If you have questions or concerns about a case in Tucson City Court in which you are a victim, call Victim Notification and Assistance at 791-5483.
Domestic violence can occur as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This incudes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.
Has this happened to you?
You believed the incident or assault was your fault. You were promised it would not happen again. You were afraid the defendant would be put in jail and fired from work.
Without Intervention the past repeats Itself.
Each court system handles cases differently. Because your case occurred within the city limits of Tucson, this pamphlet explains the general processes within that court system. Court proceedings are held at 103 East Alameda. For additional information, see the Court’s web site at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/courts.
Generally, the defendant will be taken to the Pima County Jail and held there until the first court appearance (arraignment). The arraignment must be held within 24 hours of arrest. You can call 547-8111 or 547-8211 to find out whether the defendant has posted bond and been released or remains in jail. You can also check the jail web site at http://www.pimasheriff.org/.
These numbers are assigned to the defendant's case and used throughout the system. Be prepared to cite one of these numbers if you call about the case.
City Prosecutors represent the interests of the State in the charges against the defendant. You have the right to discuss this case and a possible plea agreement with a prosecutor. When formulating a plea agreement, the prosecutor will take your input and concerns into consideration, along with the circumstances of the case, the law, and the policies of the Prosecutor’s Office.
To discuss your case with a prosecutor, you may appear at the defendant’s next scheduled court date and introduce yourself to the prosecutor in the courtroom as the victim in the cited case, or you may speak with a prosecutor by calling 791-4104 at least three working days prior to the defendant’s next scheduled court appearance. Be prepared to repeat the docket number when you call. It is your responsibility to make contact with the prosecutor and/or Victim Notification and Assistance to communicate your questions and concerns (791-5483).
If the defendant was arrested and taken to jail, the arraignment must occur with 24 hours of arrest. City Court has a television link with the Pima County jail and the arraignment is completed while the defendant is in jail.
Since the defendant is being held in jail, two matters are determined during this arraignment: (1) the conditions of the defendant’s release from jail and/or the amount of bail; and, (2) whether or not the prosecution will request a mandatory jail sentence.
If it is the defendant's first offense, the prosecutor may offer the defendant a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to the charge(s). The judge decides if the defendant will be released from jail and--if sounder what conditions. Most defendants in domestic violence cases are released from jail.
Generally, the judge orders the defendant to have no contact with the victim and to move out of the home until the case is resolved. You have a right to be present at the arraignment and to talk to the judge about the conditions of release. Or, before the hearing, you may contact Victim Notification and Assistance at the Tucson City Prosecutor's Office, to state your preference. (791-5483). If the defendant contacts you after the arraignment and the judge has ordered "no contact," call the police.
If you want to be heard regarding possible conditions of the defendant’s release, or about any plea offer extended to the defendant, appear at the jail/video arraignment. As soon as possible, identify yourself as the victim in the defendant’s case to the prosecutor (seated on the right side of the courtroom), and state that you would like to speak at the arraignment.
You can also address the judge with your situation and concerns. If you want to be notified prior to the defendant’s release from custody, you must go in person to the Pima County jail and sign a form.
If the defendant was not taken to jail, s/he appears at the time and date written on the ticket (complaint) issued by a Tucson police officer. The defendant appears before the judge and is informed of the charges and his/her rights.
Then the judge requests the defendant’s plea to those charges. If it is the defendant’s first offense, the prosecutor may offer the defendant a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to the charge(s). In most instances involving victims, a pretrial hearing is set at this time.
This hearing is usually held 3 to 6 weeks after the arraignment to determine whether the case will proceed to trial. At this hearing, the defendant will either accept a change of plea or proceed with sentencing at this time, or state his/her intention to proceed to trial.
If the case proceeds to trial, a pretrial statement is prepared listing the prosecution and defense witnesses and any exhibits that will be used at the trial. If the defendant declines the State’s plea offer, a future trial date will be set. Most criminal misdemeanors in Tucson City Court that proceed past pretrial result in a bench trial--a trial held before a judge. If you are entitled to restitution and wish to make a claim, appear on this date with copies of your restitution information.
The decision to grant you restitution is up to the court. As an alternative you may mail your restitution information to the City Prosecutor’s Office. If you mail your restitution information it must be received by the Prosecutor’s Office at least three working days prior to the scheduled pretrial. A victim advocate may accompany you to court if you make arrangements before the court date.
The defendant pleads guilty and gives up the right to a trial. If you are requesting restitution, you must appear at this hearing.
You and other witnesses will be subpoenaed to testify before a judge who decides if there is enough evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant may be present. A victim advocate may accompany you to court if you make arrangements before the court date.
