Victoria was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Victor and Lucy Cartagena. She attended Penn State University, where she earned a degree in education. She was later accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Victoria has starred in numerous theater productions and participated in various plays and workshops for New York's Lark Theater.
Most recently, Victoria appeared on the WB television series The Bedford Diaries, NBC's Kidnapped, and the 2008 season finale of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. She has appeared on several different TV shows throughout her career.
Victoria appeared as Renee Montoya in the FOX TV series Gotham. In the first episode she was credited as recurring. She would have a contract role starting in the second episode. She said in an interview with Lucia I. Suarez, “I’ve seen them all”, the actress told Fox News Latino, adding that she loved that there was a character Vicki Vale in the comics. “Everyone knows Batman”. In an interview with Graeme McMillan, "I feel lucky to be playing someone who’s so important", the actress tells THR. “She’s pretty amazing”, she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m playing such an iconic character, and I feel lucky to be playing someone who’s so important to the [LGBTQ] community”. She states to Leeds in an interview, "I never read a comic before the show! But now, because I’m on the show, I really want to know everything about her. So I find myself reading comic books more and really enjoying them". Cartagena states about her gay character on Gotham, "I guess both. It’s definitely a straight-up fact of who she is as a person — she’s a woman, she’s a cop, she’s Latina, she’s gay. But that said, her perspective on things adds a voice to the conversation by virtue of her background that wouldn’t necessarily be there, or expected to be there". She states in the interview with Leeds, "I believe that Renee really did break it off because of her sobriety. And I believe that she really, really loves Barbara. But I think that Renee is at a point in her life where she is more self-aware than she ever was — and I don’t know if that’s because she’s gone through recovery — and she’s just willing to step away from the person that she loves in order to save herself. Because she’s been there with Barbara before, and it ended badly. So at least, at this point, she has the benefit of hindsight". In August 2015, it was reported that she would not be returning as a member of the main cast for season two.