VICTIMS’ RIGHTS GUIDE

Victim Rights
Under Oregon law, YOU have certain rights as the victim in a criminal case. A criminal defendant is not considered a victim. It is very important that you know these rights. The following information is designed to follow the process of your case. Please read the information carefully and note your responsibility in exercising the rights you have at each step in your case.

During an investigation
You should be informed that you have rights as a victim as soon, as is reasonable. You can learn about these rights by calling one of the following:

  • District Attorney’s Victim Assistance – 541-963-1007
  • District Attorney’s Office – 541-963-1007
  • Local law enforcement agency where the crime was reported

When an arrest is made
You have the right to be reasonably protected from the criminal defendant or the convicted criminal throughout the criminal justice process.

If you request, you have the right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, criminal history and future release from physical custody of the defendant (or convicted criminal).

Before the trial
If you request, your address and phone number can be kept from the defendant.

You have the right to be reasonably protected from the criminal defendant throughout the criminal justice process.

Your have the right to a court hearing if you are intimidated or harassed by the criminal defendant.

You have the right to refuse an interview or other discovery* request by the defendant, the defandants lawyer, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant. (*used to build defense case.)

If the defendant’s lawyer (or anyone who represents that lawyer) contacts you, they must tell you who they are, that you do not have to talk to them, and that you may have a deputy district attorney present if you do decide to talk to them. Also they cannot take a deposition (a formal legal statement) from you unless you consent to it.

If you request, you have the right to be consulted about plea negotiations (if the crime charged is a violent felony).

If you request, you have the right to be informed of changes in court dates and hearings (this includes before trial and during trial and during the trial phase).

The trial phase
You have the right to be present at, to be heard at, and, upon specific request, to be informed in the advance of any critical stage of the proceedings where the defendant is present, including the trial.

You have the right to have all charges filed against the defendant tried in a single trial

You may obtain a copy of any written record made of court proceedings. This applies only if a written record is already prepared and does not prevent a reasonable charge to you for copying.

At the Sentencing
You have the right to hire an attorney (at your own expense) to express your views at sentencing – or – you may express your views personally or ask the deputy district attorney to do so for you.

You have the right to have the judge consider ordering a compensatory fine be paid to you by the convicted criminal when the evidence supports such an order.

You have the right to know at the time of sentencing the actual sentence the defendant will serve.

After the Sentencing
You have the right to receive prompt restitution from the person convicted of committing the crime that caused your loss or injury.

If you request and provide the Board of Post-Prison Supervision with your address, you have the right to be notified of, and appear at, any hearing before the board. You must keep the Parole Board informed of your correct mailing address.

If you request and provide the Board of Post Prison Supervision with your address, you have the right to be notified 30 days before the convicted criminal is released from prison.

Definitions:

Victim
Persons who have suffered financial, social, psychological or physical harm as a result of a crime or juvenile offense, and includes, in the case of a homicide, a member of the immediate family of the decedent, and, in case of a minor victim, the legal guardian of the minor (in no event shall the criminal defendant be considered a victim).

Criminal Defendant
The person charged with a crime. Includes juvenile offenders in juvenile court delinquency proceedings.

 

Domestic Violence Prosecution in Union County

Steps the Victim Must take in a Criminal Prosecution:

  1. Call 911:
    Call 911 and report the incident to the police.
  2. Notice:
    If the charges are issued, the DA’s Office will need you to appear and testify in a trial, unless the case is settled before trial. The trial will be scheduled approximately 8-12 weeks after your partner’s first appearance in court. You will be notified with a piece of paper called a criminal subpoena. A subpoena is an order by a court that requires you to appear at a certain date and time.
  3. Subpoena:
    If you receive a subpoena, call 541-963-1007 to let the DA’s Office know that you have received it. You must appear unless you are told by the DA’s Office that you do not need to appear.
  4. Contact Person:
    Call 541-963-1007 to find out the names of the DDA and Victim Advocate assigned to the case. We encourage you to call so that we may fully explain the process to you as well as have you share with us any questions, concerns or resolutions.
  5. Day before Trial:
    Call the DA’s Office at 541-963-1007 the day before the date listed on the subpoena to make sure you still need to appear. The case could have been settled or delayed. If the DA staff tells you that the case has been settled or delayed, you do not need to appear.
  6. Trial Day:
    On the date listed on the subpoena, come to the 1st floor or 3rd floor courtroom as indicated on your subpoena at 1007 Fourth Street, La Grande, Oregon. Be prepared to spend most of the day at the Courthouse. You will need to make arrangements for children to be cared for at home.

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Will My Partner Go to Jail?

If this is the first time your partner has been prosecuted, he or she may be eligible for deferred sentencing. This means your partner can plead guilty and be placed on probation for a minimum of six months. The abuser must participate in a counseling program or other court ordered conditions. If the person successfully complies with the conditions of probation, the probation will end after review by the court. If the person does not follow orders, he or she may go to jail.

What if There is a Trial?

The Deputy DA will present evidence and testimony in an effort to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime. Both the DDA and the Defense Attorney will ask the victim questions.

What Happens if My Partner is Convicted?

If the defendant is guilty, the court will sentence the defendant. The sentence could include probation with conditions, such as BIP (batters intervention program) anger management counseling, substance abuse treatment, restitution and /or a period in jail or prison.

List of Terms:

District Attorney & Deputy District Attorney
The District Attorney (DA) & Deputy District Attorney (DDA) is a lawyer who prosecutes cases against people accused of a crime. The DA & DDAs review the police report to decide whether a crime occurred and whether the person accused of the crime could be prosecuted in court by the state.

Victim
The victim of domestic violence is the person who has suffered physical abuse, harassment, or other injury caused by someone they are related to or with whom they have an intimate relationship.

Victim Advocate
The victim advocate is a person who can assist victims of domestic violence. The advocate can explain the prosecution process; assist the victim to make a safety plan or to locate safe shelter; and provide ongoing support and problem solving help.

CRIME VICTIMS PROGRAM

Mission Statement:

We offer victim assistance to all victims in their contact with the criminal justice system, protect the rights of crime victims and pursue justice for all citizens with skill, honor and integrity.

The Victims’ Assistance Office Provides:

Information

  • General information regarding the Criminal Justice System
  • Information about your rights as a victim
  • Specific information about your case, including updates on the status of the case

Assistance

  • In getting your property returned
  • In filing for Crime Victim Compensation through the Oregon Department of Justice Crime Victim Compensation Program

Advocates who will

  • Go with you to court
  • Provide emotional support.
  • Provide referrals to social services agencies, professional counselors or other community resources to help you through crisis
  • Help ensure that your testimony can be given without fear of intimidation
  • Investigate, document and recommend restitution amounts to the prosecuting attorney

IMPORTANT NUMBERS AND INFORMATION

Union County Sheriff's Office 541-963-1017
Union County Correctional Facility 541-963-1020
Union County Circuit Courts 541-962-9500
La Grande City Police Department 541-963-1017
Union City Police Department 541-562-5197
Elgin City Police Department 541-437-9771
Oregon State Police 541-963-7175
Services to Child and Families 541-963-8571
Center for Human Development 541-962-8800
Union County Community Corrections 541-963-1005
Shelter from the Storm 541-963-9261
Union County District Attorney's Office 541-963-1007
Union County Victim Assistance Program 541-963-1007

Union County District Attorney’s Office
Kelsie McDaniel, District Attorney
1104 K Avenue, La Grande, OR 97850
541-963-1007 Fax: 541-963-1080 TTY: 1-800-735-1232

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