If the defendant is found guilty and the victim has timely forwarded restitution information to the Prosecutor’s Office, the judge will set a hearing to determine the amount of restitution the defendant should pay. Your presence is required at this hearing. This hearing may be combined with a pretrial, change of plea, or sentencing hearing.
At the sentencing hearing, you have the right to tell the judge what you think the defendant's sentence ought to be. To do this, contact the prosecutor assigned to your case at 7914104 or a victim assistant at 7915483.
Making an Impact Statement
If you are a victim of domestic violence and the defendant will be sentenced to Pima County Adult Probation (APO) you may contact not only the City Prosecutor's Office, but also the Pima County Adult Probation Unit regarding your input or impact statement, If you are contacting APO, please also contact the CPO in order for your information to be furnished to the judge assigned to your case. In most instances, a defendant is not sentenced to APO unless the defendant has a prior conviction within 7 years of the most recent arrest.
There may be delays at every stage (and often are). These delays are called continuances. Ask the assigned prosecutor or victim assistant what you should expect. (791-4104 / 791-5483)
To reduce the likelihood of future acts of domestic violence, the prosecutor may recommend that the defendant attend courtordered counseling or other treatment. First offenders may be offered participation in a diversion program. In some serious cases, prosecution may result in jail.
Until the case is resolved, the court may order the defendant to stay away from you.
If the court has ordered the defendant to stay away from you, and you want contact with the defendant, you may petition the court with a Motion to Modify the Conditions of Release. (Go to the first floor Public Services Counter at 103 E. Alameda.)
Victims not covered under an Order of Protection may obtain an injunction. Tucson City Court charges a fee to file and serve the Order or Injunction. If you are unable to pay, you may qualify for a waiver of fees or a deferred payment.
These documents can be filed in addition to criminal charges. An injunction against harassment expires 1 year from the date of service. More information can be found on line at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/courts
For more information, or to obtain an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment, contact one of the following, depending upon where you live. Pima County residents may also use Tucson listings. More information can be found at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/courts.
In Tucson contact Tucson City Court @ 791-4971.
In South Tucson contact South Tucson City Court @ 791-2424.
In Pima County contact Pima County Justice Court @ 740-3515.
If you are battered, a shelter is a safe place for you and your children to stay while you think matters over.
Counselors are available 24 hours a day to give you information and support as you decide what your next step will be.
The shelter listed below offers a wide variety of services for victims of domestic violence: shelter; advocacy; crisis intervention and counseling; information, and referrals; transitional housing; childcare, etc. Phone counseling is also available.
Call the shelter directly, or call the 24hour hotline Help on Call at 323-9373.
Ava Crisis Shelter - 795-4880
Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse - 795-4266, 622-6347, or the 24/7 bilingual crisis line: 888-428-0101, or on line at www.emergecenter.org.
If Alcohol is Part of the Problem. Call AlAnon & Alateen (24 hour hotline for partners and children of alcoholics) at 323-2229 . They provide self-help support for the families and friends of alcoholics.
Tucson City Prosecutor's Office, Victim Notification and Assistance - 791-5483. The staff notifies victims of upcoming court dates, explains victim's rights, makes referrals, and accompanies victims to City Court by appointment. 103 E. Alameda, Suite 501. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Pima County Attorney's Victim Witness Program - 740-5525. The staff provides onsite crisis intervention and assistance 24 hours a day. You may request Victim-Witness assistance from the police officers who respond to your call.
The Community Mediation Program - 323-7862. Our Town Family Center can act as an intermediary between you and the defendant to assist in necessary arrangements or communications when an Order of Protection or judge's orders say you are not to have direct contact with each other. It may also provide a structured process in a safe setting for you to discuss options and needed changes. On line go to http://www.ourfamilyservices.org/
Other Helping Agencies
Family Assistance 628-6810 -Dept. of Economic Security. Offers emergency welfare assistance to those who qualify.
Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Victim Compensation Program - 740-5525. Offers monetary assistance to those who qualify. Information is available on line at http://azacjc.gov/ACJC.Web/victim/VictComp.aspx
Southern Arizona Legal Aid - 623-9465 and Lawyer's Referral Service - 623-4625 offer legal aid to victims with low incomes.
Tucson City Court Probation - 791-2581. Provides information about the probationary status of a defendant on City Court Probation.
Pima County Probation - 740-3800 . Provides information about the probationary status of a defendant on Pima County Adult Probation..
Information & Referral - 1-800-352-3792. http://www.ourfamilyservices.org/. Connects people with helping agencies in Tucson and throughout Southern Arizona.
