Dan Koukol : Sacramento Criminal Attorney
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Victim’s Request for Leniency

Prosecutors should consider leniency requests from victims of crime. See
Article I, Section 28 of the California Constitution, the “Victims’ Bill of
Rights.” Also Section 679 requires that all crime victims be “treated with
dignity respect, courtesy, and sensitivity.” Section 1170(b) gives victims
or their families the right to submit statements in mitigation not just
aggravation. Section 1191.1 provides a victim or parent may express views
that shall be considered by the court at sentencing. Section 1203.066
(c)(2) permits probation in interests of child in sex crime cases involving
children if parent is accused. Section 1203.067(a)(2) requires notice to
victim and opportunity to be heard before probation granted to defendant
convicted of child molestation. California Rules of Court, Rule 4.414
(b)(5) requires sentencing courts to consider the likely effect of
imprisonment on the defendant and his or her dependants. Prosecutors
should also consider the likely effect of imprisonment on a defendant and
his dependents, especially when those dependents are alleged victims asking
the prosecutor for leniency.

Although the prosecutor ordinarily has sole discretion to determine whom to
charge, what charges to file and pursue and what punishment to seek under
Dix v. Superior court, (1991) 53 Cal.3d 442, 451, other people interested
in a particular criminal case, such as alleged victims of domestic
violence, have the right to retain counsel to request leniency on behalf of
their accused partner. The end result should be to benefit the entire
family, including the victim of domestic violence, by assuring their safety
AND SUPPORT. Hiring an experienced attorney to help a victim seek leniency
to avoid their alleged abusers incarceration can help preserve an entire
family’s quality of life from going down the drain from their provider’s