Marsy’s Law California Attorney

Are you or a family member a victim of a crime and need protection against the perpetrator?

Protecting Victim Rights With Marsy’s Law in California 

If you or a family member has been the victim of a crime, you deserve to have peace of mind that you will not be harassed by the perpetrator whilst the case is being investigated.

In California, Marsy’s law ensures that victims can rest safe in the knowledge that they will not be contacted by their abuser. The law ensures that you can focus on what really matters – your physical and emotional recovery.   

How Did Marsy’s Law Come About? 

Marsalee Nichols, known as Marsy, was a student at the University of California. Her ex-boyfriend was stalking her and she tragically lost her life due to his senseless violence in 1983.

The following week, whilst still suffering from immense grief, Marsy’s mother and brother were confronted by her murderer in a grocery store. To make matters worse, they had no idea that he had been released on bail. They had no reason to think that they might need to prepare themselves for such a situation.

At the time, there was no legal duty in California to inform victims or their families when a suspect had been released from jail or what their bail conditions were. 

Marsy’s brother sought to change this and, along with hundreds of other campaigners, Marsy’s law came into effect in 2004. 

What is Marsy’s Law? 

Marsy’s law sets out seventeen additional provisions which have been added to California’s Victims Bill of Rights.

In essence, the clauses require the California Criminal Justice System to treat victims of violent crimes with dignity and respect. 

When agreeing bail conditions, the court must take into account the safety of victims and their families as part of their decision making process. 

Victims and their families must be given the opportunity, if they wish, to provide their thoughts and feelings at court hearings which make decisions regarding bail, sentencing and parole. 

How Can An Attorney Use Marsy’s Law to Protect My Rights? 

It is a sad fact that just because a law exists, it doesn’t always mean that it will be enforced. 

Whilst the aim of Marsy’s law was to keep victims and their families informed, the legal process remains a foreign language to anyone who doesn’t spend their life working in it. 

If you have been a victim of a violent crime, working with an expert attorney will help you understand which rights you have available to you and how to enforce them. 

Someone Who Has Your Back and Best Interest Elisa Guadan is a prime example of the type of person you want in your corner! She made me feel like I was in good hands from the day we met and took off so much stress and pressure of my shoulders. She always made herself available to me and made me feel like I was the only client of hers that mattered! Elisa is a great communicator and walked me through the entire process enroute to getting my charges dismissed. I truly have her to thank for my Freedom and anyone looking for a true, genuine person to help you during your lowest point would be making a mistake to not use Elisa and her services.”

-Clint, avvo

At Guadan Law Group, we are passionate about letting you rest and recover. We will liaise with the police force and the courts on your behalf so that you are kept up to date on the case without any surprises. 

One of the most important aspects of Marsy’s law in California is that you only need to confer with agencies if you feel comfortable in doing so. As your victim rights attorneys, we can advise you on the pros and cons of using Marsy’s law in your case and help you make decisions that feel right for you.

Marsy’s Law Constitution:

https://oag.ca.gov/victimservices/marsys_law

On November 4, 2008, the voters of the State of California approved Proposition 9, the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy’s Law, a measure to provide all victims with rights and due process. This webpage is for informational purposes only and is an overview of some of the key sections of Marsy’s Law. A full copy of the text of the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy’s Law (Proposition 9) is available from the California Secretary of State: Text of Law

Marsy’s Story

Marsy’s Law was named after a UC Santa Barbara college student, Marsy Nicholas. Marsy was stalked and killed by her exboyfriend in 1983, a time when basic victims’ rights did not exist.

More information about Marsy’s life, and how her loss has impacted the world of victims’ rights can be found on Marsy’s Law.