Immediately notify Victim Notification and Assistance of any changes to your address or telephone number so that we may keep you informed (791-5483). Failure to notify us of any change of address or telephone number will be considered a waiver of your right to notice and could result in loss of restitution rights.
Victims with general delivery addresses must forward a street address where they may be contacted or the case may be dismissed at pretrial.
Crime Victims’ Rights Under the Arizona Constitution and State Law
Under A.R.S. Section 13-4401, a criminal offense is conduct that gives a police officer probable cause to believe that a misdemeanor involving physical injury or threat of physical injury or a sexual offense has occurred. If a criminal offense was committed against you and if the Tucson Police Department files charges, the following information applies to you in the criminal justice proceedings.
ARIZONA CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE II, 2.1
SECTION 2.1(A) To preserve and protect victims’ rights to justice and due process, a victim of a crime has a right:
1. To be treated with fairness, respect and dignity and to be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process.
2. To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.
3. To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all the criminal proceedings when the defendant has a right to be present.
4. To be heard at any proceeding involving a post arrest release decision, a negotiated plea and sentencing.
5. To refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant.
6. To confer with the prosecution after the crime against the victim has been charged, before trial or before any disposition of the case, and to be informed of the disposition.
7. To read presentence reports relating to the crime against the victim when they are available to the defendant.
8. To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim’s loss or injury.
9. To be heard at any proceeding when any post-conviction release from confinement is being considered.
10. To a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction and sentence.
11. To have all rules governing criminal procedure and the admissibility of evidence in all criminal proceedings protect victims’ rights and to have these rules be subject to amendment or repeal by the legislature to ensure the protection of these rights.
12. To be informed of victims’ constitutional rights.
(B) A victim’s exercise of any right granted by this section shall not be grounds for dismissing any criminal proceeding or setting aside any conviction or sentence.
(C) “Victim” means a person against whom the criminal offense has been committed or if the person is killed or incapacitated, the person’s spouse, parent, child or other lawful representative, except if the person is in custody for the offense or is the accused.
(D) The legislature, or the people by initiative or referendum, have the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section, including the authority to extend any of these rights to juvenile proceedings.
(E) The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights for victims shall not be construed to deny or disparage others granted by the legislature or retained by victims.
The Tucson City Prosecutor’s Office will always issue you a subpoena when your presence in court is mandatory. A subpoena is a court order compelling you to appear in court or face criminal charges. There will also be many court proceedings where your presence is not mandatory, but you may wish to be present. To make it easier for victims to assert this right to be present, the law has been changed to require larger employers to accommodate an employee’s right to attend court proceedings.
This change applies to you ONLY if you work for an employer who employed fifty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks (approximately 3½ months) in the current or preceding calendar year. If your employer fits this description, the law states that your employer shall:
a. Allow you to leave work to exercise your right as a crime victim to be present throughout all criminal proceedings in which the defendant has a right to be present. This includes the defendant’s initial appearance; any pretrial, plea, or sentencing hearing; any proceedings related to post-arrest release, post-conviction release; or, the modification, revocation or termination of the defendant’s probation.
b. Your employer may not fire you because you exercise your right as a crime victim to leave work to attend proceedings in accordance with this law.
c. Your employer is not required to compensate you when you exercise your right to leave work to attend court proceedings.
d. If you leave work in accordance with the law, you may choose to use, or your employer may require you to use, any earned paid vacation, personal leave or sick leave.
e. If you choose to exercise these rights in accordance with the law, you shall not lose seniority or precedence while absent from employment.
f. Before you may exercise this right to leave work as outlined above, you must make certain that your employer fits the category of employing fifty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks (approximately 3½ months) in the current or preceding calendar year, and you must follow steps 1 and 2 below:
1. Provide your employer with a copy of either a form provided to you by the Tucson Police
Department, or a copy of the information the Tucson Police Department provided to you when they took your statement.
2. Give your employer a copy of the notice of each scheduled proceeding, which will be provided to you by the Tucson City Attorney’s Victim Notification and Assistance Program.
Further, according to this law:
g. It is unlawful for your employer or your employer’s agent to refuse to hire or employ, to bar or to discharge from employment or to discriminate against you in compensation or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because you leave work in accordance with this law.
h. If you exercise your rights under this law, your employer shall keep confidential any records regarding your leave.
i. Your employer may limit the leave you are provided under this law if your leave creates an undue hardship to your employer’s business. If this happens, ask your employer why your leave creates a hardship and ask what dates would be more convenient. Contact the Prosecutor’s Office with that information in advance of the scheduled court date.
j. This form serves as the Tucson City Prosecutor’s notice to you of your rights under this law. You have the right to notify either the prosecutor assigned to your case, or the Victim Notification and Assistance Program, if you want to attend a proceeding but exercising your right to leave work to attend the proceeding would create an “undue hardship” for your employer. At the scheduled proceeding, which you are unable to attend, the prosecutor shall inform the court of your notice of undue hardship. The court shall take your schedule into consideration when scheduling future proceedings.
