Victim Assistance FAQs

What does the criminal court process look like?

The DA’s County Court Division prosecutes all of the misdemeanor crimes committed by adults. Individuals who commit misdemeanor crimes can be sentenced to probation or up to two years in the Denver County Jail depending on the charge to which the defendant pled or was found guilty. Your assigned deputy district attorney will talk to you in more detail about the sentencing consequences related to your case. (District Attorney’s County Court Division, 720-913-9011).

The DA’s Juvenile Court Division prosecutes most of the misdemeanor and felony level crimes committed by juvenile offenders from the age of 10 years old up to the juvenile’s 18th birthday. Due to the variety of programs and sentencing options available to juvenile offenders, the assigned deputy district attorney will discuss with you in more detail the sentencing options in your specific case. (District Attorney’s Juvenile Division, 720-913-9012.)

The DA’s District Court Division and Special Crime Units prosecute felony crimes committed by adults. Individuals who commit felony crimes can be sentenced to probation, the Denver County Jail, or to the Colorado Department of Corrections depending on the charges to which the defendant pled or was found guilty. The assigned deputy district attorney will give you more details about the possible consequences in your case. (District Attorney’s District Court information, 720-913-9000.)

Click here for criminal justice process flow chart.

How do I find out where my case has been filed?

Denver County Court. One way to determine which office is handling a particular case is to look at the case number.

District Attorney’s Office: Case numbers start with a year, then letters “CR,” “M,” or “JD,” then a number, as in 16CR01234, 17M1234, or 15JD7891. Contact the District Attorney’s Office at 720-913-9000, to be connected to the victim advocate or deputy district attorney assigned to your case.

City Attorney’s Office: Case numbers start with a year, then letters “GV,” “GS,” or “D,” then a number, as in 17GS1234 or D5678, or case paperwork says “General Sessions Summons and Complaint.” Contact the City Attorney’s Office at 720-913-8050 for additional information about your case.

What is a mandatory criminal protection order?

A mandatory criminal protection order is an order required by state law as a condition of release from jail on bail/bond pending trial that is issued by the judge against the defendant when he or she first appears in court. The order stays in effect until the end of the case and through the term of a sentence. If the case is declined or dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty at trial, the mandatory protection order will be canceled. The order restrains the defendant from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, tampering with or having any contact with the victim. If you have not received a copy of the criminal protection order or have questions regarding the conditions of the order, contact your victim advocate.

A criminal protection order is similar to a civil protection order in what it does, except that a criminal protection order is mandatory, and is not permanent.

For information on how to obtain a civil protection order, click here.

How do I know if a defendant has bonded out of the Denver County Jail? What is VINE?

Your victim advocate will not receive notification when a defendant has made bond. Therefore, it is important that you register with the victim notification program called VINE (Victim Information and Notification Every Day). VINE can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide the most current information regarding custody status changes and criminal case information. In Denver, VINE only applies to notifications regarding Denver city and county jail inmates.

To register, call 888-263-8463 or go online to https://www.vinelink.com/ , and follow the prompts. You must have the defendant’s first and last name in order to register. If you register online you will be given the option of being notified of custody changes by phone, email or text message. When you register you will be asked to input a 4 digit PIN. You must enter the PIN both to receive the information and to stop the notifications.

For more information about post-sentencing victim notification, CLICK HERE (to section below)

What is a Victim Impact Statement (VIS)?

Under Colorado law a victim or victim’s family has the right at sentencing to make a written and/or oral impact statement relating the harm that the victim has sustained as a result of the crime.

The victim impact statement helps victims provide relevant information, including a victim’s sentencing recommendations. If a victim is requesting restitution for losses sustained as a result of a crime, copies of all bills, receipts, invoices and estimates need to be included with the completed VIS.

If you choose to complete a written VIS, you should provide a copy to your victim advocate, along with the restitution documentation, at least one week prior to the sentencing date. A copy of your VIS will be given to the judge, the defense and the district attorney. If you have questions related to the VIS form or need assistance completing it, please contact your victim advocate.

What is restitution and how is it requested?

Restitution is the court-ordered repayment of losses directly related to the crime to the victim by the offender. For more details on what you need to do to request restitution, how it is ordered, and how to follow up on the collection of restitution CLICK HERE (to section below)

What is Crime Victim Compensation?

Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) is a victim service program of the Denver District Attorney’s Office that is governed by statute. The CVC program can provide financial assistance for certain crimes and specified services. Not all crime victims or crime related-losses are eligible for reimbursement or payment. To request an application or if you have questions, contact the CVC program staff at 720-913-9253 or victimcomp@denverda.org.

Crime Victim Compensation differs from restitution in that victim compensation is paid from criminal justice-collected funds and restitution is paid by the offender. If a victim receives compensation funds, they cannot claim those same expenses through restitution, or vice versa.
For more information CLICK HERE (to section below)

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is a formal document that orders the named person to appear in court at a specified date and time. If you receive a subpoena from the District Attorney’s Office please contact the victim advocate that is listed on the subpoena to get an update on the case status. The victim advocate will contact you if you are needed for the hearing for which you have been subpoenaed. If you have questions related to the subpoena or you have been subpoenaed by the defense, please call the victim advocate.

Do I have to appear in court when I receive a subpoena?

Unless otherwise discussed with the victim advocate or the district attorney, you must appear in court on the date and time on the subpoena. You can request to be placed on call which could save you from having to spend a lengthy time in court. Please call the victim advocate listed on the subpoena to discuss your options as it relates to being present in court.

What happens if I live out of state; do I have to make my own travel arrangements?