Victims’ Rights Under Marsy’s Law

The California Constitution, Article 1, Section 28(b), confers certain key rights and protections to victims of crime and their families. Information on these rights is available on DOJ’s website in nearly two dozen languages. These rights include:

 

  1. Fairness and Respect – To be treated with fairness and respect for their privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process.
  2. Protection from the Defendant – To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant.
  3. Victim Safety Considerations in Setting Bail and Release Conditions – To have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant.
  4. The Prevention of the Disclosure of Confidential Information – To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant,the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family or which disclose confidential communications made in the course of medical or counseling treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or confidential by law.
  5. Refusal to be the Interviewed by the Defense – To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which the victim consents.
  6. Conference with the Prosecution and Notice of Pretrial Disposition – To reasonable notice of and to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the arrest of the defendant if known by the prosecutor, the charges filed, the determination whether to extradite the defendant, and, upon request, to be notified of and informed before any pretrial disposition of the case.
  7. Notice of and Presence at Public Proceedings – To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including delinquency proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present and of all parole or other post-conviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such proceedings.
  8. Appearance at Court Proceedings and Expression of Views – To be heard, upon request, at any proceeding, including any delinquency proceeding, involving a post-arrest release decision, plea, sentencing, post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue.
  9. Speedy Trial and Prompt Conclusion of the Case – To a speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings.
  10. Provision of Information to the Probation Department – To provide information to a probation department official conducting a pre-sentence investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim’s family and any sentencing recommendations before the sentencing of the defendant.
  11. Receipt of Pre-Sentence Report – To receive, upon request, the pre-sentence report when available to the defendant, except for those portions made confidential by law.
  12. Information About Conviction, Sentence, Incarceration, Release, and Escape – To be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration, or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant, and the release of or the escape by the defendant from custody.
  13. Restitution 
    1. It is the unequivocal intention of the People of the State of California that all persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to seek and secure restitution from the persons convicted of the crimes causing the losses they suffer.
    2. Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted wrongdoer in every case, regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, in which a crime victim suffers a loss.
    3. All monetary payments, monies, and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution shall be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim.
  14. The Prompt Return of Property – To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence.
  15. Notice of Parole Procedures and Release on Parole – To be informed of all parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to provide information to the parole authority to be considered before the parole of the offender, and to be notified, upon request, of the parole or other release of the offender.
  16. Safety of Victim and Public are Factors in Parole Release – To have the safety of the victim, the victim’s family, and the general public considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made.
  17. Information About These 16 Rights (To be informed of these enumerated rights) – To be informed of the rights enumerated in paragraphs (1) through (16).

Additional Resources

The Attorney General does not endorse, have any responsibility for, or exercise
control over these organizations’ and agencies’ views, services, and information.

Victim Compensation Board – Can help victims pay for: mental health counseling,
funeral costs, loss of income, crime scene cleanup, relocation, medical and dental
bills.1-800-777-9229 www.victims.ca.gov

CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, OVSRS – Provides information
on offender release, restitution, parole conditions and parole hearings when the
offender is incarcerated in prison. 1-877-256-6877 www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services

McGeorge School of Law – Victims of Crime Resource Center – Provides
resources for victims by their geographic area along with information on victims’
rights. 1-800-Victims (1-800-842-8467) www.1800victims.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233 www.thehotline.org

Adult Protective Services County Information – (Elder abuse) 24 hour hotline
numbers by county in California. www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/County-APS-Offices

National Child Abuse Hotline – Treatment and prevention of child abuse.
1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – 1-800-656-4673 www.rainn.org
National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline – 24-hour hotline:
1-888-373-7888 www.humantraffickinghotline.org

The California Relay Service: For speech impaired, deaf or hard-of-hearing
callers: Dial 711. TTY/HCO/VCO to Voice for English: 1-800-735-2929
and for Spanish: 1-800-855-3000. Voice to TTY/VCO/HCO for English:
1-800-735-2922 and for Spanish: 1-800-855-3000. Speech to Speech –
English and Spanish: 1-800-854-7784.

Attorney General’s Victims’ Services Unit – Provides local victim/witness
information, geographic resource information and appeal status to victims of crime.
For more information, call 1-877-433-9069 or visit: www.oag.ca.gov/victimservices
For local Human Trafficking information, visit: www.oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking