Your Rights As A Crime Victim

The following is taken from a brochure titled, "Your Rights as a Crime Victim," available from the Victim Services section of the Mesa Police Department. To receive a copy of this brochure, please call (480) 644-4075.

 

Information For All Victims

The victims' rights mandates apply to felonies (serious crimes) and to misdemeanors (less serious crimes) involving physical injury.

 

A victm of crime has a right:
  • To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and be free of intimidation, harassment, or abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
     
  • On request, to have any property taken in evidence returned or to be given an explanation for any refusal to return such property. Some or all of your property held as evidence may be needed for court and therefore, may not be able to be released at this time. For further information concerning the release of your property, please contact the primary investigator for your case.
     
  • To have medical expenses, from securing evidence at the direction of the County Attorney of a sexual assault or dangerous crime against children, paid by the county where the crime occurred.
     
  • To be told if a prosecutor decides NOT to proceed with a prosecution, to be given the reason, and, upon request, to confer with the prosecutor before the decision not to proceed is final.
     
  • To choose someone to exercise your rights if you are physically or emotionally unable to do so.

 

Supplemental Reports

If you have additional information that could be helpful to the investigation or, in the case of a theft, have discovered additional items missing which you wish to add to your initial report, please call (480) 644-2324 and ask to make a supplemental report. Please refer to the original report number you were given.

 

Copies of Reports

Police reports are public information and copies may be released, provided the release will not jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Copies sufficient for an insurance claim are usually available 10 days after your request is made. You may request a report:

  • In person at the Records Division of the Police Department, 130 North Robson;  OR
  • By mail -- Mesa Police Records, PO Box 1466, Mesa AZ 85211

Availability to Records is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Requests by mail must include a check or money order, as well as the report number, date, time, and location of incident. A Public Records Request form must be submitted.

If you are considered a victim by victims' rights mandates, there will be no cost for one copy of the report. If you are not considered a victim by victims' rights mandate, you must include a check or money order with your request. There is a $5.00 fee for reports up to 50 pages and .20 cents per page thereafter. Reports may be mailed or picked up.

Current Case Status
  • Your INITIAL POLICE REPORT has been made. You will be notified if an arrest is made or if you case is submitted to a prosecutor for review and possible filing of charges. Cooperative victims, witnesses, or corroborating evidence is needed for successful prosecution. If, within thirty days, you are not notified of an arrest in your case, you may call the Mesa Police Department Metro Resources Division at (480) 644-2002, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM for the status of your case.
     
  • This case involves an offender who has been cited and released. The offender is to appear at the Mesa City Court, 245 West 2nd Street, Mesa, Arizona on the date and time indicated. If a citation is issued, the accused may appear at any time prior to the date and time shown. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Mesa City Court at (480) 644-2255, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM.
     
  • This case is a felony and will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney for review and possible filing of charges. Please be patient as it is not on common for the review process to take several months. For further information contact the Maricopa County Attorney at (602) 506-2452 or (602) 506-3411.
     
  • This case is a felony and will be submitted to the Mesa City Prosecutor for review and possible filing of charges. For further information contact the prosecutor's office at (480) 644-2188. Please be patient as it is not uncommon for the review process to take several months. Only misdemeanors involving physical injury, the threat of physical injury, or a sexual offense are covered by the victims' rights mandates.
     
  • The suspect in your case was referred to Juvenile Court but not detained. A Juvenile Probation Officer should be assigned your case shortly and will be a key person in determining the disposition of your case. You can get the name of the Probation Officer by calling the court at (602) 506-4500, but you will need to provide the court with the suspect's name and date of birth, which you should have been given.

 

Arrest-Related Victims Rights

After an arrest, a victim of a crime has a right:

 

  • To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody. On felony charges the suspect will be released if the Maricopa County Attorney's Office does not file charges within two working days. You can all (602) 506-8522 to ascertain if the person is still in jail.
     
  •  An attempt will be made to contact all the victims if the accused or convicted person escapes.
     
  • Upon request, to be given a copy of the conditions of the defendant's release from custody.
     
  • To ask the court to revoke bond or release if there have been threats or harassment by or on behalf of the defendant.
     
  • To be protected from unnecessary contact with the defendant, defendant's immediate family, and defense witnesses.
     
  • To be heard or give your input to the judge prior to the initial appearance when the defendant's terms and conditions of release are to be decided. This hearing must take place within 24 hours of an arrest so you must act quickly. When making your comments, please show your respect for the Court, identify yourself by name, and state that you are the victim. Also identify the defendant by name so the judge will know what case you are referring to in your comments.

 

You may make your wishes known at the initial appearance as follows:
  • This case involves a felony charge or a mixture of felony and misdemeanor charges. Initial appearances are conducted by the Maricopa County Superior Court. These hearings are set for 4 AM, 10 AM, 3 PM and 11 PM, except on weekends and holidays when the 3 PM hearing is moved to 2 PM. For information, call Victims' Rights Notification Unit at (602) 506-8522 and they will let you know who to make your wishes known about the defendant's release. The case will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office (602-506-1802).  The County Attorney must file charges within two working days if court action is to continue on the case.
     