If you receive a subpoena from the Denver District Attorney, your travel will be arranged by our office. You will be contacted by our office close to the hearing date to coordinate the details, as court dates often change. The expense of your travel will not be your responsibility. Please contact your victim advocate if you have questions.

Where can I park when coming to court or to a meeting at the DA’s Office?

Metered parking is available around the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse at 520 W. Colfax Avenue, or you can use the parking garage located above the Post Office at 14th street between Delaware and Elati Streets. If transportation to and from the courthouse for a hearing or trial related to your case is problematic for you, please contact your victim advocate for assistance.

The District Attorney’s Office is located on the 8th floor of the Wellington Webb Building located at 201 W. Colfax Avenue. There is limited metered parking near the building; however, if you will be parking for an extended period of time, metered parking is not recommended. There are also several parking lots downtown. Your victim advocate can provide you additional information on parking near the District Attorney’s Office.

Where do I go once I am in the courthouse for a hearing?

It is important to talk to your victim advocate prior to coming to court to arrange a meeting place in the courthouse. There is a secure waiting area in the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse that is designated for victims and witnesses subpoenaed by the District Attorney’s Office. The secure waiting area is separate from the public area and away from the defendant, defense witnesses and the defendant’s friends and family members. This area provides a safe place for victims and witnesses to wait before, during, and after court. Your victim advocate can provide you information on how to get to this secure waiting area.

What if I have young children coming with me?

Minors under the age of 18 years are not allowed in the courtroom during court proceedings unless the minor is a victim or witness involved in the case being heard by the court. It is best to try to make child care arrangements for younger children.

If you cannot make other arrangements, and you are a victim, witness or defendant in the court system, free child care is available for children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years at the Denver Warm Welcome Court Childcare Center, located at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse, 1st Floor, 520 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver.

The facility is open from 7:30am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm. You can contact the Warm Welcome Court Child Care Center at 720-865-9930 with any additional questions.

While at the courthouse to testify, you can also use the children’s room in our secure waiting area. You must bring an adult with you who will remain with your child in the children’s room while you are in the courtroom. Contact your assigned victim advocate if you have additional questions.

What do I do if a defense attorney contacts me about the case?

You have no legal obligation to agree to an interview with either the district attorney or the defense attorney. The decision to discuss the case is yours alone and no one can influence your decision. If you choose to speak with the defense attorney or the defense attorney’s investigator, you set the ground rules as to where the interview takes place, how long the interview takes and when the interview ends. You may have someone from the District Attorney’s Office present when you meet with the defense attorney or investigator. Be cautious about signing any statement someone else has prepared and remember that any inconsistencies in a statement you make may be brought up in court. If you have any questions, contact your victim advocate or assigned deputy district attorney.

How do I follow a case after a sentencing hearing has occurred?

In order to continue to be updated on a defendant’s status post-conviction, you must enroll with the victim notification program of the agency supervising the defendant. Typically you will register with probation, Community Corrections, the Department of Corrections (DOC), the Colorado Mental Health Institute of Pueblo, or the Division of Youth Services (DYS)*. At the conclusion of the court process, your victim advocate will provide you with an enrollment form for the appropriate post-conviction agency. You will also be given information why it is important to enroll with the agency and that all notification to you regarding the defendant’s status will stop if you chose not to enroll. If you misplace the form or you would like additional information, contact your victim advocate.

*DYS is the only agency in which you will be automatically enrolled. You have the choice to opt-out of the DYS notification program.

CLICK HERE (section below) for more information about post-sentencing victim notification.

When will my property that is being held as evidence be released?

When the defendant has pled or been found guilty or the case has been dismissed, your victim advocate and the deputy district attorney will work with the Denver Police Department to assist you in getting your property returned. If you feel you need your property back while the case is pending, contact your victim advocate to discuss options.

What are my rights as a victim?

In 1992, Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing specific rights to victims of certain crimes that are violent or include the threat of violence. If you are a victim of a crime covered by the Colorado Victim Rights Act, you are entitled to some core rights:

• To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity;
• To be informed of all “critical stages” of the criminal justice process;
(victims must request notification, in writing, for post-sentencing critical
stages);
• To be present and heard at specified critical stages in the criminal justice
process, such as at sentencing;
• To consult with the district attorney prior to any disposition of a case;
• To prepare a victim impact statement and to be present at sentencing
and to provide an oral and/or a written victim impact statement to the
court; and
• The right to request restitution

For more information regarding the Victim Rights Act, go to
https://colorado.gov/pacific/dcj/victim-rights

For a full list of the crimes, critical stages, and rights included in the VRA, you can view or download the “Victim Rights Brochure” at
https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ovp/VRA/Crime_Victims_Rights_English22016.pdf

Contact the District Attorney’s Office if you have concerns regarding your rights as a victim. If you still have concerns after speaking to the District Attorney’s Office, contact the Office for Victims’ Programs (OVP) at the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice at 303-239-4497, or go to https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dcj/file-vra-complaint.

What if the media contacts me?

You have the right to privacy when dealing with the aftermath of a crime. If you are contacted by a member of the media and want more information before speaking, you may call your victim advocate or the Communications Director at the District Attorney’s Office (720-913-9025). Media Brochure

I have a question about a legal term.

Legal terms are used on a common basis during criminal proceedings. Here is a glossary that could assist you in understanding legal terms more clearly. You can also contact your victim advocate to receive assistance in understanding a certain term or the criminal process a little better.

What community resources are available to victims of crime?

There are several community resources that are available to assist a crime victim with the impact of the crime. Please see our resource guide for a general list of services. This is not a comprehensive list so make sure you also contact your victim advocate for additional services or if you are looking for a program that is not found on this list.