Crime victims often feel like the forgotten ones during criminal proceedings. They frequently feel as if our system protects the rights of criminals more than those of victims. At Elmore Law, we offer comprehensive victim advocacy services.
The victim advocate’s role throughout the legal process is to:
- provide legal support
- provide appropriate education of the legal system
- provide emotional support for victims and families
- advocate for the rights of victims in every legal proceeding.
We take victim’s rights extremely seriously to ensure that victims are not swallowed up by the legal system, representing a full range of Utah crime victims, with a special emphasis on those who have been assaulted, sexually or otherwise.
Know Your Rights
Know that Utah law establishes certain rights for victims and witnesses under Title 77, Chapter 37, Section 3 of the Utah Code. Victim’s rights include, but are not limited to:
- the right to be informed as to the level of protection afforded during legal proceedings
- the right to be informed as to their role in the criminal justice process
- the right to be given clear and understandable explanations of all relevant legal proceedings
- the right to a separate and secure waiting room during legal proceedings
- the right to seek restitution for their losses, including medical expenses
- the right to have all personal property returned following legal proceedings.
We encourage our clients to know and understand their rights as victims. The rights listed here represent just a partial list of what Utah law provides. Our job as attorneys is to help you understand and exercise your rights so that our system does not victimize you for a second time.
Protective Orders may be requested if one has been a “victim” of domestic violence. This is different than a No Contact Order that may be issued by a Court after a citation or Information has been filed for a domestic violence charge. A Protective Order requires its own action in district court.
If a Protective Order is requested, the Court may issue a temporary order until a hearing is held. The Protective Order becomes effective as soon as it has been served on the party for whom the protective order is against. If that individual requests a hearing, the Court will require that evidence be presented to justify a permanent order.
If the protected party does not appear at that hearing, the temporary order will be dismissed. If the other party does not appear, the protective order will enter by default. Protective Orders should be taken very seriously and should not be pursued lightly. Protective Orders are not easy to modify and a violation of the order can result in a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 365 days in jail. It is not a crime for the protected party to contact the Respondent (person the protective order is against), but it is a crime for the Respondent to contact the protected party.
If you do not qualify for a Protective Order, either because you are not a cohabitant of the other party or the harassment has not risen to the level of domestic violence, you may still be entitled to a Stalking Injunction. Stalking Injunctions may be against any other individual and only require two incidents of Stalking.
Our office both defends and pursues Protective Orders and Stalking Injunctions.
You Deserve Representation
As a crime victim, you deserve representation above and beyond what the prosecutor’s office can offer. You deserve for your rights to be protected. You deserve for your voice to be heard. And you deserve to have an advocate in your corner. If you have been the victim of any crime – assault or otherwise – please reach out to Elmore Law to discuss how we can be your advocate.