Victims' Rights. The Washington Constitution grants crime victims basic and fundamental rights, and additional rights are enumerated in statute. A reasonable effort must be made to ensure that victims and survivors of victims have various rights in criminal court and juvenile court proceedings. Examples of statutory rights include the following:
Domestic Violence. Domestic violence refers to a crime committed by one family or household member against another or by one intimate partner against another. A crime is considered domestic violence if the prosecutor pleads and proves the facts of the underlying crime and the applicable family, household, or intimate partner relationship during the criminal proceedings. A domestic violence crime could be any classification, including felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor. Depending on the circumstances, state law may afford additional protections for the victim and impose additional requirements and restrictions upon the defendant in a domestic violence case.
The statutory right for a victim or survivor of a victim to present a statement, personally or by representation, at a sentencing hearing for a felony conviction is expanded as it relates to domestic violence. A victim has the right to present a statement at a sentencing hearing for any domestic violence conviction. This applies regardless of the classification of the offense.