Everyone involved a criminal case has constitutional protections
We protect them
It is the role of every district attorney to ensure that the constitutional privileges afforded to everyone – including victims, defendants and the community – are protected throughout the criminal justice process. We believe it’s equally important to educate people on those rights.
Colorado’s Victim Rights Act (VRA) guarantees those who’ve been victimized the right to be heard, present and informed.
The rights of criminal defendants are protected by the 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments in the United States Constitution.
Open record laws in Colorado provide any person with the right to access criminal justice records and information.
For specific offenses outlined by the Colorado Crime Victim Rights Act (VRA), the state’s constitution guarantees those who are victimized to be:
- Treated with fairness, dignity and respect
- Informed in each critical stage of the criminal justice process
- Present and heard at specific critical stages in the process
Outside of judges, prosecutors are the only people in the courtroom with an ethical duty to protect the constitutional rights of defendants in a criminal case by ensuring:
- Law enforcement didn’t exceed their authority by conducting an illegal search
- Defendants envoking the right to remain silent didn’t make a forced statement
- All information regarding a defendant’s potential innocence is provided
- No statements or evidence that could compromise a fair trial are made public
Under the Colorado Open Records Act and the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, any person has the right to view public records pertaining to:
- Arrests, indictments and formal filing of criminal charges
- Official actions by a criminal justice agency
- Functions required or authorized by law or administrative rule
- Internal investigations of in-uniform or on-duty conduct of a peace officer
Records for a specific case are not subject to release until after the case has been closed.