FAQ's for Victims
Dealing with the criminal justice system can sometimes be confusing. We hope the following will help to answer your questions. If you still have questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a crime victim. What are my rights?
Crime victims in Arizona have numerous constitutionally protected rights:
Arizona Revised Statute, Chapter 40 deals with crime victims' rights in Arizona.
I received a notice of a hearing from the Gila County Attorney’s Office. As a victim, am I required to attend?
Victims are entitled to be informed of and present at court proceedings related to the case in which they are identified as the victim. Unless the victim receives a subpoena which requires attendance at a hearing or trial, he or she is not required to attend.
Can I get restitution for my economic loss?
If a crime victim has incurred a monetary loss such as property damage or medical bills because of a crime committed against them and if the defendant is found guilty, the judge may order restitution in the amount of the loss as part of the sentence. Victims of crime in Arizona have a Constitutional right to receive prompt restitution. If charges are filed in your case and you would like to seek restitution, contact a Victim Advocate at the Victim Services Dept. of the Gila County Attorney's Office at (928) 402-8835, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
What is 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 fund of last resort can cover:
i. Medical or dental expenses
ii. Mental health counseling
iii. Funeral and burial costs
iv. Crime scene cleanup
v. Lost wages
A Crime Victim Compensation Board determines awards through an application process. The Crime Victim Compensation Board does not compensate for loss of property or property damage. There are conditions that must be met to be eligible for compensation, and eligibility does not guarantee an award. To obtain an application or receive more information about Crime Victim Compensation in Gila County, call 928-402-8836.
How can I drop the charges against the person who is being prosecuted?
In criminal cases the defendant is charged by the State of Arizona, not by the victim. Although a victim may have made the report, it is the State that is responsible for the prosecution of a crime. In Arizona, crime victims are entitled to certain rights such as the right to confer with a Prosecutor; however, the victim cannot file or dismiss criminal charges.
How do I get a Restraining Order? Where do I get one?
There are two different types of restraining orders:
An Order of Protection is a court order intended to prevent acts of domestic violence. It can be filed against someone who is:
i. a spouse or former spouse,
ii. a person you now or did live with,
iii. someone you have a child with, or
iv. a person with whom you have or had a dating relationship.
The person you want an order against must have committed or threatened to commit an act of domestic violence within the last year. A child may not be included in an Order of Protection if the person against whom you are seeking the order is the child's parent, unless that person has committed domestic violence against the child. In cases involving children, you must seek custody orders in a separate action in Superior Court.
An Injunction Against Harassment prohibits a person from harassing, annoying, or alarming another person. An injunction can be sought in situations involving neighbors or strangers.
A person who believes they themselves or a family member are or might become victims may submit a request (petition) to any court for the issuance of an Injunction against Harassment.
I want to give input on a case. What can I do?
As a victim of a crime in Arizona, you have certain rights, including the right to confer with the prosecutor upon request. You also have the right to provide input on decisions made in reference to the prosecution of your case. To provide input or to "opt in" for your rights, contact a Victim Advocate at Victim Services Dept. of the Gila County Attorney's Office at (928) 402-8836, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
When is the next court date involving my case?
If you are identified as the victim in a case, you have a right, upon request, to notification of upcoming court dates. If you are not receiving notification and you would like to request your right to notice, contact the Victim Services Division of the Gila County Attorney's Office, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (928) 402-8835; 8836. If you are already signed up for notification and have moved, please call to provide up-to-date contact information so you can stay informed. Crime victims' addresses and telephone numbers are kept confidential.
There are various different locations where hearings are held, depending on which jurisdiction is prosecuting the case, how the case is being charged, where the crime occurred, the age of the defendant, and the stage of the case in the legal process.
I am a crime victim. Do I have to get my own attorney?
You do not need to hire an attorney to criminally prosecute the defendant. In criminal cases, the Prosecutor is a public attorney who represents the State of Arizona. The Defendant may have an attorney appointed or retained. You have the right to hire an attorney to represent your interests. However, the Victim Services Division is committed to assisting crime victims, and most victims opt to utilize the services of a Victim Advocate to obtain information about the progress of the criminal case and their rights as victims as the case progresses through the criminal justice system. Victim Advocates are not attorneys, but are knowledgeable professionals who are available to assist crime victims with various needs and concerns pertaining to the prosecution of the criminal case.
Where can I get a copy of a police report?
If you are a victim of a crime, you are entitled to one free copy of each police report for which you are listed as a victim. You can obtain a police report from the law enforcement agency that took the report or investigated the crime. Police reports are considered Public Records, although some information, such as addresses or phone numbers, may be redacted from the report. Depending on the age of the report or the status of an investigation, all or part of the report may not be available. To request a copy of a report, you must be able to give an approximate date and location, the name of the involved person(s) and/or the type of incident reported.