Victim Assistance

Things You Should Know


This sets out the criminal process in more detail and further explains your role and rights as a crime victim.

Crime impacts each person differently. Physical injury, emotional stress, loss of property and financial loss are only a few of the negative impacts which can affect a victim. The staff of the Beaverton City Attorney’s Office is committed to helping victims understand their rights so that they can make better informed choices about their situation, have a better understanding of their rights and the criminal justice system as it relates to their case.

Unlike a civil case, prosecuting attorneys serve the interest of the government, not the personal interests of the victim.

Prosecutors work to uphold crime victim rights and provide advocacy for victims within the prosecutorial function.

Your General Rights as a Crime Victim

  • You can receive notice of critical hearings.
  • You can attend open court proceedings.
  • You can ask for a copy of a transcript or recording of open court proceedings if one is already made. You will need to pay for the copy.
  • You can get criminal history information about the defendant.
  • Your “personal identifiers” will usually be protected.
  • You can request to withhold your address and phone number from an adult defendant.
  • You can refuse to speak to an attorney or private investigator for the defendant.
  • In a DUII case, you may ask for information given to the defendant be shared with you.
  • You have the right to express your views at sentencing, in person or in writing.
The Beaverton City Attorney’s Office prosecutes misdemeanor and violation offenses through the Beaverton Municipal Court.

Major Steps in a Criminal Misdemeanor Case


Arraignment


After the filing of a formal Complaint with the court, the defendant appears and answers to the charges filed by entering a plea of guilty or not guilty.

If the defendant pleads guilty, the judge will sentence the defendant at that time; If a not guilty plea is entered, a pretrial conference will be set. The length of time before a pretrial varies greatly, and a number of pretrial hearings and/or resets may take place before the defendant actually goes to trial or the case settles out.

Pretrial


At the pretrial hearing, the prosecutor and the defendant represented by an attorney, if they have one, will negotiate the settlement of the case. If the defendant does not accept the prosecutor’s proposal for settlement (plea offer), a trial date may be set at that time. You will be notified and subpoenaed to testify in court.

Case Settlement


The case may be settled by 1) a voluntary guilty or no contest plea by the defendant, 2) conviction or acquittal by trial, or 3) a dismissal due to insufficient evidence, lack of witness testimony, or through a civil compromise between the victim and the defendant.

Oregon Laws ORS 135.703-135.709 govern civil compromises. Major traffic crimes cannot be civilly compromised with the exception of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run). All misdemeanor crimes involving a victim can be compromised.

Trial


Once the case has been set for trial, the prosecutor will prepare the case and subpoena the victim, witnesses, and officers involved in the investigation. The role of the victim is crucial at this point. Without the victim, the government cannot proceed to trial. Depositions are not allowed in a criminal proceeding.

Sentencing


Sentencing will occur upon conviction or guilty plea by the defendant, unless the court has been notified that the victim wishes to appear. In this instance, sentencing will be reset so the victim can be notified.

The prosecuting attorney can make a sentence recommendation; however, the sentence the defendant receives is entirely up to the judge within the boundaries set by Oregon law.

Please note: Due to limited jail space, defendants may be allowed to participate in alternative sanctions and other programs that reduce their jail sentence. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a defendant to be released from the jail prior to serving the total number of days as ordered in the final judgment. This is beyond our control. See our information on VINE-Victim Information and Notification Everyday.

Restitution


In a criminal case, restitution can be order for the actual loss a victim suffers due to damaged property, theft or fraud, or physical injury. A victim can obtain a restitution request form from the City Attorney’s Office.

Restitution can only be ordered by the court upon the conviction of the defendant. The judge makes the final determination on the amount to order based upon the defendant’s ability to repay.

Restitution cannot be ordered in a criminal proceeding for general, non-specific damages that can be recovered through civil remedies.

Other Resource Information


  • Center for Victims’ Services (503) 846-3020
  • Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral (503) 620-0222 General Information
  • Crime Victim’s Compensation Program (800) 503-7983