Crime victims are such an important part of the criminal justice system process that in 1992 the Victim Rights Amendment was added to the state constitution. The Amendment states:
Any person who is a victim of a criminal act or such person’s designee, legal guardian, or surviving immediate family members if such person is deceased, shall have the right to be heard when relevant, informed and present at all critical stages of the criminal justice process. All terminology, including the term “critical stages” shall be defined by the general assembly (Article II, Section 16A Colorado State Constitution).
If you are a victim of the following crimes the Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of the state guarantee certain rights: murder; manslaughter; criminally negligent homicide and vehicular homicide; assault; menacing; kidnapping; sexual assault; incest and aggravated incest; child abuse; sexual exploitation of children; crimes against at-risk adults and at-risk juveniles; indecent exposure; violation of a criminal protection order issued against a person charged with sexual assault; robbery-aggravated, aggravated of a controlled substance; crimes for which the underlying foundation has been determined to be domestic violence; careless driving that results in the death of another person; failure to stop at the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person; stalking; ethnic intimidation; retaliation against a victim or witness; tampering with a victim or witness; intimidation and aggravated intimidation of a victim or witness; and criminal attempt, conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or accessory involving any of the crimes specified above.
Every victim has the right to be informed and present, but more importantly every victim has the right to be heard throughout all the “critical stages” of the process.
For a complete printable version of Victims’ Rights download here (English). This is also available in Spanish.
The Avon Police Department has a victims’ advocate on staff that is able to assist, console and fight for victims and for their rights to be heard and to be compassionately supported through the complex criminal justice system.