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The Victim’s Bill of Rights

John Courtney May 19, 2021

In Nevada, since 1983, victims of crime have certain needs and rights pursuant to the Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 178. Those rights and needs include the following: (1) to be informed about the status of the criminal case; (2) to be free from intimidation or dissuasion; (3) to know when impounded property may be released; (4) to receive a witness fee for lawful obedience to a subpoena commanding testimony; (5) to understand the existing victim compensation laws and receive compensation if applicable; (6) to a secure waiting area unavailable to the defendant or his family members where making appearances in court; (7) to know when the defendant or offender is released from custody before or during trial (upon written request); and (8) to know when the defendant or offender is released from prison (upon written request).

Recently, passed by voters on November 6, 2018, the Nevada Constitution was amended to include certain rights for victims of crimes. Those rights include: (1) to be treated with fairness and respect, free from intimidation, harassment and abuse, throughout the criminal process; (2) to be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on the defendant’s behalf; (3) to have the victim’s safety considered as a factor regarding bail and release conditions; (4) to prevent disclosure of private information; (5) to refuse an interview or deposition request without a court order; (6) to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the case; (7) to reasonable notice of all public proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present and all parole or other postconviction proceedings, in any court involving the release or sentencing, and at any parole proceeding; (8) to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the defendant; (9) to provide information to any public officer or employee conducting presentence investigation; (10) to be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration, scheduled release date of the defendant and the release or the escape by the defendant from custody; (11) to full and timely restitution; (12) to prompt return of property when no longer needed for the case; (12) to be informed, upon request, of postconviction proceedings such as parole hearings; (13) to have the safety of the victim’s and the victim’s family considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made; (14) to have all monetary payments collected from the defendant to first be applied to the victim’s restitution; and (15) to be specifically informed of the victim rights as stated in the Nevada Constitution.