What are the rights of a domestic violence victim in Colorado
A domestic violence case can easily affect the life of multiple persons associated with it. The offender and victim both face the heat of it the but the victim is always in a dilemma to go ahead with the case as the offender is always a close one like spouse, partner or the former partner. Sometimes the victim can think about dropping the charge and forgiving the offender.
Here comes the Colorado state law. The victim cannot drop the charges himself or herself but the criminal charge is brought by the state against the defendant (offender), therefore only the state prosecutor can decide if he wants to drop the charges or not. The Colorado Victim’s Right Amendment clearly says that prosecutor requires consulting the victim about how does he or she wants to go with the case, but other laws and sometimes the public sentiments prevent prosecutor from dropping the charges from a violent case, even is the smaller misdemeanor charges where victim wants to drop the charge.
Mandatory arrest —
The domestic violence case turns completely upside down when the police get involved in it. From the police, the case goes to the public prosecutor and the court. There is a mandatory provision for the arrest: if the Police have the probable cause that the domestic violence case has involved a serious crime then they must arrest, no matter what the alleged victim says, no matter what the offender speaks in his favor.
Now the case goes to the public prosecutor, and he is obliged to not dismiss the case on his own or putting the non-domestic violence charge unless he tells the court that they cannot prove that a domestic violence case has happened. The judges are also obliged to impose domestic violence evaluation and treatment procedure. Generally, it is a lengthy and expensive course conducted under the supervision of a probation officer.
The rights of the victim are designed by the Crime Control Act of 1990. It provides domestic crime victim a “Bill of Rights”. The officials associated with the case are required to use their best efforts to ensure that victim’s rights must be preserved even if he or she does not testify as for the witness.
1. The right to be treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s dignity and power-
During the course of the case, the victim will not be questioned such details which are considered private and make the victim uneasy.
2. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender-
Because the offender is always a close one to the victim, it becomes quite hard for the victim to feel safe as the offender can put pressure on him or her to drop the charges. So if the victim asks for the protection then the court can allow a reasonable protection for the victim from the accused offender.
3. The right to be notified of the court proceeding-
If the victim is not present in the court proceeding due to some reasons, the officials associated with the case are instructed to notify the victim about the court proceedings.
4. The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense-
If the victim wishes to remain present at all public court proceedings then he or she can come. If the court determines that the testimony of the victim is enough to run the case then he can advise the victim to remain at the home.
5. The right to confer the attorney for the Government in the case-
The victim has a special right to confer (argue) with the defense attorney if he or she thinks that an exchange of words are necessary to tell the specific offense that the offender did to him/her. It brings a great chance to the victim to influence the case in his or her favor.
6. The right to information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender.
The officials associated with the case must provide information to the victim regarding every hearing and outcome.
If the offender has been found guilty then the victim must get a complete information regarding conviction type, sentence time period, venue of imprisonment and the release date of the offender.
Can a victim drop the charges?
In one word, No. The victim cannot back off from the case himself or herself but a good defense attorney can use the wishes of the alleged victim, along with the weakness of the case, to get the case dismissed. It requires an extensive investigation and a constant negotiation with the district attorney. Many time, the victim want to drop the charges because he or she takes the shared responsibility for all the actions. A domestic violence defense attorney can even convince the district attorney to offer a deferred judgment which could eventually be dropped in the case.