Crime Victims’ Rights During Criminal Investigations? Applying the Crime Victims’ Rights Act Before Criminal Charges Are Filed
44 Pages Posted: 10 May 2013 Last revised: 4 Jun 2013
Date Written: 2013
In recent years, federal and state enactments have given crime victims extensive rights to participate in criminal cases. Many of these rights apply only after the filing of criminal charges, such as the victim’s right to be heard during court proceedings. A crime victim's right to deliver an impact statement at sentencing, for instance, can only be exercised after the prosecutor has filed charges against a defendant and obtained a conviction. Other rights, however, could apply even before the formal filing of charges. As one example, the federal Crime Victim’s Rights Act (CVRA) extends to crime victims the right to “confer” with prosecutors. Can victims exercise this right even before charges have been filed?
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