Victim Rights

The Arizona Victims' Bill of Rights passed by voters in 1990 made Arizona the first state to have a comprehensive constitutional bill of rights for victims. Ensuring that victims are not re-victimized by the criminal justice system is one of the top priorities of the Cottonwood Municipal Court. In 1991, the Arizona Legislature passed statutes to define and implement the rights accorded to victims of crime under Art. II, Section 2.1 of the Arizona Constitution. These enabling statutes, entitled Crime Victims’ Rights, are detailed in A.R.S. Title 13, Chapter 40.

The State of Arizona Victims’ Rights Program is administered by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and there is a Victims' Rights Fund. You may call their office at (602) 542-8451 or look at The Court must be objective and cannot give you advice if you are a victim, as the Court must remain objective. You may also receive answers to your questions from the City Prosecutor.


A victim shall have and be entitled to assert each of the following rights:
  • The right to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
  • The right to be provided with written notice regarding the date, time and place of any criminal proceeding.
  • Upon request, the right to be given reasonable notice of the date, time and place of any criminal proceeding.
  • The right to be present at all criminal proceedings.
  • The right to be notified of any escape of the defendant.
  • Upon request, the right to be informed of any release or proposed release of the defendant, whether that release is before expiration of the sentence or by expiration of the sentence, and whether it is permanent or temporary in nature.
  • Upon request, the right to confer with the prosecution, prior to trial when applicable, in connection with any decisions involving the pre-conviction release of the defendant, a plea bargain, a decision not to proceed with criminal prosecution, dismissal of charges, plea or sentence negotiation, a pretrial diversion program, or other disposition prior to trial; the rights to be heard at any such proceeding and at sentencing.
  • The right to be accompanied at any interview, deposition, or judicial proceeding by a parent or other relative, except persons whose testimony is required in the case.
  • The right to name an appropriate support person, including a victim’s caseworker, to accompany the victim at any interview, deposition, or court proceeding, except where such support person's testimony is required in the case.
  • The right to require the prosecutor to withhold, during discovery and other proceedings, the home address and telephone number of the victim, the address and telephone number of the victim’s place of employment, and the name of the victim’s employer, providing however, that for good cause shown by the defendant, the court may order that such information shall be disclosed to defense counsel and may impose such further restrictions as are appropriate, including a provision shall not be disclosed by counsel to any person other than counsel’s staff and designated investigator and shall not be conveyed to the defendant.
  • The right 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. After charges are filed, defense initiated requests to interview the victim shall be communicated to the victim through the prosecutor. The victim’s response to such requests shall also be communicated through the prosecutor. If there is any comment or evidence at the trial regarding the victim’s refusal to be interviewed, the court shall instruct the jury that the victim has the right to refuse an interview under the Arizona Constitution. For purpose of a pretrial interview, a peace officer shall not be considered a victim if the act that would have made him or her a victim occurs while the peace officer is acting in the scope of his or her official duties.
  • At any interview or deposition to be conducted by defense counsel, the right to condition the interview or deposition on any of the following:
  • Specification of a reasonable date, time, duration and location of the interview or deposition, including a requirement that the interview or deposition be held at the victim’s home, at the prosecutor’s office, or in an appropriate location in the courthouse.
  • The right to terminate the interview or deposition if it is not conducted in a dignified and professional manner.
  • The right to a copy of any pre-sentenced report provided the defendant except those parts excised by the court or made confidential by the law.
  • The right to be informed of the disposition of the case.
  • The right to a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after conviction and sentence.
  • The right to be informed of a victim’s right to restitution upon conviction of the defendant, of the items of loss included there under, and of the procedures for invoking the right.