Victims' Rights

Victim Definition

A ‘victim’ is defined under the California Constitution as: “a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act. The term 'victim' also includes the person’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, or guardian, and includes a lawful representative of a crime victim who is deceased, a minor, or physically or psychologically incapacitated."

Inside a Victim Services meeting room

Marsy's Rights

Victims’ have been given 17 rights under California’s Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy’s Rights.

 As a victim, you have the right to:

  • Be informed about the criminal justice process;
  • Be notified and informed of pending felony pretrial/trial dispositions;
  • Be heard by the court at sentencing/disposition/parole eligibility hearings;
  • The return of property when it is no longer needed as evidence;
  • Be notified if your presence in court is not needed;
  • Be informed about available civil remedies, financial assistance, and social services;
  • Be compensated by the convicted offender;
  • Be provided with a secure waiting area during court proceedings; and
  • Have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized. 

For the full list of Marsy’s Rights, please visit the Victims’ Bill of Rights page on the State of California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General website.