California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 679.04

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(a) A victim of sexual assault as the result of any offense specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 264.2 has the right to have victim advocates and a support person of the victim's choosing present at any interview by law enforcement authorities, district attorneys, or defense attorneys.  A victim retains this right regardless of whether he or she has waived the right in a previous medical evidentiary or physical examination or in a previous interview by law enforcement authorities, district attorneys, or defense attorneys.  However, the support person may be excluded from an interview by law enforcement or the district attorney if the law enforcement authority or the district attorney determines that the presence of that individual would be detrimental to the purpose of the interview.  As used in this section, “victim advocate” means a sexual assault counselor, as defined in Section 1035.2 of the Evidence Code, or a victim advocate working in a center established under Article 2 (commencing with Section 13835) of Chapter 4 of Title 6 of Part 4.

(b)(1) Prior to the commencement of the initial interview by law enforcement authorities or the district attorney pertaining to any criminal action arising out of a sexual assault, a victim of sexual assault as the result of any offense specified in Section 264.2 shall be notified in writing by the attending law enforcement authority or district attorney that he or she has the right to have victim advocates and a support person of the victim's choosing present at the interview or contact, about any other rights of the victim pursuant to law in the card described in subdivision (a) of Section 680.2, and that the victim has the right to request to have a person of the same gender or opposite gender as the victim present in the room during any interview with a law enforcement official or district attorney, unless no such person is reasonably available.  This subdivision applies to investigators and agents employed or retained by law enforcement or the district attorney.

(2) At the time the victim is advised of his or her rights pursuant to paragraph (1), the attending law enforcement authority or district attorney shall also advise the victim of the right to have victim advocates and a support person present at any interview by the defense attorney or investigators or agents employed by the defense attorney.

(3) The presence of a victim advocate shall not defeat any existing right otherwise guaranteed by law.  A victim's waiver of the right to a victim advocate is inadmissible in court, unless a court determines the waiver is at issue in the pending litigation.

(4) The victim has the right to request to have a person of the same gender or opposite gender as the victim present in the room during any interview with a law enforcement official or district attorney, unless no such person is reasonably available.  It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage every interviewer in this context to have trauma-based training.

(c) An initial investigation by law enforcement to determine whether a crime has been committed and the identity of the suspects shall not constitute a law enforcement interview for purposes of this section.

(d) A law enforcement official shall not, for any reason, discourage a victim of an alleged sexual assault from receiving a medical evidentiary or physical examination.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 679.04 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-679-04.html


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