Arizona Victim Rights and Assistance. AARDVARC - An Abuse Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection. Arizona directory of resources for victims of crimes including domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child abuse. Information, referrals, publications and assistance for victims.
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- Arizona Victim's Bill of Rights: Article II, Section 2.1
- Victim Impact Statements
- Crime Victim's Leave Act
- Restitution to Crime Victims
- Arizona Victim Compensation
- Arizona Statute of Limitations
Arizona Victim Rights
ARIZONA CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR CRIME VICTIMS
A. To preserve and protect victims’ rights to justice and due process, a victim of crime has a right:
- To be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process.
- To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.
- To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all criminal proceedings when the defendant has the right to be present.
- To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea and sentencing.
- To refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request by the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant.
- To confer with the prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been charged, before trial or before any disposition of the case and to be informed of the disposition.
- To read pre sentence reports relating to the crime against the victim when they are available to the defendant.
- To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim's loss or injury.
- To be heard at any proceeding when any post-conviction release from confinement is being considered.
- To a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction and sentence.
- To have all rules governing criminal procedure and the admissibility of evidence in all criminal proceedings protect victims' rights and to have these rules be subject to amendment or repeal by the legislature to ensure the protection of these rights.
- To be informed of victims' constitutional rights.
B. The exercise of any right granted by this section shall not be grounds for dismissing any criminal proceeding or setting aside any conviction or sentence.
C. Victim means a person against whom the criminal offense has been committed or if the person is killed or incapacitated, the person's spouse, parent, child or other lawful representative, except if the person is in custody for an offense or is the accused.
D. The legislature, or the people by initiative or referendum, have the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section, including the authority to extend any of these rights to juvenile proceedings.
E. The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights for victims shall not be construed to deny or disparage others granted by the legislature or retained by victims. [constit]11/93
The supporting laws for victims of crime can be found at the Arizona Legislative Information Service (ALIS) Web site under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13, §4401 et seq. Victims of crimes by juveniles can find the supporting laws at the same website under Title 8, §381 et seq.
Additionally, the services provided by victim advocates are confidential pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4430(A)(B) and (E). Correspondence between the Crime Victim Advocate and the victim is confidential unless the victim waives that right or confidentiality is waived by Arizona law.
Arizona Victim Impact Statements
The victim impact statement may be either written or oral. It allows the victim to provide information for the judge to consider at sentencing. It allows the victim to show the pain, anguish, and financial devastation the crime may have caused. The judge really does not know how truly affected the victim is unless the victim speaks up.
When you give your victim impact statement, you may choose to be very brief - or you may decide to talk at length. You may have other family members join you in giving a statement.
The victim impact statement is the ONLY TIME that you will have to address the one person - the judge - who can decide the fate of the defendant.
The victim impact statement is YOUR TIME - USE IT!!
Some items to consider when deciding what to say (always go into detail):
- Physical injuries suffered
- Medical treatment required
- Psychological injuries suffered
- Psychological treatment required
- Amount of time lost from work
- Prognosis for further psychological treatment
- Prognosis for further medical treatment including surgery, therapy, etc.
- Lingering pain, anxiety, anguish, and nightmares
- The affect on your lifestyle
- The affect on the lifestyle of your family
In the event of a death, tell what it is like to get a phone call in the middle of the night, to rush to the hospital and not knowing if your loved one will still be alive when you reach them. In the event of a death, describe what it is like to explain a death to younger siblings still alive, to the children left behind, or other family members.
In the event of the death of a child, explain what it is like to give birth to a child, raise and nurture them with love and care - and then to have them taken away before they have lived a full life. In the event of the death of a spouse, tell what it is like to marry the person of your dreams, to plan, to love, to expect to celebrate your 50th anniversary with that person - and then to have them taken away.
If You Feel Your Rights have been Violated:
As the victim of a crime, you have the right to seek an order or to bring a special action mandating that you be afforded any right not provided, or to challenge an order denying any right guaranteed to you under the Constitution, implementing statutes, or court rules. You have the right to recover damages from a governmental entity responsible for the intentional, knowing or grossly negligent violation of your rights. In asserting any right, you may choose to be represented by personal counsel at your expense. It is important to understand that a rights violation is different than disagreeing with a case outcome (disposition), or maybe, even how a case was handled. An attorney can advise you accordingly. If you disagree with a court order regarding restitution or the releast of a defendant, you do have the right to appeal these decisions. The prosecutor can file such an appeal on your behalf, at your request.
Arizona Crime Victim Leave Act
During the Arizona 2001 Legislative Session, laws were passed allowing victims of crime and juvenile offenses to exercise their right to be present at legal and court proceedings (ARS 13-4439).
The law requires that employers who have fifty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or proceeding calendar year shall allow an employee who is a victim of a crime to leave work to exercise right of the employee to be present at proceedings.
Absent an undue hardship to the business, these laws allow for employees who are victims to leave work and not fear the security of their employment, seniority, or precedence, due to proceedings they are legally entitled to attend.
The employer is not required to compensate the employee to attend proceedings, and may require the employee to use accrued paid vacation, personal leave or sick leave. The employer is required to protect employee rights to confidentiality.
The law requires the employee to provide their employer a copy of the victim rights form provided by the law enforcement agency, and if applicable provide a copy of the notice of each scheduled proceedings provided to the victim by the notifying agency.
Arizona Restitution Orders for Crime Victims
Restitution is not punishment, it is a court order to a convicted defendant to pay you for the losses you incurred as the direct result of the crime(s) committed by the defendant. In ordering restitution, the court must consider all of your economic losses caused by the criminal offense(s) for which the defendant is convicted. Restitution is most often ordered at the time of sentencing and may include: medical expenses, funeral costs, expenses for counseling, moving and basic living necessities, lost or damaged property, and lost wages.
