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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a victim?

Prior to the passage of Proposition 9, "Victim" was defined under the Penal Code "as the person against whom a crime had been committed." With the passage of Proposition 9, "victim" as used in the California Constitution article I, § 28 is defined 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.

The term 'victim' does not include a person in custody for an offense, the accused, or a person whom the court finds would not act in the best interests of a minor victim." (Cal. Const., art. I, § 28(e).)

How does a victim enforce their rights under Marsy's Law?

A victim, the retained attorney of a victim, a law representative of the victim or the prosecuting attorney upon request of the victim, may enforce the rights enumerated in subdivision (b) of Section 28 of Article I of the California Constitution in any trial or appellate court with jurisdiction over the case as a matter of right. The court shall act promptly on such a request.

Does every victim have a right to receive a Marsy's Card or just victims of violent crimes?

Penal Code section 679.026(b) and 679.026(c) states that every victim of crime has the right to receive a Marsy's Rights card.

When does the Marsy's rights card need to be given to the victim?

Penal Code section 679.026 (c)(1) mandates that every law enforcement agency investigating a criminal act and every agency prosecuting a criminal act shall, as provided herein, at the time of initial contact with a crime victim, during a follow-up investigation, or as soon thereafter as deemed appropriate by investigating officers or prosecuting attorneys, provide or make available to each victim of the criminal act without cost or charge a "Marsy's Rights" card.

If you wish to obtain a Marsy's Card, you may download one from the Attorney General's webpage at: http://oag.ca.gov/victimservices/marsy.

Victims Needing Information - Call Toll-Free 1-877-433-9069


View Background - People v. Michael Angelo Morales, pdf. In addition to information on the death penalty in California, this document provides factual descriptions and background in the case of Michael Angelo Morales, who was convicted by a Ventura County jury in 1983 and sentenced to be executed. Morales has petitioned the Governor for a granting of clemency. The background information includes a factual descriptions of the crime, photographs of the victim, victim impact statements from family members and a case chronology

View Background - People v. Clarence Ray Allen, pdf. In addition to information on capital punishment in California, this document provides factual descriptions of the multiple violent felony crimes for which Clarence Ray Allen was convicted and executed; a chronology of the litigation in this case; photographs of the victims; and victim impact statements from family members.

Megan's Law

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