NEW LAW GIVING VICTIMS A SECOND CHANCE AT JUSTICE NOW IN EFFECT

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 10:30am
Dakota Tuck

July 1, 2019 new laws across the country have taken effect. Being a victim of a crime can leave the person feeling powerless and when local prosecutors decline to prosecute the perpetrator it can leave them feeling victimized a second time. Until the passage of H.B.15 if the local prosecutor declined to pursue charges then a victim was left with no options for justice. With the new law  a victim or their family member can now petition the Attorney General to review the case for a second chance to prosecute.

            This law is for victims of first degree felonies (Rape, Murder, assault with a  deadly weapon, robbery) in Utah there are approximately 75 crimes that fall under this category. If the local prosecuting attorney has failed to file charges after 1 year, then the victim or a family member of a homicide or missing person can request the Attorney General to review the case.  Once submitted the case must be reviewed within 30 days, and a decision must be reached within 60 days to either close the investigation or to open it up to further investigation or to screen the results for criminal charges.

            For many victims who feel their case was dismissed to quickly or who feel the local prosecutor declined to press charges unjustly, this gives them a second chance to pursue justice and to find closure.

To read the new law in its entirety you can go to: https://le.utah.gov/~2019/bills/hbillenr/HB0015.pdf

            This is great example of government doing it right, changing the law to better serve the people it was designed to protect.

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