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Seattle Police Department Kathleen O'Toole, Chief of Police
SPD Home / Safety and Prevention / Rights of Crime Survivors

Rights of crime survivors

There shall be a reasonable effort made to ensure that victims, survivors of victims, and witnesses of crimes have the following rights:


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;

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;

To be informed of the procedure to be followed to apply for and receive any witness fee to which they are entitled;

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;

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 conviction upon request by victim or survivor;

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 pre-sentence reports and permanently included in the files and records accompanying the offender committed to the custody of a state agency or institution;


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, whenever practical, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require them to be in close proximity to defendants and families and friends of defendants;

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;


To have any stolen and 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 owner within ten days of being taken;

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;

With respect to victims, and survivors of victims, to present a statement personally or by representation, at the sentencing hearing for felony convictions; and

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.

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Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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