Victim / Witness
Your RightsAs the victim or witness in a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense you have the following rights outlined in RCW 7.69.030:
- To be informed of the final disposition of this case;
- To be notified of trial and of any delay in such trial in order to save you an unnecessary trip to court;
- 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;
- To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers of victims and witnesses of crimes will cooperate with the criminal justice process and minimize an employee’s loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances;
- If you are a victim of a domestic violence, a minor, or a dependent person, you may have a crime victim advocate from a crime victim-witness program, or any other support person of your choosing present at any prosecutorial or defense interview, and at any judicial proceedings related to criminal acts committed against you. This right applies as long as it is practical and the presence of such person does not cause unnecessary delay in investigation or prosecution of the case;
- To be physically present in the 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 the trial after testifying and not to be excluded solely because you have testified; and
- To submit a victim impact statement or report to the court, with the assistance of the Kennewick City Attorney’s Office if requested, and shall be permanently included in the files and records associated with this case;
- If you are required to appear in court, you may be entitled to witness fees in accordance with RCW 2.40.010. Any witness fees will be applied for and paid by the Benton County District Court in accordance with the law.
IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you can ask the city or county prosecuting authority to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to petition in superior, district, or municipal court requesting an order for protection from domestic abuse which could include any of the following:
* An order restraining your abuser from further acts of abuse;
* An order directing your abuser to leave your household;
* An order preventing your abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or
place of employment;
* An order awarding you or the other parent custody of or visitation with your minor
child or children;
* An order restraining your abuser from molesting or interfering with minor children in
your custody; and
Other rights and information may be outlined in RCW 49.76 and RCW 10.99.
Information about shelters and alternative to domestic violence is available from a statewide 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-648-1277. For resources within the Tri-Cities area, please contact Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties.
It should be noted that due to the high volume of cases handled by the Kennewick City Attorney’s Office, we are not able to proactively call each victim or witness in each case after every court hearing. If you wish to know the outcome of a particular hearing or case, please feel free to contact our office.
Witness InterviewsIt is standard practice that a defense attorney will request an interview with a victim or witness of a crime. In the event an interview is requested, the City Attorney’s Office staff will attempt to contact you and schedule an interview. Both a prosecutor and the defense attorney would be present at the interview. You are not required to comply with this request. However, interviews are helpful to both prosecution and defense in attempting to resolve the case short of setting a trial. In the event you choose not to comply with an interview, the defense attorney may request the judge to order you to comply with a formal recorded deposition and/or you will be required to testify at trial if one is set. If you are the victim of a domestic violence, you are allowed to have a domestic violence advocate present with you at any interview.
SubpoenaIf you have received a subpoena it means that a defendant has exercised his or her Constitutional right to a trial. You are required to appear in court at the date(s) and times listed on the subpoena by order of the Court. If you do not appear, a material witness warrant may be issued for your arrest at the discretion of the Court. Please call our office the Thursday afternoon before a Friday court hearing to determine if you need to appear at court. We do not generally know prior to that time. If you have any other questions or concerns please contact our office immediately.
If you are required to appear in court, you may be entitled to witness fees in accordance with RCW 2.40.010. Any witness fees will be applied for and paid by the Benton County District Court in accordance with the law.
If at any time during the course of a criminal proceeding you move or change phone numbers, it is important that you call our office and update the contact information on file immediately.