  • This case involves a misdemeanor charge(s) only.  Initial appearance will be in a Jail Court that is held at the Mesa Municipal Court facility in the Mesa Police Department, located at 130 North Robson, Mesa, Arizona. Initial appearances are held at 9 AM and 1:30 PM, Monday through Friday and at 7 AM Saturday, Sunday and holidays. The arrestee will appear at the next scheduled time following the arrest. If the arrestee is released on bond prior to appearing in the Jail Court, the initial appearance will be held at the Mesa Municipal Court, 245 West 2nd Street, Mesa, Arizona and you will be advised on the date of this appearance. For further information contact the Mesa City Prosecutor at (480) 644-2188.
     
  • This case involves a juvenile who was detained at Juvenile Court's Detention Screening Section. Immediately call (602) 506-2676 or (602) 506-2677 to request notice of the juvenile's release and the date, time and place of the detention hearing and any charges to that schedule.

 

Other Rights

Once formal court action begins, victims have many more rights under the Arizona Constitution, laws, and the Rules of Criminal Procedure. These rights are designed to keep you informed and an active participant in the court process, while at the same time ensuring that you are treated in a fair and safe manner. All victims are encouraged to invoke and use the rights afforded them in Arizona.

Victims can expect to receive more detailed information about these rights from the prosecutor once the case gets to court. It is your responsibility to keep the prosecutor informed of your current address if it is different from what was reported to the police.

All victims can receive a complete listing of victims' rights in Arizona by contacting the Attorney General's Office at (602) 542-4911.

 

Restitution

Victims have the right to have the court order the defendant to pay restitution for your economic losses directly related to the crime. Pain and suffering and punitive damages cannot be considered for restitution purposes, but may be recovered through a civil court. If you choose not to request restitution in the criminal proceeding, you may still seek a civil recovery for your financial losses. A juvenile's parent may also be pursued civilly for restitution.

Please discuss your restitution concerns with the prosecutor's office handling your case. Your request and documentation must be received prior to the defendant's sentencing. Restitution payments are collected by the court and forwarded to the victim.

 

Victim Compensation

Victim Compensation provides financial assistance to crime victims for certain out-of-pocket expenses that are related to a crime. These include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and mental health counseling. Unlike restitution, this compensation is available whether or not the criminal is identified and prosecuted.

You may be eligible for Victim Compensation if:

  • the crime was reported within 72 hours;
  • a claim is filed within two years of the crime's discovery;
  • you willingly cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement agencies;
  • the crime directly resulted in physical injury, extreme mental distress or death;
  • compensable loss was incurred as a direct result of the crime; and
  • you are NOT serving a felony prison, probation or parole sentence.

 

For further information or to apply, please call Victim Compensation at 602-506-4955.

 

Domestic Violence

Victims of domestic violence may seek an Order of Protection from any court. Emergency orders, good until 5 PM the next business day, can be obtained through a police officer. If you are in the process of legal separation or dissolution of marriage, you must apply to the Clerk of the Superior Court at (602-506-2021 for an Order of Protection.

An Order of Protection can prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim, committing further offenses, going to the victim's residence (even if the abuser lived at this address), going to the victim's work place, and will provide other relief necessary for the victim's protection.

If the abuser possesses a firearm, an Order of Protection can prohibit the abuser from possessing or purchasing a firearm; and may order the abuser to transfer any firearms to the Police Department. Victims of domestic violence where a firearm has been seized must provide the Police Department with any change of address or phone number to ensure you are notified of the release of the firearm.

The person seeking an Order of Protection may request that his/her address be kept confidential, and that filing and service fees be waived if you cannot afford the cost. The court decides whether to waive the fees; however, an agency serving the Order of Protection MAY NOT require pre-payment of service fees. You do not need an attorney to get an Order of Protection.

Injunctions Against Harassment are similar to Orders of Protection. They can be obtained when there is a relationship not covered under the domestic violence law and when there is a series of harassing acts.

If you need additional assistance or information about Orders of Protection or Injunctions Against Harassment, please contact any of the below listed courts.

 

Several local courts where you may obtain these orders are:

 

Mesa City Court 250 E 1st Avenue, Mesa 480-644-2255
East Mesa Justice Court 4811 E Julep, Suite 128, Mesa 480-985-0188
West Mesa Justice Court 2050 W University Drive, Mesa 480-964-2958
North Mesa Justice Court 1837 S Mesa Drive, Suite A201 480-926-9731
South Mesa-Gilbert Justice Court 1837 S Mesa Drive, Suite B103 480-926-3051
Maricopa County Superior Court 222 E Javelina, Mesa 602-506-2021

 

If your firearm was taken as part of a domestic violence incident, it will be held for a minimum of 72 hours. It may be held longer at the direction of the court. Firearms available for release may be claimed by contacting the Mesa Police Department Evidence Section at (480) 644-2334 to schedule an appointment.

 

Community Resources

There are many resources available to help. Please call Mesa Police Department Victim Services at 480-644-4075 or 480-644-2002 to speak with someone in Victim Services. You may also call Community Information and Referral at 602-263-8856 for additional resources.