Victim / Witness Services FAQ

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Reporting a Crime

I believe a crime has been committed. How can I press charges or report the crime?
The primary investigative agency for a crime is the municipal police department in the city or town where the crime occurred, or the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office if the crime occurred outside the boundaries of a city or town. Call 911 or the local law enforcement agency immediately to report a crime. Once the agency completes its initial investigation, the report is filed with the Navajo County Attorney’s Office. The Charging Prosecution Team reviews each report and decides what charge(s), if any, will be filed.
My neighbor/friend/relative is doing drugs. How can I report the problem?
An investigation by the local law enforcement agency needs to take place before the case can be submitted to the Navajo County Attorney’s Office. Please contact the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where you believe the crime was committed. Persons charged with possession of illegal drugs may have the opportunity to participate in the innovative and effective Navajo County Drug Court Program.
I have information concerning a crime. How can I anonymously report the problem?
See the page of our website about the WeTip crime hotline. WeTip is completely anonymous — you aren’t allowed to identify yourself, and you can’t be identified by the operators who staff the lines.

Being a Victim of a Crime

Police have arrested the person believed to have committed the crime against me. What happens next?
 

Once the law enforcement investigation is complete and they submit the report to the Navajo County Attorney’s office you will receive a letter from the Victim Services Division advising you of your legal rights. Victims have the right to privileged (confidential) communication with their victim advocate. Your victim advocate will act as a liaison between you and the prosecutor and will assist you by providing criminal justice information and other services to ensure that your rights as a crime victim are protected and enforced.  To speak with a victim advocate about your case, you can call the Navajo County Attorney's Office for assistance.

I am the victim. Can I drop the charges?

Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to “press charges” or “drop the charges” against the defendant. While you may be the victim, all crimes are considered to be offenses against the State. Therefore, the Navajo County Attorney’s Office prosecutes criminal complaints on behalf of the State of Arizona. Only the attorney prosecuting the case can decide to file or dismiss charges, although the victim’s opinion is always considered in reaching a decision.

A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a victim’s request not to proceed with prosecuting a case. These factors include, but are not limited to, the nature and extent of the defendant’s criminal history, the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant has other pending charges in the criminal justice system, and the possible future danger to the community.

What are my rights as a victim?
 

Article 2, Section 2.1 of the Arizona Constitution specifies the rights of crime victims. One of the key goals of our Victim Services staff is to ensure that your rights as a victim are fully understood, protected and enforced.

I am having trouble with the emotional impact of the crime. Where can I get counseling?
 

Our Victim Services staff is trained to assist you in finding all types of victim services, including counseling. They are also trained to provide emotional support. Please give them a call and let them help.

I need legal advice. Can I speak to an attorney?
 

The Navajo County Attorney’s Office cannot give legal advice on private legal issues. However, there is a free legal clinic available to those who qualify. For more information contact White Mountain Legal Aid at (928) 537-8383 or 1-800-658-7958. Also remember that our Victim Services exists to assist you. Even though they can’t give legal advice, they may be able to help steer you in the right direction.

Whom can I contact about getting orders of protection or injunctions of harassment?
 

Orders of protection and injunctions of harassment can be issued by a justice of the peace, municipal or superior court judge. Again, our Victim Services staff is available to assist you.

 

This collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) provides brief answers to many common questions about Victims Rights. Please contact our Victim’s Rights Division with any other questions you may have.