Victim Services

The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of this state guarantee certain rights to victims of the crimes listed below.

The following will explain your rights as a crime victim and help you understand what will happen next. If the victim is deceased or incapacitated, these rights are guaranteed to the victim’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other, or other lawful representative.

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Criminally Negligent Homicide 
  • Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault
  • Careless driving that results in the death of another person
  • Assault
  • Menacing
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual Assault and Unlawful Sexual Conduct
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, on a child by one in a position of trust
  • Sexual exploitation of children
  • Child Prostitution
  • Sexual Assault on a Client by a Psychotherapist
  • Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification
  • Incest and aggravated incest
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Child abuse
  • Crimes Against at-risk Adults and at-risk Juveniles
  • Violation of a Criminal Protection Order issued against a person charged with Sexual Assault
  • Robbery—aggravated, aggravated of a controlled substance
  • Burglary
  • Stalking Trafficking Adults or Children
  • First Degree Burglary
  • A Bias Motivated Crime
  • Retaliation Against a Victim or Witness
  • Tampering with A Victim or Witness
  • Intimidation and Aggravated Intimidation or a Witness
  • Retaliation Against a Witness, Victim, Judge, Juror, or Prosecutor
  • Crimes for which the underlying foundation has been determined to be domestic violence
  • Any criminal attempt, conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or accessory involving any of the crimes specified above.

Rights of Crime Victims

The following is a summary of the rights guaranteed by the Victim Rights Act (For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4.1-301 through 24-4.1-304 online):

  • To be treated with fairness, respect and dignity;
  • To be informed of all “critical stages” of the criminal justice process (victims of crime must request notification, in writing, for post-sentencing critical stages);
  • To be present at specified critical stages in the criminal justice process;
  • To be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse;
  • To be informed about what steps can be taken including information about protection services, if there is any intimidation or harassment by a person accused or convicted of a crime or anyone acting on that person’s behalf;
  • To be present and heard regarding bond reduction or modification, a subpoena for the victim’s records, acceptance of a plea agreement, sentencing or modification of a sentence; To be heard by phone or similar technology when a victim can’t appear in court;
  • To be informed of the existence of the criminal protection order and upon request of the victim, the procedure for modifying the protection order if a procedure exists;
  • To have the victim’s social security number redacted or excluded from criminal justice documents when records are released to someone other than the victim, a criminal justice agency, or the defendant’s attorney of record;
  • To be informed of the process the district attorney can use to request protection of the victim’s address (the court may or may not grant the request);
  • To consult with the district attorney prior to any disposition of the case or before the case goes to trial and to be informed of the final disposition of the case;
  • To be informed of the status of the case and any scheduling changes or cancellations, if known in advance;
  • To receive and prepare a victim impact statement and to be present and/or heard at the sentencing hearing;
  • To have the court determine restitution and to be informed of the right to pursue a civil judgment against the person convicted of the crime;
  • To prevent any party at any court proceeding from compelling testimony regarding a victim’s address, telephone number, place of employment or other locating information;
  • To receive a prompt return of property when it is no longer needed as evidence;
  • To be informed of the availability of financial assistance and community services;
  • The right to be informed about the possibility of restorative justice practices;
  • To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services regarding court appearances and meetings with criminal justice
  • officials;
  • To be assured that in any criminal proceeding the court, the prosecutor, and other law enforcement officials will take appropriate action to achieve a swift and fair resolution of the proceedings;
  • Whenever practicable, to have a safe, secure waiting area during court proceedings;
  • To be notified of the referral of an offender to community corrections and to provide a written victim impact statement to the community corrections board and, if permitted by the board, to provide an oral victim impact statement. In addition, a victim has a right to provide a separate oral statement to the community corrections board if the board is considering a transitional referral from the department of corrections;
  • Upon written request, to be informed when a person accused or convicted of a crime is released from custody other than the county jail, is paroled, escapes or absconds from probation or parole;
  • The right to be informed of the filing of a petition to cease sex offender registration;
  • Upon request (in writing) to be informed when a person who is accused or convicted of a crime is released, discharged, or permanently transferred from the custody of the county jail;
  • Upon written request, to be informed of and heard regarding any reconsideration of sentence, parole or commutation of sentence hearing;
  • Upon written request, to be informed when a person convicted of a crime against the victim is placed in or transferred to a less secure correctional facility, program, or placed on non-residential status, or is permanently or conditionally transferred or released from any state hospital;
  • The right, at the discretion of the district attorney, to view all or a portion of the pre-sentence report of the probation department;
  • To be informed of the results of any court-ordered HIV testing;
  • To be informed of any rights which the victim has pursuant to the Constitution of the United States or the State of Colorado;
  • To be informed of the process for enforcing compliance with the Victim Rights Act.

