The law states that victim’s rights apply to victims, survivors of victims, and witnesses of crimes. These individuals enjoy many protections, which apply to any and all criminal court or juvenile court proceedings.
If you are a victim, survivor, or witness, you have rights. Unfortunately, these rights are not always observed and sometimes need to be enforced.
In Washington State, all victims of crime have certain rights:
In addition, victims of sexual assault have rights under the Victims of Sexual Assault Act – RCW 70.125, including the right to have an advocate or other support person present during legal and medical proceedings, see Right to Support Person – RCW 70.125.060.
As a victim of crime, you may be eligible for benefits under the state’s Crime Victim Compensation program under RCW 7.68, WAC 296-30 & WAC 296-31. These benefits can help to cover costs associated with medical care or counseling related to the assault.
In accordance with the federal Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, Washington State law requires that victims be provided sexual assault forensic exams free of charge, regardless of whether they plan to report the crime to the police or otherwise cooperate with the criminal justice system. State law mandates that the initial exam be paid for by the Crime Victim Compensation Program and that victims and/or their insurers should not be billed for any costs of this exam. You do not have to apply to the program in order to receive the exam at no cost.
The Kuhlman Law Office strongly believes in the rule of law and will represent you in exercising your rights. If you have any questions about your rights please contact us.