The right of a victim of crime to be present during any criminal proceeding shall be secured as follows:
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, and except as specified in subdivision (d), a victim shall be entitled to be present and seated at all criminal proceedings where the defendant, the prosecuting attorney, and the general public are entitled to be present.
(b) A victim may be excluded from a criminal proceeding only if each of the following criteria are met:
(1) Any movant, including the defendant, who seeks to exclude the victim from any criminal proceeding demonstrates that there is a substantial probability that overriding interests will be prejudiced by the presence of the victim. “Overriding interests” may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) The defendant’s right to a fair trial.
(B) The government’s interest in inhibiting the disclosure of sensitive information.
(C) The protection of witnesses from harassment and physical harm.
(D) The court’s interest in maintaining order.
(E) The protection of sexual offense victims from the trauma and embarrassment of testifying.
(F) Safeguarding the physical and psychological well-being of a minor.
(G) The preservation of trade secrets.
(2) The court considers reasonable alternatives to exclusion of the victim from the criminal proceeding.
(3) The exclusion of the victim from any criminal proceeding, or any limitation on his or her presence at any criminal proceeding, is narrowly tailored to serve the overriding interests identified by the movant.
(4) Following a hearing at which any victim who is to be excluded from a criminal proceeding is afforded an opportunity to be heard, the court makes specific factual findings that support the exclusion of the victim from, or any limitation on his or her presence at, the criminal proceeding.
(c) As used in this section, “victim” means (1) the alleged victim of the offense and one person of his or her choosing or however many more the court may allow under the particular circumstances surrounding the proceeding, (2) in the event that the victim is unable to attend the proceeding, two persons designated by the victim or however many more the court may allow under the particular circumstances surrounding the proceeding, or (3) if the victim is no longer living, two members of the victim’s immediate family or however many more the court may allow under the particular circumstances surrounding the proceeding.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent a court from excluding a victim from a criminal proceeding, pursuant to Section 777 of the Evidence Code, when the victim is subpoenaed as a witness. An order of exclusion shall be consistent with the objectives of paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (b) to allow the victim to be present, whenever possible, at all proceedings.
(Repealed and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 332, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1996.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018