RIghts / Laws


General Victim Rights

Your right to justice includes the right to a meaningful role in the criminal or juvenile justice process, to be treated with dignity and respect, to fair and impartial treatment, and to reasonable protection from the offender.

Many victims’ rights are automatic although you may need to “tell” someone you want to receive them. Other rights you must specifically request to receive the right. One way to do this is to contact the District Attorney, City Attorney, or Juvenile Department to request these rights. You, your attorney, or, upon your request, the District Attorney/City Attorney/Juvenile Department, may assert your rights in court.

Automatic Rights

  • You have the right to have a support person with you.
  • If your case involved physical harm or death, you may be able to get financial help for counseling, medical or death-related costs.
  • You can attend open court proceedings.
  • You can get a copy of a transcript or recording of open court proceedings if one is already made. You may be charged for the transcript or recording.
  • Most “personal identifiers” can usually be protected from an alleged offender. These include your phone number, address, social security number, date of birth, bank account and credit card account numbers.
  • You can get confidential HIV testing, referrals for health care and counseling if the convicted person in your case tests positive for HIV.
  • You or the district attorney can ask the court to limit distribution of information and recordings in cases involving sexual or invasion of personal privacy offenses.

Rights That Must Be Requested

  • To be notified of certain open court proceedings.
  • To get criminal history information about the defendant, convicted criminal, alleged youth offender or youth offender.
  • That the person charged or convicted in your case get testing for HIV or other communicable diseases if the crime involved the transmission of bodily fluids.

Following an Arrest


Automatic Rights

  • The judge will consider your safety at a pre-trial release hearing.
  • You can refuse to speak to an attorney or private investigator for the defendant or alleged youth offender.
  • You will be notified about early disposition programs that may apply to your case.
  • The prosecutor will consider any of your recommendations about defendant diversion.

Rights That Must Be Requested

  • To be notified in advance about the release hearing.
  • To be consulted about the plea negotiations or final plea offer in a violent felony case.

If Your Case Goes To Trial and Sentencing


Automatic Rights

  • If a pre-sentence investigation report is ordered in your case, you can include a statement in it.
  • The right to express your views at sentencing, in person or in writing.
  • Rape shield laws may apply in your case.

Rights That Must Be Requested

  • For the court to exclude media television, photography, or recording equipment during sex offense proceedings. The court may deny this request.

After Sentencing


Automatic Rights

  • Prompt restitution for your crime-related costs.
  • To be heard at a hearing on a motion to set aside a conviction.

Rights That Must Be Requested

  • To be notified of the release of a juvenile offender from an OYA Youth Correctional Facility. You must first provide your contact information to OYA.
  • To receive 30 day notice about parole hearings in adult cases. First you must register with the parole board.
  • To be notified when the convicted person is released from prison.
  • To be notified of hearings where probation may be revoked.
  • To receive information about the offender from the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) if under their jurisdiction. First you must register with the PSRB.
  • You have a right to not be contacted by the sex offender convicted in your case.

Other Legal Information

  • You can ask for a restraining order if you are a victim of family, elder, or disabled person abuse or are threatened with such abuse, or if you are the victim of sexual abuse.
  • You can go to the police or to court and ask for a stalking protective order if you have been a victim of stalking.
  • If you are a victim of sexual assault, a hospital must give you accurate information and access to emergency contraception.
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be able to get financial help from the Oregon Department of Human Services through their Temporary Assistance to Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS) fund.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, you may be able to:
  • Take leave from work to attend court proceedings.
  • Take leave from work for medical or counseling appointments.
  • Get unemployment benefits.
  • End a rental agreement early.
  • Have your locks changed.
  • Get special arrangements for public housing.
  • Set up a payment plan with the phone company.

Your immigration status should not affect your rights as a crime victim and immigrant victims may have additional legal options.

If your rights are not honored, you can assert a claim of violation of crime victims’ rights. There are time limits for this right.

Mandatory Arrest


In the state of Oregon, mandatory arrests must take place for domestic violence situations. As stated in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 133.055), “The officer shall arrest and take into custody the assailant or alleged assailant if they find probable cause of a crime occurring between family members or intimate partners (current or former).

Who’s in Custody?


To find out if someone is currently lodged in the Washington County jail, you can go online to:
www.co.washington.or.us/Sheriff/Jail/who-is-in-custody.cfm

You can also call the Washington County Jail at 503-846-6826, every day, from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm.

No Contact Orders


A no contact order is an order in a criminal case that tells an alleged offender not to have contact with certain people. If someone is arrested for a crime of domestic violence, a mandatory no contact order is typically issued between the person arrested and the alleged victim. A judge can order no contact anytime during a criminal case. A no contact order typically is in place if the defendant is released from jail before trial and up to sentencing. No contact orders remain in place until a judge ends the no contact order or a case is resolved (dismissed, pled, or by trial) in court.

A no contact order can also be a probation or parole requirement. If someone on probation or parole violates a no contact order, they may be re-arrested and jailed.

A no contact order is different from a restraining order, elder/disabled person protective order, stalking protective order, sexual abuse protective order, or emergency protective order.

Release Agreements


When someone is released from jail, they sign a release agreement. The release agreement states what a person is allowed and not allowed to do. Having “no contact” with certain people may be a part of the release agreement. A release agreement with no contact is different from a restraining order, elder/disabled person protective order, stalking protective order, sexual abuse protective order, or emergency protective order.