Utah Senate committee favors bill allowing crime victims to review their investigations

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ST. GEORGE — A Utah house bill that currently has a favorable committee recommendation this legislative session would allow a victim of crime or the victim’s family to review the pertinent criminal investigation upon request, under certain circumstances.

Victim Rights Amendments, designated in the 2019 Utah Legislature as HB 15, would allow a victim of a first degree-felony or a family member of a missing person or homicide victim to request a review of the investigation under the following circumstances:

  • If the incident was reported for investigation to a law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction to investigate the incident.
  • If at least one year has passed from the date the incident was first reported for investigation.
  • If the law enforcement agency investigating the incident has not submitted the investigation results to be screened for criminal charges by the county or district attorney.

After receiving the request, the chief executive officer of the investigating law enforcement agency will have 30 days to meet with investigating officers to assess the investigation — which would include examining current leads and obstacles officers are facing. The investigating team must then develop a plan to close the investigation, take further investigative steps or submit the investigation results to be screened for criminal charges.

Within 60 days of receiving the request, the chief executive of a law enforcement agency would be required to send written notification to the victim or victim’s family on whether or not the agency is closing the investigation, continuing the investigation or submitting the results.

If the law enforcement agency chooses to close the investigation, the victim or victim’s family can choose to submit a second request that the investigation results and evidence be transferred to the county attorney.

As of Friday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee gave the bill a favorable recommendation.

Read more: See all St. George News reports and opinions on Utah Legislature 2019 issues


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