In all criminal cases, the District Attorney acts on behalf of victims and the State of Colorado; therefore, it is not necessary for the victim(s) of crimes to obtain an attorney unless they are pursuing a civil action.
Once a suspect has been arrested and charged with a crime, the case is filed with the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney representative will then appear at the court proceedings on behalf of the victim and the state. It is the District Attorney’s responsibility to present the case and allowable evidence to the court. The victim’s testimony is often crucial to the successful prosecution of the case.
Unfortunately, the investigation and judicial process of a case is time-consuming, and resolutions come slowly. Often, sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the criminal charges being filed. Sometimes the suspect is never arrested, or the case may be closed pending additional evidence or information. In other cases, a suspect may be arrested at the crime scene, or a warrant may be issued for his/her arrest shortly thereafter.
Testifying in Court All victims have the right to appear and to testify at the sentencing of the convicted if they so desire. If the victim decides not to appear or speak at the sentencing, he/she may address the court through written correspondence prior to the sentencing date.
Everyone accused of a crime, regardless of its nature, has the right to a fair trial and all victims of crimes have a right to be heard.