In each instance where you want to attend a proceeding but cannot due to “undue hardship” to your employer, you must call the Tucson City Prosecutor’s Office in advance of the scheduled proceeding. Call either your assigned attorney at (520) 791-4104 or the Victim Notification and Assistance Program at (520) 791-5483 with the reason(s) why your employer finds your absence a hardship and the dates that would be more convenient to your employer. Be prepared to state your name, relevant phone number(s), the docket number of the case, and your assigned prosecutor’s initials if your case is assigned. If possible, a letter from your employer would be extremely helpful and can be faxed to the attention of the Victim Notification and Assistance Program at 791-5509.
k. “Undue Hardship” means a significant difficulty and expense to a business and includes the consideration of the size of the employer’s business and the employer’s critical need of the employee.
If you have any questions or concerns about this matter, please call the assigned attorney at 791-4104, or the Victim Notification and Assistance Program at 791-5483.
By law, when criminal charges have been filed, as a crime victim you may be eligible for repayment of some of your expenses if you have suffered property damage or physical injury resulting in some expense to you.
Your insurance company may also be eligible for repayment. A Tucson City Court judge determines whether restitution (repayment) is to be awarded to the victim and/or the victim’s insurance company. You are responsible for notifying your insurance representative.
Restitution through Tucson City Court is for documented out-of-pocket expenses, such as repair or replacement costs and medical bills and must be documented with canceled checks, written damage estimates, receipts, etc
The victim may also be compensated for wages lost during attendance at the bench trial. Any damages that the City Court judge may order will be paid to the court first and then forwarded to the victim. Pain and suffering damages, or punitive damages, would have to be recovered in a civil law suit. Failure to seek or recover restitution in City Court does not disqualify a victim or a victim’s insurance company from seeking civil damages in the appropriate civil court.
In order to be considered, you must complete the Essential Restitution Information. Mail a copy to: City Prosecutor’s Office, P.O. Box 27210, Tucson, AZ 85726-7210, or Fax it to 791-5509, or Hand deliver it to 103 E. Alameda, Suite 501. Also forward copies of all bills, both property damage and medical. If the damage has not been repaired, please provide two estimates that show what repairs could cost.
To ensure that the court considers your request for restitution, you or your insurance company must submit this information as early as possible in the legal proceedings. If you are requesting restitution it is in your best interests to be present at the pretrial. Please press firmly. Keep the pink copy for your records.
If you or your insurance company have any questions, please call 791-5483 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or leave a message after hours. Be prepared to state the defendant’s name, the docket number, the insurance company, and claim number when you call. If you leave a message, please include your phone number with the above information.
At the time the judge delivers judgment in the case, the defendant may be placed on one of four types of probation.
The defendant was not required to report to any agency, but if the defendant violates any laws or the conditions of probation, the defendant's probation may be revoked and the defendant will become subject to any conditions of probation which were suspended, such as the unserved portion of a jail sentence or fines. If you have any questions about Unsupervised Probation contact Victim Notification and Assistance at 791-5483.
The defendant was required to report to a Tucson City Court Probation monitor. If the defendant violates any laws or the conditions of the probation, the defendant's probation may be revoked and the defendant will become subject to any conditions of probation that were suspended, such as the unserved portion of a jail sentence orl, fines. If you have any questions about Monitored Probation call Tucson City Court Probation at 791-2581. If you have any questions about obtaining court-ordered restitution call Tucson City Court at 791-4216. (Link to City Court Probation web site)
The defendant was required to report to an S.I.S. probation monitor and abide by the conditions of the probation. If the defendant violates any laws or conditions of probation, the defendant's probation may be revoked and the defendant will become subject to any conditions of probation which the court suspended, such as the unserved portion of a jail sentence or fines. If you have any questions about S.I.S. probation call S.I.S. PROBATION at 620-0151.
The defendant was required to report to the Pima County Adult Probation Department of the Superior Court within 24 hours of sentencing. If the defendant violates any laws or the conditions of probation, the defendant's probation may be revoked and the defendant will become subject to any conditions of probation that were suspended, such as the unserved portion of a jail sentence or fines. Failure to contact the assigned probation officer is a violation of probation. If you have additional questions, please call Pima County Adult Probation at (520) 740-4800.