Thursday, September 20, 2012

California Law Provides for An Advocate for Sexual Assault Victims

Did  you know that if you have been the victim of a sexual assault in California, you are entitled to the appointment of an advocate?  The applicable California statute reads as follows:



California Codes 
Title 17 
Penal Code Section 679.04. Victim of sexual assault; right to advocate and support person 
(a) A victim of sexual assault as the result of any offense specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) 
of Section 264.2 has the right to have victim advocates and a support person of the victim' s choosing 
present at any interview by law enforcement authorities, district attorneys, or defense attorneys. However, 
the support person may be excluded from an interview by law enforcement or the district attorney if the law 
enforcement authority or the district attorney determines that the presence of that individual would be 
detrimental to the purpose of the interview. As used in this section, "victim advocate" means a sexual 
assault victim counselor, as defined in Section 1035.2 of the Evidence Code, or a victim advocate working 
in a center established under Article 2 (commencing with Section 13835) of Chapter 4 of Title 6 of Part 4. 
(b) (1) Prior to the commencement of the initial interview by law enforcement authorities or the 
district attorney pertaining to any criminal action arising out of a sexual assault, a victim of sexual assault 
as the result of any offense specified in Section 264.2 shall be notified orally or in writing by the attending 
law enforcement authority or district attorney that the victim has the right to have victim advocates and a 
support person of the victim's choosing present at the interview or contact. This subdivision applies to 
investigators and agents employed or retained by law enforcement or the district attorney. 
(2) At the time the victim is advised of his or her rights pursuant to paragraph (1), the attending law 
enforcement authority or district attorney shall also advise the victim of the right to have victim advocates 
and a support person present at any interview by the defense attorney or investigators or agents employed 
by the defense attorney. 
(c) An initial investigation by law enforcement to determine whether a crime has been committed 
and the identity of the suspects shall not constitute a law enforcement interview

For enforcement of civil claims seeking justice for victims of sexual assault, contact our California sexual assault victims attorney hotline statewide: 866-229-0101 or visit our website at http://www.victimslawyer.com