Victim Bill of Rights
Victims of crime have rights that are protected by law. In 1994 the Victim’s Rights Amendment was added to the Utah Constitution. For more information about the Constitutional rights for victims of crime please visit the ‘Laws’ page as listed on the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic website.
If you have questions or feel your rights are not being upheld, please contact the Rape Recovery Center for additional referrals. You can also contact your Judicial District Victim’s Rights Committee and/or independent legal counsel.
If you are the victim of a crime, you may be eligible for compensation whether the perpetrator is convicted or not. To qualify for reparations through the Utah Office for Victims of Crime a police report must be filed and the offense must have occurred in Utah or the victim must be a Utah resident victimized in a country without a similar reparation program.
If the offense occurs in a state other than Utah, the reparations claim is filed with that state's reparations office (every state has a comparable program).
Reparation claims may provide financial assistance to victims who have suffered financial loss, physical injuries and emotional trauma as a result of a violent crime. Funding of the program comes from criminal offenders through surcharges and fines.
Utah law provides that the judge shall order that the offender make restitution when appropriate. Restitution can be ordered to cover a victim’s out-of-pocket expenses such as medical care and property loss. However, even when sentenced to pay restitution, there is no guarantee that you will receive payments in a timely manner – or at all. You can contact the Utah Department of Corrections if you are not receiving court ordered restitution.
Civil litigation is an additional option for recovery from emotional and physical damages that are a result of a crime. A victim must hire their own attorney for civil cases. Contact the Rape Recovery Center for a referral.
Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic
In April of 2005, the Rape Recovery Center was chosen to participate in a demonstration project funded by the federal Office for Victims of Crime.
The legal clinic is designed to provide free legal representation to crime victims when victims’ rights issues are at stake. The Legal Clinic is available to serve victims of all types of crime and has a statewide focus. The goals of the Legal Clinic are threefold – namely, 1) to provide free legal services to crime victims in criminal district, justice, juvenile and appellate courts; 2) to recruit and train a roster of pro bono attorneys and law students to provide legal services to victims; and 3) to provide education to criminal justice professionals on victims’ rights.
If you are a victim or assist victims of crime, the Legal Clinic may be a valuable resource in enforcing and advancing rights afforded to victims in Utah. To contact the Legal Clinic please call (801) 746-1204.