Jackson County, Oregon, USA
September 25, 2023
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Crime Victims’ Rights

The Oregon Constitution and the Oregon Revised Statutes afford certain rights to crime victims. A more complete list of rights or additional information on any of these rights can be found at the Oregon Department of Justice website.

Foundational Rights

1. A crime victim has a right to justice, a right to a meaningful role in the criminal and juvenile justice systems, a right to due dignity and respect, and a right to fair and impartial treatment.  A crime victim’s rights shall be protected at each stage of the criminal justice system.  Or Const Art 1 § 42(1). ORS 147.410.

Initial Notice of Rights

2. A crime victim shall be given notice about victims’ rights in Oregon’s constitution as soon as practicable. If exercise of any of the rights depends upon a victim making a request, the notice shall include the time period in which a victim is required to make the request.  Or Const Art 1 § 42(1)(g).  ORS 147.417.  Applies to Juvenile System via ORS 419C.270.

Rights at Various Stages of the Criminal System

3. The victim of a person crime who was at least 15 years old when the crime is committed, may select a personal representative to accompany the victim to phases of the investigation and prosecution of the crime except for grand jury proceedings and certain child abuse assessments.  ORS 147.425.
4. A crime victim may be eligible for compensation for a crime.  Furthermore, victims of sexual assault, suspected child sexual abuse or child physical abuse may have the costs of certain medical assessments paid by the Oregon Department of Justice.  Sec. 2, Chapter 789, Oregon Laws 2003.  ORS 147.015.  ORS 147.390. ORS 147.015.  (Compensable losses are listed in ORS 147.035.  Emergency awards are described in ORS 147.055.)
5. A crime victim may have, upon request, a court order prohibiting distribution of evidence in a proceeding involving a sexual offense, an offense involving the visual or audio recording of sexual conduct by a child, or invasion of person privacy.  ORS 135.873.  Applies to Juvenile System via ORS 419C.270.
6. A crime victim has, upon specific request, the right to be informed in advance of any critical stage of the proceedings held in open court when the defendant or alleged youth offender will be present. A crime victim has the right to be present at any such stage of the proceedings.  Or Const Art 1 § 42(1)(a).
7. A crime victim may have a copy of a transcript, audiotape or videotape of any court proceeding in open court, if one is otherwise prepared. Or Const Art 1 § 42.  ORS 147.419.   Further application to Juvenile System via ORS 419C.270.
8. A public body shall provide to the victim any of the following information of which it is the custodian and that is about the defendant, alleged youth offender, convicted criminal, or youth offender:  (a) the conviction and sentence; (b) criminal history; (c) imprisonment; and (d) future release from physical custody.  Or Const Art 1 § 42.  ORS 147.421.  Further applies to Juvenile System via ORS 419C.270.
9. A crime victim has the right to be reasonably protected from the criminal defendant, convicted criminal, the alleged youth offender, or youth offender throughout the criminal justice process or juvenile delinquency proceeding. Or Const Art 1 § 43(1)(a). 
10. A crime victim has the right to have an address and phone number withheld from the defendant upon request unless good cause is otherwise shown.  ORS 135.970(1).  Applies to Juvenile System via ORS 419C.270.  A victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may have a substitute address designated when disclosure of the address may threaten the safety of the victim or the victim’s child.  ORS 192.820 – ORS 192.868.
11. When a criminal act involves the transmission of body fluids, a crime victim may request HIV testing of the person charged or convicted of the offense, which, under certain circumstances, the court must order.  If any such HIV test is positive, a victim shall be provided with counseling and referral for appropriate health care, testing and support services. The costs of this testing and counseling shall be paid through the crime victims’ compensation program.  ORS 135.139.

Pre-Trial Rights

12. A crime victim has the right to be notified by the district attorney of the release hearing upon timely request. A crime victim has the right to appear personally at the release hearing and to reasonably express any views relevant to the issues before the magistrate. Or Const Art 1 § 42.  ORS 135.245(5)(B).
13. A crime victim has the right to have decisions by the court regarding the pretrial release of a criminal defendant based, in part, on the principle of reasonable protection of the victim. Or Const Art 1 § 43.
14. Any pretrial release order must prohibit any contact with the victim, unless specifically authorized by the court.  If the defendant threatens or intimidates the victim, the district attorney shall notify the court and the defense attorney.  If the defendant is not in custody and the court finds there is probable cause to believe the victim has been threatened or intimidated by the defendant, the court shall immediately issue an order to show cause why defendant’s release status should not be revoked.  ORS 135.250.  ORS 135.970.
15. If contacted by the defense, a victim must be clearly informed by the defendant’s attorney of the identity and capacity of the person contacting the victim, that the victim does not have to talk to the defendant’s attorney, or provide other discovery (except subpoenas and examinations allowed defense counsel) unless the victim wishes, and that the victim may have a district attorney present during any interview. Or Const Art 1 § 42. ORS 135.970.
16. In any prosecution arising from an automobile collision in which the defendant is alleged to have been DUII, the prosecuting attorney shall make available to a victim, upon request, reports and information disclosed to the defendant.  ORS 135.857.  Applies to Juvenile System via ORS 419C.270.  If a DUII offense involves damage to property of a person other than the defendant, the victim of the property damage has a right to be present and to be heard at any hearing on a petition for a diversion agreement.  ORS 813.222(1).
17. If a victim of a violent felony makes a timely request, the district attorney shall consult the victim regarding plea discussions before making a final plea agreement.   If a victim asks to be consulted, the judge shall ask the district attorney if the victim agrees or disagrees with the plea discussions and agreement and the victim’s reasons for agreement or disagreement.  Or Const Art 1 § 42. ORS 135.406.

Trial and Sentencing

18. When resetting any trial date or setting any court hearing requiring the presence of the victim, the court shall take the victim into consideration by asking the district attorney if the victim has been informed of the prospective date and if that date is convenient for the victim.  ORS 136.145.  See also ORS 136.295(4) re: an extension of custody when a court fails to comply with this provision; and UTCR 4.040(2).
19. In a prosecution for rape, sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration, or sexual abuse, or in a prosecution for an attempt to commit one of these crimes, the following evidence is not admissible:  Reputation or opinion evidence of the past sexual behavior of an alleged victim; or reputation or opinion evidence presented for the purpose of showing that the manner of dress of an alleged victim incited the crime or indicated consent.  In a prosecution for these crimes or attempt to commit one of these crimes, evidence of a victim’s past sexual behavior other than reputation or opinion evidence is also inadmissible unless admitted in accordance with the Oregon Evidence Code and is evidence that relates to the motive or bias of the alleged victim, is necessary to rebut or explain scientific, medical or testimonial evidence offered by the state, is necessary to establish the identity of the victim or is otherwise constitutionally required to be admitted. ORS 40.210.  Oregon Evidence Code, Rule 412.
20. At a victim’s request, there shall be no public access coverage of sex offense proceedings in court.  UTCR 3.180(2)(d).
21. The preparer of a pre-sentence investigation report shall make a reasonable effort to contact the victim and obtain a statement describing the effect of the defendant’s offense on the victim.  The preparer of the report shall include the statement of the victim in the pre-sentence report.  ORS 137.530(2).
22. At the time of sentencing, the victim has the right to appear personally or by counsel, and has the right to reasonably express any views concerning the crime, the person responsible, the impact of the crime on the victim, and the need for restitution and compensatory fine. Or Const Art 1 § 42.  ORS 137.013.