of the Disclosure of Confidential Information: To prevent disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family or which disclose confidential communications made in the course of medical or counseling treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or confidential by law. 

5. Refusal to be interviewed by the Defense: To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, & to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of such interview to which the victim consents. 

6. Conference with the Prosecution & Notice of Pretrial Disposition: To reasonable notice of and to reasonable confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the arrest of the defendant if known by the prosecutor, the charges filed, the determination whether to extradite the defendant, and, upon request, to be notified of and informed before any pretrial disposition of the case. 

7. Notice of & Presence at Public Proceedings: To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including delinquency proceeding, upon request, at which the defendant & the prosecutor are entitled to be present & of all parole or other post-conviction release proceedings, & to be present at all such hearings. 

8. Appearance at Court Proceedings & Expression of Views: To be heard, upon request, at any proceeding, including any delinquency proceeding, involving a post-arrest release decision, plea sentencing, post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue. 

9. Speedy Trial & Prompt Conclusion of the Case: To a speedy trial & a prompt & final conclusion of the case & any related post-judgment proceedings. 

10. Information to the Probation Department: To provide information to probation department official conducting a pre-sentence investigation concerning the impact the offense on the victim & the victim’s family and any sentencing recommendations before the sentencing of the defendant. 

11. Receipt of Pre-Sentence Report: To receive, upon request, the pre-sentence report when available to the defendant, except for the portions made confidential by law. 

12. Information about Conviction, Sentence, Incarceration, Release, & Escape: To be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place & time of incarceration, or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant, & the release of or the escape by the defendant from custody. 

13. To Restitution: It is the unequivocal intention of the People of the State of California that all persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to seek and secure restitution from the persons convicted of the crimes causing the losses they suffer; Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted wrongdoer in every case regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, in which a crime victim suffers a loss; All monetary payments, monies, & property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution shall be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim. 

14. Prompt Return of Property: To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence. 

15. Notice of Parole Procedures & Release on Parole: To be informed of all parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to provide information to the parole authority to be considered before the parole of the offender, & to be notified, upon request, of the parole or release of the offender. 

16. Safety of Victim & Public in Parole Release: To have the safety of the victim, the victim’s family, & the general public considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made. 

17. To be informed of the rights enumerated in paragraphs (1) through (16).

A victim is defined under the California Constitution as a “person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act.  The term ‘victim’ also includes the person’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, or guardian, and includes a lawful representative of a crime victim who is deceased, a minor, or physically or psychologically incapacitated.  The term ‘victim’ does not include a person in custody for an offense, the accused, or a person whom the court finds would not act in the best interests of a minor victim.” (Cal. Const., art. I, 28(e).)

 A victim, the retained attorney of a victim, a lawful representative of the victim, or the prosecuting attorney upon request of the victim, may enforce the above rights in any trial or appellate court with jurisdiction over the case as a matter of right.  The court shall act promptly on such a request. (Cal. Const., art I, 28(c)(1).)

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