Crime Victims Now Have Constitutional Rights

Marsy’s Law

You deserve respect and consideration during a criminal proceeding. Marsy’s Law and J4CV help you get it.

In 1983, UC Santa Barbara student Marsy Nicholas was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend. One week later, the accused murderer had been released on bail and was back in the local community, leading to a distressing encounter with Marsy’s mother in the grocery store. Even after the man was convicted two long years later, the case continued to haunt Marsy’s mother and brother. They suffered through a parole hearing every five years, and the stress of these hearings actually gave Marsy’s mother a heart attack.

Disturbing as this story is, it was not unique. Many crime victims and their families have experienced similar pain and suffering while attempting to interact with a seemingly indifferent and uncaring criminal justice system.

Fortunately for all of us, Marsy’s brother, Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, was able to use this incredibly painful experience as an inspiration to bring about positive change in the way California courts treat victims’ interests during bail, pleas, sentencing, and parole activities.

In 2008, Marsy’s Law for All passed on a ballot measure in California, guaranteeing constitutional rights to crime victims and their families for the first time. With this new Crime Victims Bill of Rights in effect, wronged individuals now have the right to:

  • Be treated with fairness and respect for their privacy and dignity
  • Receive reasonable notice of all public proceedings related to prosecution of the crime
  • Receive notice of plea bargaining and have a voice in this activity
  • Have their safety considered when setting bail
  • Present a victim impact statement for the judge to consider before sentencing
  • Refuse an interview, discovery, or deposition request made on the defendant’s behalf
  • Be protected from disclosure of confidential information or records to defendant, their attorney, or the media
  • Object to any delays in the proceeding including motions to continue the trial
  • Have property used as evidence returned promptly
  • Receive restitution for losses suffered as a result of criminal activity
  • Attend parole hearings and argue against release

Exercise Your Marsy’s Law Rights with Help from J4CV

It takes courage to stand up against an individual who perpetrated a violent crime against you or a loved one. The process is difficult but also very rewarding, and can be an important part of the healing process after the crime. It is always easier with someone standing beside you. Attorney Michael L. Fell will be honored to be that person.

Please contact us at 949-585-9055 to discuss your case and learn more about the many ways we can help in your fight for justice.