Additional rights and services are provided to child victims of crime. Law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges are encouraged to designate one or more individuals to try to ensure that the child and his/her family understand the legal proceedings and have support and assistance to deal with the emotional impact of the crime and the subsequent criminal proceedings. For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes, 24-4.1-101 through 24-4.1-304

Agency Responsibilities

Criminal justice agencies have certain responsibilities for assuring that victims receive their rights. These responsibilities are as follows:

Law Enforcement Responsibilities:

Law enforcement agencies have the responsibility to provide victims of crime with written information about:

  • The rights enumerated in the Victim Rights Act;
  • The availability of financial resources such as victim compensation benefits and how to apply for those benefits;
  • The availability of protective court orders in order to obtain protection from the person accused of committing the crime; and
  • The availability of a free copy of the initial incident report. Law enforcement maintains discretion to determine when the initial incident report can be released to the victim.

In addition, law enforcement agencies are required to:

  • Provide information about community services such as crisis intervention services, victim assistance resources,
  • legal resources, mental health services, financial services, applicable protection services, and other support services;
  • Provide information about interpretation services, assistance in dealing with creditors due to financial
  • setbacks caused by the crime and childcare to enable a crime victim to cooperate with the prosecution;
  • Provide the victim of crime with the business address and telephone number of the district attorney’s office, the file number of the case and the name, business address and telephone number of any law enforcement officer assigned to investigate the case;
  • Keep the victim of crime informed as to whether a suspect has been taken into custody and, if known, whether the suspect has been released from custody and any bond conditions imposed upon the suspect;
  • Update the victim on the status of the case, prior to the filing of charges;
  • Upon the request of the victim, return the victim’s property within 5 working days when it is no longer needed for evidentiary reasons;
  • Inform the victim of the existence of the criminal protection order and upon the request of the victim, the procedure for modifying the protection order if a procedure exists;
  • Inform victims of crime about decisions not to file charges in misdemeanor cases;
  • Inform all victims of cold cases of any change in the status of the case; and
  • Upon written request, provide victims of cold cases for which the crime has a statute of limitations of longer than three years with an annual update concerning the status of the case.

Victim's Responsibilities

Victims of crime have the following responsibilities:

  • Keep appropriate criminal justice authorities informed of their or their representative’s current name, address, email address, and telephone number, and any changes in this information;
  • Provide a written request to the appropriate agency if they want to be notified of information regarding the post-sentencing process. Request forms for enrollment information can be obtained from the District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Department, the Department of Corrections, the Division of Youth Corrections or the local jail;
  • For victims of cold cases for which the crime has a statute of limitations of longer than three (3) years, to request in writing an annual update in the status of the case;
  • To request notification of the release of a person accused or convicted of a crime from the county jail;
  • To request notification by the court of a defendant’s petition to stop sex offender registration;
  • To request that correctional officials keep their address, telephone, place of employment and other personal information confidential

The Process for Ensuring Your Victim Rights

Colorado state law provides that victims of crime may enforce compliance with the provisions of the Constitutional Amendment by contacting the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board (Board).

What to do if you feel your rights have not been provided to you:

If possible, first attempt to seek compliance at the local level. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Contacting the person whom you feel has not provided you with your rights and explaining specifically what has not been done;
  • Seeking assistance from your victim advocate, or other supportive persons such as a counselor; and
  • Seeking assistance from the elected official or the head of the agency you feel is not providing you with your rights.

Contacts may be verbal or in writing. Accurate records of your efforts to seek compliance at the local level will be helpful to you and to the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board (Board) should you decide to file a formal request for compliance with the Victim Rights Act.

If you feel you are unable to address your concerns at the local level or your efforts to resolve your concerns have been unsuccessful, you may request assistance from the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board (Board) by contacting the Victim Rights Act Specialist at:

Colorado Department of Public Safety
Division of Criminal Justice
700 Kipling Street, Suite 1000
Denver, CO 80215-5865
(303) 239-5719
1-888-282-1080 Toll Free (outside the Denver Metro area)

If you have questions concerning the prosecution of your case, contact the District Attorney’s Office:

District Attorney’s Office
109 W. Main Street
Cortez, CO 81321

Other Resources

  • Renew (970) 565-4886
  • Wings Safehouse (970) 565-9116
  • Four Corners Child Advocacy Center (970) 565-8155
  • Victim/Witness 22nd Judical District (970) 565-1147
  • Southwest Memorial Hospital (970) 565-6666

If you have questions or need more information, please call your local law enforcement agency:

  • Cortez Police Department (970)565-8441
  • Montezuma Sheriff’s Office (970) 565-8452
  • Montezuma County Jail (970) 565-8452
  • Dolores County Sheriff’s Office (970) 677-2257
  • Mancos Marshal’s Office (970) 533-1482
  • Colorado State Patrol (970) 249-4392