SAN BERNARDINO, CA – A new law that took effect Jan. 1 authored by Assemblymember James C. Ramos requires courts to give prosecutors and crime victims who opt for notification a two-day notice of an early termination of probation for convicted criminals, including for purposes of completing any ordered restitution.
In some cases such as domestic violence, victims are already given notice of a request for termination of probation, but notification is not provided for all types of crimes. AB 433 fills in that gap and helps ensure victims who have been granted restitution for losses due to crimes committed against them are aware probation may be ending. Then they can be certain the compensation due them is paid. In conjunction with Marsy’s Law, which constitutionally mandates proper restitution for crime victims, this new law will give victims and prosecuting attorneys the opportunity to seek restitution before the decision of early ending of probation is made.
“With this new law, AB 433, crime victims have a right to have their voices heard, not just for previously specified crimes such as domestic violence, but for all crimes,” Ramos said. “Victims in all crimes should know if early termination of probation is possible. In cases where restitution orders have been granted by judges, there is early termination of probation and the order is not finalized, victims can be saddled with immense financial cost in addition to the other emotional and physical burdens of victimization.”
Patricia Wenskunas, founder and CEO of Crime Survivors Inc.™ and a representative for Crime Victims United of California, said, “Crime victims deserve the right to have their voices heard in open court if their offender is about to receive early termination of probation.” She added, “Victims‘ voices are often left out of the process, despite constitutional protections for them to be heard.” She added that AB 433 will ensure victims are aware of developments such as early termination of probation so that victims may ensure their offenders fulfill their restitution obligations. Crime Victims United was a sponsor of the law.
“Victims and their families deserve and have a right to be informed of every critical stage and decision made in a defendant’s case,” said Jason Anderson, San Bernardino County District Attorney. “This includes sentencing considerations and early termination of probation. That is why the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office supported Assemblymember James Ramos and his Assembly Bill 433, requiring notice to victims of crime when a defendant requests early termination of probation. The District Attorney’s Office and public safety is proud to continue to partner with Assemblymember Ramos to protect victims in San Bernardino County.”
Grant Ward, president of the Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association, added that the legislation is a “common sense law.” He said, “Victims in this state seem to have been forgotten, drowned out by the partisan back and forth between our politicians. I applaud Assemblyman Ramos for standing up and being a voice for the voiceless.” Ward observed, “Creating a mechanism to ensure individuals convicted of crimes are held accountable to the courts and the victims they violated is long overdue. SEBA is proud to stand with Assemblyman James Ramos and celebrate this victory for crime victims.”
Assemblymember James Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino.