Frequently Asked Questions

We know that being a victim of crime is a difficult, complicated, and traumatic process. We know you will likely have many questions while navigating criminal justice system, and we're here to help.

Right now, what would you like more information about?

What happens after reporting a crime

When a crime is initially reported to law enforcement, an officer is sent to the crime scene to find out what happened. An arrest may be made at that time. The officer will gather evidence and write a report that will be sent to the district attorney's office with a type of charge indicated on the report. The office of the District Attorney assigns the report to one of the deputy district attorneys. The report is evaluated to determine if there is enough evidence to file charges. At this time one of three things will occur:

  • No charges are filed due to lack of evidence; or
  • Further investigation is required and law enforcement is asked to obtain the information; or
  • Charges are filed in a document called an information or complaint.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What's the status of the investigation?

You can find the status of the investigation or request a copy of a police report by calling a police department.

Multnomah County Police Departments

Gresham Police
(503) 618-2318

Fairview Police
(503) 674-6200

Portland Police
(503) 823-3333

City of Portland Police Department Records Division

Troutdale Police
(503) 665-6129

Fairview Police
503-674-6200 (police records)

Tri-County Sheriff’s Offices

Clackamas County Sheriff
(503) 655-8218

Multnomah County Sheriff
(503) 255-3600

Washington County Sheriff
(503) 629-0111

What happens during prosecution and trial

Once charges are filed by the District Attorney, prosecution begins.

Grand Jury (if the charge is a felony)
A grand jury is a panel of seven people. The grand jury listens to the witnesses presented by the district attorney's office and based on that evidence, may indict the defendant if five of the jurors concur. The defendant or the defendant's attorney are not present during the grand jury process. If the grand jury panel determines, based upon the witnesses' testimony, a felony crime has been committed, the defendant is indicted. There are several times a defendant may be brought before the court after a crime is committed, including:

Early and Final Resolution Conference
At the arraignment hearing, the court will set a date for an early resolution conference. At this conference meeting, the defendant and attorney meet with a deputy district attorney before the presiding judge to review the pre-trial offer prepared by the district attorney's office and attempt to resolve this matter. If a resolution is not met, a final resolution conference will be scheduled. If an agreement is not reached at either resolution conference, the court will set the case for trial.
If the defendant enters a plea at the resolution hearing, the court may proceed to sentencing, unless the victim would like to attend the sentencing. The court would then set over (postpone) the sentencing to give the victim the opportunity to speak to the defendant and the judge about the impact of this crime. If the victim is not comfortable appearing in court, a written victim impact statement may be provided and read into the record in open court.

Trial
Subpoenas are issued to anyone who will be testifying in the trial. If the trial is called off or postponed, witnesses will be notified by the district attorney's office. If you do not receive a phone call from the district attorney's office, please call the phone number on the subpoena to verify if the trial is still going forward. Because there are so many cases in the court system and only a certain number of trial days, a trial may be reset multiple times.
Trials can be heard before either a jury, or a judge. Many times witnesses are not allowed to come into the courtroom until they testify. Trials are open to the public.

Sentencing

Sentencing may occur quickly if a Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) is not ordered. If the judge requires a pre-sentence investigation, a sentencing date will be scheduled after a conviction or change of plea hearing. Victims are encouraged to use this time to write a victim impact statement to the judge (whether or not they can be present at sentencing) explaining how the crime has affected them. Victims have a right to be heard at sentencing, either in person, through a representative of the district attorney's office, or in writing.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What can I be notified of? How can I request notifications?

You have the right to be notified of:

  • critical stage hearings in advance
  • release hearings in advance

Talk to your advocate about notifications. Contact the District Attorney Victim Services at (503) 988-3222.

+ Can I be present at the trial? Do I have to be?

You have the right to participate in prosecution and:

  • be in the courtroom during trials and or hearings
  • request to speak at these events
  • provide a written or oral statement to the court at the time of sentencing
  • participate in mediation or a restorative conference (all parties willing)

Talk to your advocate about notifications. Contact the District Attorney Victim Services at (503) 988-3222.

+ How can I maintain privacy?

You have the right to to privacy and protection during the trial process including:

  • keep victim address and phone number from the defendant
  • choose to speak with a defense attorney or representative, or not

If you are in a case involving sexual conduct by a child or invasion of privacy, you have the right to allow no coverage of sex offense proceedings by media.

+ What is a victim impact statement, and how can I make one?

Talk to your advocate about making a Victim Impact Statement.
Contact the District Attorney Victim Services at (503) 988-3222.

+ How do I get a copy of my police report?

Contact the arresting or responding law enforcement agency directly.

County Level
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has police reports generated by Sheriff's Office deputies.

Requests must be made by mail or in person at:
234 SW Kendall Ct.
Troutdale OR 97060
503-988-7300

+ What other information am I entitled to?

If you are involved in a DUI case, you have the right to access any information about the case that the defendant has.

If you are involved in a sexual assault case, you have the right to have the defendant tested.

+ Can I be involved in sentencing?

If you are involved in a violent felony case, you have the right to be consulted regarding plea bargaining and negotiations.

Talk to your advocate about your right to be consulted.
Contact the District Attorney Victim Services at (503) 988-3222.

Who to Call

Multnomah County District Attorney Victim Services
(503) 988-3222

What happens after sentencing

Timeline-Overview Created with Sketch. Sentencing Police investigation DA prosecution

What happens after sentencing?

The judge sets the sentence and conditions at the time of conviction. Depending on the length and conditions, the offender will either receive probation or prison time. If the offender receives prison time, they either stay in a county jail (if the sentence is less than 1 year) or are transferred to prison (if sentence is longer than 1 year).

If offender on probation

Timeline-Probation Created with Sketch. if offender on probation

You may hear many confusing technical and legal terms that describe an offender’s supervision.

Although there are differences, all types of community supervision have two things in common. First, each offender has conditions he or she must follow. Second, the offender is supervised by a parole/probation officer all of whom work for our Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What are the different types of supervision?

Post-Prison Supervision* is the current legal term for supervision after prison and Probation is the term for supervision instead of prison.

*Prior to 1989, Post-Prison Supervision was called Parole. Parole is still used today if the offender was sentenced to prison prior to 1989. It is the same as Post-Prison Supervision in that the offender has to follow conditions of supervision set by the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.

+ How do I learn about the the terms of my offender’s supervision?

To learn the specific conditions of supervision for an offender, please contact his or her probation/parole officer.

Lookup the Parole/Probation Officer

There are also general conditions that apply to almost every offender.

+ Who is the Parole-Probation Officer, and how can I contact him/her? + What can I talk to the Parole-Probation Officer about?

State and federal law limits the information we can give you about an offender. We can tell you:

  • Why the person is under supervision
  • Physical description and age
  • The person’s conviction history
  • The person’s compliance with conditions of supervision and what the PO has ordered

+ Can I affect the terms of supervision?

For post-prison supervision, you may request special conditions (such as “no contact” orders) from the Parole Board before the inmate is released. The Parole Board will make the final decision, and the inmate will have a chance to appeal.

+ How can I be notified about changes or violations of supervision?

You have the right to be notified about probation/parole violation hearings and changes to supervision.

Register with the Department of Community Justice for notifications
Register with VINE for custody change notifications

+ What do I do if I witness the terms of supervision being violated?

Call the Parole/Probation Officer (PO). The PO will conduct an investigation and let you know what comes next. If the activity continues, or if you feel in danger, call 9-1-1.

Lookup the Parole/Probation Officer

Who to Call

Chelsea
Chelsea Penning
Victims' Specialist, Department of Community Justice
(503) 988-2737
chelsea.penning@multco.us

If offender in jail/prison

Timeline-Prison Created with Sketch. if offender in prison

After sentencing the offender will go through intake at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. The intake process takes about three to four weeks at which point, male offenders will be transferred to a long-term facility.

Look up offender status

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What’s the earliest release date?

Look up offender status to see the projected earliest release date.

+ How might the earliest release date change?

Earliest Release Date is not firm until closer to release. It gets updated periodically by counselors. The closer to release, the more predictable this date becomes.

What does Earliest Release Date include?
Earliest Release Date includes the sentence minus 20% Earned Time.

What is Earned Time?
Earned Time is 20% credited at the beginning of the sentence. Earned time can be lost due to infractions and counselors update earned time periodically.

What are some other programs that may move the date earlier than that?
Short Term Transitional Leave can subtract up to 90 days in addition to earned time for certain offenders. To learn more visit the DOC FAQs.

Are there other programs that may allow the offender to spend time in the community?
There are Alternative Incarceration Programs available in three institutions in Oregon that allow a small number of offenders to undergo treatment in the community. If they graduate these programs successfully they will be released earlier in addition to earned time.

+ How can I be notified about changes or release? + How can I find out about parole hearings and decisions?

You have the right to attend and/or speak at a parole hearing. Inmates will only have a parole hearing if one of these applies:

  • They were sentenced to a crime before November 1st, 1989
  • They were sentenced as a "Dangerous Offender"
  • They were convicted of aggravated murder
  • They were convicted of murder before June 25th, 1995
Register with the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision for parole hearing notifications. Their Victim specialist, Robyn Masella, will get in touch with you and help you prepare and navigate the parole hearings process.

Who to Call

For questions about state prison

Saydyie
Saydyie DeRosia
Victim Services Coordinator, Oregon Department of Corrections
(503) 934-1113
VictimServicesProgram@doc.state.or.us

For questions about county jail

Chelsea
Chelsea Penning
Victims' Specialist, Department of Community Justice
(503) 988-2737
chelsea.penning@multco.us

Victims’ Rights

Your right to justice includes the right to a meaningful role in the criminal or juvenile justice process, to be treated with dignity and respect, to fair and impartial treatment, and to reasonable protection from the offender.

Many victims’ rights are automatic although you may need to “tell “someone you want to receive them. Here's a breakdown:

Right to notification

You have the right (upon request) to be notified of

any critical stage of the proceedings held in open court, for example: release hearings, plea hearings, sentencing

probation violation hearings
Register with Department of Community Justice

release of an offender from prison, 30 days prior
Register with Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision

You can also register with VINE. VINE can call, text or email you of offender custody change. For example, you’ll receive a message if they get arrested, released from jail, move to a different county or change which office they report to. It’s a service that victims and any interested party can sign up for anonymously.

