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Victim Bills of Rights

Learn what rights crime, child, and dependent victims have under their specific bills of rights.


What rights crime victims are entitled to under Washington law (RCW 7.69.030).

Crime victim's rights include:

  1. With respect to victims of violent or sex crimes, to receive, at the time of reporting the crime to law enforcement officials, a written statement of the rights of crime victims as provided in this chapter. The written statement shall include the name, address, and telephone number of a county or local crime victim/witness program, if such a crime victim/witness program exists in the county.
  2. To be informed by local law enforcement agencies or the prosecuting attorney of the final disposition of the case in which the victim, survivor, or witness is involved.
  3. To be notified by the party who issued the subpoena that a court proceeding to which they have been subpoenaed will not occur as scheduled, in order to save the person an unnecessary trip to court.
  4. To receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and to be provided with information as to the level of protection available.
  5. To be informed of the procedure to be followed to apply for and receive any witness fees to which they are entitled.
  6. To be provided, whenever practical, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require them to be in close proximity to defendants and families or friends of defendants.
  7. To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies or the superior court when no longer needed as evidence. When feasible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis, and property of which ownership is disputed, shall be photographed and returned to the owner within ten days of being taken.
  8. To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers of victims, survivors of victims, and witnesses of crime will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize an employee's loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearance.
  9. To access to immediate medical assistance and not to be detained for an unreasonable length of time by a law enforcement agency before having such assistance administered. However, an employee of the law enforcement agency may, if necessary, accompany the person to a medical facility to question the person about the criminal incident if the questioning does not hinder the administration of medical assistance. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as defined in RCW 49.76.020, shall be notified of their right to reasonable leave from employment under chapter 49.76 RCW.
  10. With respect to victims of violent and sex crimes, to have a crime victim advocate from a crime victim/witness program, or any other support person of the victim's choosing, present at any prosecutorial or defense interviews with the victim, and at any judicial proceedings related to criminal acts committed against the victim. This subsection applies if practical and if the presence of the crime victim advocate or support person does not cause any unnecessary delay in the investigation or prosecution of the case. The role of the crime victim advocate is to provide emotional support to the crime victim.
  11. With respect to victims and survivors of victims, to be physically present in court during trial, or if subpoenaed to testify, to be scheduled as early as practical in the proceedings in order to be physically present during trial after testifying and not to be excluded solely because they have testified.
  12. With respect to victims and survivors of victims, to be informed by the prosecuting attorney of the date, time, and place of the trial and of the sentencing hearing for felony convictions upon request by a victim or survivor.
  13. To submit a victim impact statement or report to the court, with the assistance of the prosecuting attorney if requested, which shall be included in all presentence reports and permanently included in the files and records accompanying the offender committed to the custody of a state agency or institution.
  14. With respect to victims and survivors of victims, to present a statement personally or by representation, at the sentencing hearing for felony convictions.
  15. With respect to victims and survivors of victims, to entry of an order of restitution by the court in all felony cases, even when the offender is sentenced to confinement, unless extraordinary circumstances exist which make restitution inappropriate in the court's judgment.

What rights dependent victims are entitled to under Washington law (RCW 7.69A.030).

The King County Prosecutor’s Office will make reasonable efforts to ensure that child victims and witnesses are afforded the following rights:

  1. To have all proceedings explained in language which can be easily understood by the child.
  2. With respect to child victims of sex or violent crimes or child abuse, to have a crime victim advocate from a crime victim/witness program present at any prosecutorial or defense interviews with the victim. This subsection applies if practical and if the presence of the crime victim advocate does not cause any unnecessary delay in the investigation or prosecution of the case. The role of the crime victim advocate is to provide emotional support to the child victim and to promote the child’s feelings of security and safety.
  3. To have, whenever practical, a secure waiting area provided for the child during court proceedings and to have a support person stay with the child.
  4. To not have the name, address or photograph of the child victim or witness disclosed to any agency outside the criminal justice system without the permission of the child or the child’s guardian.
  5. To allow an advocate to make recommendations to the prosecuting attorney about the child’s ability to cooperate with the prosecution and the potential effects of prosecution upon the child.
  6. To allow an advocate to inform the court about the child’s ability to understand the nature of the proceedings.
  7. To be provided information and referrals to agencies to assist the child and/or the child’s family in dealing with the emotional impact of the crime and the legal proceedings.
  8. To allow an advocate to be present in court to provide emotional support to the child during testimony.
  9. To inform the court as to the need to have other supportive persons present during the child’s testimony.
  10. To allow law enforcement agencies to enlist the services of other professional personnel such as child protective services, victim advocates, or prosecutorial staff trained to interview child victims.
  11. With respect to child victims of violent or sex crimes or child abuse, to receive either directly or through the child’s parent or guardian, if appropriate, at the time of reporting the crime to law enforcement officials, a written statement of the rights of child victims. The written statement shall include the name, address, and telephone number of a county or local crime/victim/witness program, if such a crime victim/witness program exists in the county.

What rights dependent victims are entitled to under Washington law (RCW  769B.020).

The King County Prosecutor’s Office will make reasonable efforts to ensure that dependent victims and witnesses are afforded the following rights:

  1. To have all proceedings explained in language which can be easily understood by the dependent person.
  2. With respect to dependent victims of sex or violent crimes, to have a crime victim advocate from a crime victim/witness program present at any prosecutorial or defense interviews with the victim. This subsection applies if practical and if the presence of the crime victim advocate does not cause any unnecessary delay in the investigation or prosecution of the case. The role of the crime victim advocate is to provide emotional support to the victim and to promote the dependent person’s feelings of security and safety.
  3. To have, whenever practical, a secure waiting area provided for the dependent person during court proceedings and to have a support person stay with the dependent person.
  4. To allow an advocate to make recommendations to the prosecuting attorney about the dependent person’s ability to cooperate with the prosecution and the potential effects of prosecution upon the dependent person.
  5. To allow an advocate to inform the court about the dependent person’s ability to understand the nature of the proceedings.
  6. To be provided information and referrals to agencies to assist the dependent person in dealing with the emotional impact of the crime and the legal proceedings.
  7. To allow an advocate to be present in court to provide emotional support to the dependent person during testimony.
  8. To inform the court as to the need to have other supportive persons present during the dependent person’s testimony.
  9. To allow law enforcement agencies to enlist the services of other professional personnel such as victim advocates or prosecutorial staff trained to interview dependent persons.

With respect to dependent victims of sex or violent crimes, to receive either directly or through the dependent person’s legal guardian, if appropriate, at the time of reporting the crime to law enforcement officials, a written statement of the rights of dependent persons. The statement may be paraphrased to make it more easily understood. The written statement shall include the name, address, and telephone number of a county or local crime/victim/witness program, if such a crime victim/witness program exists in the county.

Any party may request a preliminary hearing for the purpose of establishing accommodations for the dependent person consistent with their rights.

Translated Crime Victims Bill of Rights

Translations of the crime victim bill of rights are available in 6 languages below.

和繁体中文 (Traditional Chinese)

犯罪受害者權利法案 (38KB)
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