Victim Rights Attorney
The United States and Arizona Constitutions provides critical and fundamental rights to everyone, and we have a victim rights attorney who can help you protect your rights. These constitutional protections are the foundation of our criminal justice system. In addition to the important and necessary rights given to those accused of a crime, the Arizona Constitution also provides for victim’s rights and protections to all those who have suffered due to a crimes against them. Unfortunately, too often victims are often the ones most overlooked in the criminal justice system. Being overlooked will often cause a victim to feel that they do not have a voice or are otherwise unimportant and even mistreated by police officers, attorneys, judges, and other people who make their living in the criminal justice system. The reason they are overlooked is not intentional or malicious, but often due to well meaning people being too busy to give victims the personal attention they not only want, but to which they are entitled.
|Homicide Victims||Shooting Victims||Rape/Sexual Assault Victims|
|Molestation & Abuse Victims||Drunk Driver Victims||Other Personal Injury Victims|
Understanding the criminal justice world and what to expect as the victim or the loved one of a victim can reduce some of the emotional and psychological trauma that is part of being the victim of a crime. Here are a few important things to know to help navigate the criminal justice world:
Victims of crimes have constitutional rights. While important, these rights are unfortunately limited to the following:
This seems odd, but it is true. You will notice the name of the case is The State of Arizona v. (insert defendant’s name). The only two parties are the State and the defendant. The defendant gets an attorney, and the state will be represented by a prosecutor. This fact can contribute to a victim feeling overlooked and marginalized.
A victim does not make the decision whether to press charges. Often this creates difficulty, especially when the person who is accused or charged was a loved one.
Hopefully a prosecutor will have the same goals and objectives as the victim in a crime, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. The victim may want the defendant to receive a more severe plea offer or sentence than the prosecutor is offering. In other cases, the victim may want mercy for the defendant and feel he should be given a more lenient plea offer or sentence. Often the victim has more information than the police or prosecutor and might be in a better position than police or prosecutors to know what might be best for the victim, the defendant, and even the community.
Although the defendant will be given an attorney to make sure his/her important and constitutional rights are protected, the victim will not be given an attorney to make sure his or her important and constitutional rights are protected. Prosecution and law enforcement agencies have great victim services offices with many resources. Each victim will be appointed a hard working and competent victim advocate to provide information and assistance. These advocates are employees of the law enforcement and prosecution agencies and are not attorneys. As such, sometimes these advocates are limited with the assistance they can provide victims.
The victim’s rights attorneys at Rowley Chapman & Barney have significant experience with the criminal justice system. Their prior law enforcement and prosecution experience makes them uniquely qualified to represent victims of crimes. This past experience includes dozens of crimes involving significant financial loss, child crimes and sexual offense, and serious injuries and death. These attorneys also have significant experience and training talking to and assisting child victim and witnesses, and can help guide children and their family members as they navigate the unexpected, unwanted, and unfamiliar world of the criminal justice system.