Right to financial assistance

You have the right to financial compensation. There are several types, including:

Restitution (money to help cover the cost of the damage the offender caused) may be ordered by the judge to be paid by the offender. Restitution is an automatic right.
Learn more about how restitution works

Victims' Compensation for medical, counseling, and other costs as a result of certain crimes is available through the Oregon Crime Victim's Compensation Program.
Apply for Crime Victims’ Compensation

Victims of domestic violence may be eligible for financial help from the Department of Human Services

For trial appeals and attending parole hearings, you may qualify for a special type of Crime Victims' Compensation to pay for travel and counseling expenses

Frequently Asked Questions

+ Having trouble collecting restitution?

Though an automatic right, it is one of the most challenging to enforce. Restitution is ordered by the judge and collected by the courthouse so the'll be able to talk more about it.
You can call the local courthouse (503) 988-3269

Right to privacy and protection

You have the right to be privacy and protection including:
keep personal identifiers (for example phone number and address) from the offender

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What if I’m being harassed by an offender on supervision?

If you are in danger or need to report a new crime, call 9-1-1.

For less urgent concerns, you can call the offender's Parole/Probation Officer (PO). The PO will conduct an investigation and let you know what comes next. If the activity continues, or if you feel in danger, call 9-1-1.

If being harassed by a youth offender or the youth’s family, contact the police to file a report, report the incident to juvenile’s assigned court counselor or notify the Victim’s Advocate in the District Attorney’s Office at Juvenile Court.

+ How do I get a restraining order?

A restraining order is a court order which requires someone else to stop an undesirable behavior such as contacting you, being near you, or living with you.

Depending on who you are looking to file the restraining order against (the “respondent”), there are different qualifications, and the respondent will have a chance to contest the restraining order in front of a judge.

A restraining order can be obtained in one day, if you begin in the morning. The process usually takes several hours.

The best way to get a restraining order in Portland for intimate partner violence is to go to the Gateway Center at:

10305 East Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97216

Pick up a free set of blank Restraining Order forms at the:
Family Law Clerk
Multnomah County Courthouse
1021 SW 4th Avenue, Room 211
Portland

Bring identification with you.

The Office is open from 8am to 5pm. The Family Law Clerk is available between 11am and 12:45pm to help you fill out the application and answer any questions. If you turn in your completed forms before 12:45pm, you will go before the judge at 1:30pm the same day.

After the judge grants the order, the Court Clerk will work with you to determine how it will be served on the respondent. If the respondent opposes the order, he or she must notify the court to set a hearing date. Please keep the court informed of your address so you can be notified of a hearing.

Restraining Order Violations
If the respondent does not obey the Restraining Order, call 911 or the police non-emergency number. Tell police you have a Restraining Order and need their help enforcing it.

If you want to drop the Restraining Order
If you decide you want to drop the Restraining Order, go to the Family Law Clerk’s office and fill out a form asking the Judge to vacate (remove) the Restraining Order. If the Judge signs the Order, give copies to the Family Law Clerk and the Sheriff’s office. The Restraining Order will remain in effect until the order to vacate is signed.

Who to Call

Offender's Parole/Probation Officer
Department of Community Justice
Lookup the Parole/Probation Officer

Rights in special cases

There are additional rights of special cases. Right to:

  • In a violent felony case, that a Deputy District Attorney consult with you before making a plea offer and before entering into a final plea agreement
  • If the crime involved the transmission of bodily fluids, testing of the defendant for HIV and other communicable diseases
  • In a DUII automobile collision case, that information about the case given to the defendant is also shared with you.
  • To limit copying or distribution of visual or audio recordings of sexual conduct by a child or invasion of personal privacy
  • To allow no-coverage of sex offense proceedings by media television, photography, or recording equipment
  • To have as a special condition of post-prison supervision that th eperson convicted of a sex crime in your case not live within three miles of your home if you were younger than 18 years old when the crime occurred (exceptions may apply)
  • For person crimes and burglary in the first degree only, to request ongoing involvement in any court actions that happen after the conviction such as appeal, post-conviction, or federal habeas proceedings.
  • (for victims under 18 at the time of the crime) request special post-prison conditions

All community services

Community advocates may be entitled to confidentiality privilege, many are.

Domestic Abuse Hotline
(800) 799-7233

Call to Safety Hotline
(503) 235-5333

Legal Help
Legal Aid Services of Oregon
(503) 224-4086

National Organization for Victim Assistance
(202) 232-6682

National Crime Victims’ Center
(800) 394-2255

All justice system services

Advocates in the justice system are not entitled to confidentiality privilege, unlike community partners.

Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
(503) 988-3701

Multnomah District Attorney’s Office - Victim’s Assistance Program
(503) 988-3222

Multnomah County Small Claims Court
(503) 988-3022

Oregon Crime Victims’ Compensation Program - Adults and Juveniles
(503) 378-5348

Multnomah County Circuit Court and Family Law Center
(503) 988-3943