Victim's Rights and Services

Court BuildingA Victim-Witness Advocate is available through the Prosecutor’s office to assist victims of misdemeanor crimes that occur within Gilbert town limits. The advocate is available to explain the judicial process; act as a link between the court system and the victim; speak for the victim in court; give current case status information; assist in obtaining restraining orders; make referrals for counseling, food, shelter and the like; and personally escort victims during all court appearances, if desired. Please contact the Gilbert Town Prosecutor’s Office if you believe you are the victim of a crime that occurred within the Town and want more information about these services. If you believe that you are the victim of a crime that occurred within the Town of Gilbert but the Prosecutor cannot assist you for any reason, please contact the Gilbert Police Department at (480) 503-6500 for additional victim’s services.

If you cannot get to the Gilbert Municipal Court during business hours and you feel threatened by domestic violence, call 911 and request a temporary order of protection. The police will connect your call to a judge who is on-call for this purpose.


Victim’s Legal Rights in Arizona

A ‘victim’ is defined in Arizona as anyone negatively impacted by a criminal act, physically, financially, or otherwise. Although legal entities and neighborhood associations can be considered victims, their rights under Arizona law are limited. 

All victims have the following rights during any criminal case in Arizona:

  • To be informed of rights at various stages of the process.
  • To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity.
  • To receive notice of proceedings
  • To keep contact information confidential
  • To receive notice of offender’s release dates
  • To attend court proceedings
  • To be heard at court proceedings
  • To confer with the prosecutor
  • To a speedy trial and disposition
  • To refuse an interview with the defense
  • To miss work to attend court proceedings, in some cases
  • To prompt restitution

See a full list of victim’s rights in the Arizona Revised Statutes.

To invoke any one of these rights in the Gilbert Municipal Court, please contact the Gilbert Town Prosecutor’s Office.

Victims who are physically or emotionally unable to exercise their rights may designate a representative who is not a witness in the case. If a victim is incapable of designating another person to act in the victim's place, the court may appoint a representative for the victim.


Domestic Violence Statistics

When someone with whom you have an intimate relationship uses physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control your behavior, they are committing domestic violence.

  • Each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate partner.
  • It is estimated that within a 12-month period, 4 million adult women in America experience a serious assault by an intimate partner.
  • Almost 1 out 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during their adult life.
  • Violence against women occurs in 20 percent of dating couples.
  • It is estimated that 3.3 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.

What to do if you think you are a victim of domestic violence

If you cannot get to the Gilbert Municipal Court during business hours and you feel threatened by domestic violence, call 911 and request a temporary order of protection. The police will connect your call to a judge who is on-call for this purpose.

Have a Domestic Violence Safety Plan
Many injuries and incidents can be avoided by planning ahead. Create a plan for handling the next domestic violence incident that occurs, including how to get out of the house and/or who to contact for help quickly. For additional assistance concerning your safety, call a local shelter to develop a safety plan. In the mean time, these tips may help you.

During a Violent Outburst
If you are in an argument:
  • leave/stay away from the kitchen or other rooms with weapons.
  • stay out of rooms without exits, like the bathroom or closet.
  • if possible get to a room with an exit and/or a phone.
  • develop a code word or signal for friends, children, and neighbors to call police.
  • call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • teach your child to call 9-1-1.
  • use your instincts.

If you have a protective order

  • Always keep at least one copy with you at all times.
  • If your abuser violates the order call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number (you have the right to ask that a police report be filed).
  • Give a copy of the order and a picture of the defendant to security at your job or school.
  • If your children are included on the order, give a copy of the order to their school, daycare or babysitter.
  • For more information about restraining orders.

If You Plan to Leave

If you think you may want to leave your abuser, a careful plan is needed to ensure your safety once you have left. Do not let your abuser know of your plans; act as if things are unchanged.
It is important to organize cards, money, keys, and any needed documents so they are available should you leave in a hurry. Keep the following items together, in case you leave quickly:

  • Driver's license/picture ID
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security cards/numbers
  • Health benefit cards
  • Welfare identification
  • Address/phone book
  • Keys
  • Money, credit cards, checkbook
  • Immunization records
  • Children's favorite toys and blankets
  • Diaper bag

Also:

  • Leave a bag with money, keys, clothing, and diapers at someone's house
  • Know the fastest exit from your home
  • Know the closest phone to call for help

If You Leave

Leaving an abusive relationship is a very difficult step, and one of courage and strength. This step can also be dangerous if you do not plan in advance to maintain safety.
Once you have left an abusive relationship:

  • Get a restraining order.
  • Program 9-1-1 into the speed dial on your phone
  • Inform friends, neighbors, daycare/babysitter, and coworkers that you are no longer with your abuser, so they can screen your calls or call the police if your abuser shows up
  • Provide your daycare/babysitter with a list of people who have permission to pick up your child
  • Change the locks on your doors occasionally and install a security system
  • Avoid social places or stores that you frequented while with your abuser

Most importantly, if you are considering returning to the abusive relationship, call a local shelter, counselor or domestic violence hotline number. They can help you talk about your feelings and plan for safe options should you return.

 


Domestic Violence Victim Resources
 Local shelter (24 hour hotline)602-263-8900 
 Shelter Hotlines 800-799-7739 OR 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
 Information and Referral 602-263-8856 OR 1-800-352-3792
 National Domestic Violence Hotline (24 Hour) 800-799-SAFE (7233)
 Arizona Legal Advocacy Hotline  1-800-782-6400 OR 602-279-2900