Restitution is mandatory. For example, filing bankruptcy does not excuse a defendant from a restitution order. The sentencing judge is required by law to consider economic circumstances (ability to pay) when entering an order for restitution. This means, for example, that if a defendant is convicted of stealing your $9,000 car, the judge must order him to pay $9,000 in restitution to you. Because of inability to pay, however, the judge may also order that the method of paying the $9,000, be monthly payments of $30. A monthly court-ordered restitution payment of $30, on a full restitution order of $9,000, would require 25 years of regular payments for the economic loss to be fully recovered. Unfortunately, this means that restitution as a reliable form of reimbursement for victim losses, even though it is court-ordered often becomes improbable.
A defendant who is ordered to jail or prison, with rare exception, will not be required to begin making restitution payments until his release. The Court may order that restitution be paid within a certain period of time, or it may order that payments be made in specified (monthly) installments as noted in the above example. A probation officer, or other agent with responsibility for monitoring restitution payments of a defendant serving a probation sentence, is required to notify the supervising court upon finding that a defendant has become two full (monthly) payments in arrears. This notification (memorandum) must: 1) propose a modification to the monthly payment amount; 2) recommend that probation be revoked; or 3) outline the reasons for the delinquencies and how long it is expected to continue.
Defendants are required to make their court-ordered restitution payments to a county Superior Court Clerk Office. Within 15 days of receipt, the Clerk is required to disburse the restitution monies according to the order of the court. If the amount of any single disbursement to a victim would be less than $10, the Clerk may withhold payment until a minimum of $10 is collected. Disbursement of restitution monies in no event however, should go beyond 90 days following receipt of payment from a defendant.
If you are entitled to restitution by court order, you have the right to file a restitution lien against any assets (personal and real property) held by the defendant. The filing of a lien gives notice to all persons dealing with the defendant or dealing with the property identified in the lien, of your interest in that property, or property later acquired in the name of the defendant. The advocates of the Office of Victim Services can assist you with filing a restitution lien if you are a victim in a case handled by the Attorney General's office.
Criminal Restitution Orders
The restitution obligation to you ends when an offender has served their sentence. When this occurs, and restitution has not been fully paid, the court can enter a criminal restitution order for the unpaid balance. This order may be recorded and enforced as any civil judgment, but does not require renewal. You should contact the prosecuting attorney to request assistance in asking the Court for such an order at the time the sentence ends.
Arizona Victim Compensation
The State of Arizona has a Crime Victim Compensation Program that offers financial help to victims of crime. Claims are awarded by a local Crime Victim Compensation Board in each county. An innocent victim or a secondary victim (a person who is affected by the crime) may apply for help with out-of-pocket costs in the county in which the crime took place. Funds to pay these claims come from fees and fines paid by convicted defendants. This program is administered at the state level by:
Arizona Criminal Justice Commission
3737 North 7th Street, Suite 260
Phoenix, AZ 85024
Who is Eligible for Victim Compensation?
If you are a victim or a secondary victim of a crime or an act of international terrorism, you may apply for financial help if you:
- Suffer physical injury or mental distress and experience economic loss as a direct result of the crime or act of international terrorism
- Are victimized in Arizona, or are an Arizona resident who has been a victim of international terrorism
- Report the crime or act of international terrorism to a police agency within 72 hours unless good cause is shown to justify a delay
- Willingly and fully cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement agencies
- Submit an application within application limits from the discovery of the crime or act of international terrorism unless good cause is shown to justify a delay
- Medical expenses
- Mental health counseling expenses (up to 36 months)
- Loss of wages/support
- Funeral expenses up to $5,000
- Travel: for medical care and counseling
- Emergency: $500
You CANNOT receive compensation for:
- Property loss and damage
- Pain and suffering
- Expenses that would benefit an offender
- A person serving a sentence of imprisonment in a detention facility or who has escaped imprisonment in a detention facility, home arrest, or work furlough program
Helpful brochures are available in [English (PDF)
] and [Spanish (PDF)
How to Apply
Download [English Application (PDF)
] or [Spanish Application (PDF)
For specific information, or help in filling out the paperwork, contact your local Crime Victim Compensation program:
Apache County (928)337-7560
Cochise County (520)432-9377
Gila County (928)425-4120
Graham County (928)428-4787
Greenlee County (928)865-4108
La Paz County (928)669-6118
Maricopa County (602)506-4955
Mohave County (928)718-5522
Navajo County (928)524-4332
Pima County (520)740-5525
Pinal County (520)868-6271
Santa Cruz (520)281-5868
Yavapai County (928)771-3485
Yuma County (928)329-2133
Arizona Statute of Limitations
Generally, you must file a case within two years of the date of the injury. See Arizona Statutes, Title 12, Chapter 5 (scroll down to Chapter 5) for variations and exceptions.
See also: Civil Action Arising from Criminal Conduct if charges have or will be filed against your abuser.
Childhood Sexual Abuse
Arizona does not have a special statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. It applies it statutory minority and disability tolling provisions to the general tort statute of limitations. A victim has either:
(1) 2 years from the date of the injury under the general tort statute of limitations, Arizona Statutes § 12-542;
(2) 2 years from reaching the age of minority under Arizona Statutes § 12-502;
(3) 2 years from removal of a mental disability (i.e. unsound mind) under Arizona Statutes § 12-502
In Doe v. Roe (Apr. 7, 1998), the Arizona Supreme Court acknowledged the existence of repressed memory and held that repressed memory arising out of CSA may trigger the state's discovery rule and "unsound mind" exception, effectively extending the Statute of Limitations.
Article: Arizona Rethinks Its Approach to Extending Statutes of Limitation in Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases
Article: Arizona Statute for Tort Actions Tolled Only If Plaintiff of Unsound Mind