I want a protection order to keep my husband [or
wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or other person] away from me. Will the Prosecuting Attorney’s
Office do this for me?
No, you don’t need a lawyer. Go to the Yakima County
Superior Court Clerk’s Office, Room 323, County Courthouse, 128 N. 2nd Street, Yakima WA
98901, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ask for an application for a
Protection Order. The application, hearing, order, and service of the order on the person
I feel that a crime has been committed. How do I press
charges? Can I report a crime directly to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office?
In most cases, crimes must be reported to the Sheriff’s
Department, a Police Department, or other law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over
the city or county where the crime occurred. For example, if the crime occurred in Yakima, it
should be reported to the Yakima Police Department. If the crime was committed in any
unincorporated area of Yakima County, or in an area where the Yakima County Sheriff is the
contracting law enforcement agency (such as the City of Naches), the crime should be reported
to the Sheriff.
I am a victim in a criminal case and I want to drop
the charges. Can I do that?
The decision to drop charges in any criminal prosecution
can only be made by a prosecutor with the approval of a judge. The victim's wishes alone will
not dictate whether or not a case will be filed or dismissed. One reason for this is that some
criminal charges affect more than one victim, and the other victims may wish to proceed.
Another reason is that sometimes the victim has been intimidated or pressured to drop the
charges, or believes that such a request will stop any retaliation. If our office did not
proceed in such cases, victims would continue to be intimidated and hurt. If you would like to
discuss your case, you should speak with the prosecutor handling the case.
I was the victim of a crime. Can I get money for what
I have lost?
If the defendant is convicted of the crime, and in some
other special dispositions, the court can order the defendant to pay restitution. Restitution
is money equal to the victim’s loss. These are typically awarded as restitution:
Cost of destroyed, lost, or damaged property,
Medical and counseling bills,
Cost of surveillance and investigation tools,
such as video tapes, and
Lost wages due to injury from the crime.
Some types of loss, such as pain and suffering, are
usually not awarded as restitution. You should contact a non-government attorney if you want
help obtaining pain and suffering damages.
In addition, the Washington State Department of Labor
and Industries has a program called the Crime Victims Compensation Program. It will provide
funds for victims of crime to help pay for medical and counseling costs that are a result
of the crime. This program is a source of last resort for victims not otherwise covered by
insurance or medical coupons.
I was the victim of a crime, and the defendant was
ordered to pay restitution to me. Since then, I have more medical and counseling bills. Will
the defendant pay for those too?
In some cases, the court will consider changing the
amount of restitution the defendant must pay. The Crime Victims Compensation Program may
also provide financial help if you have ongoing treatment or counseling. Our office can
provide the form you need to get this help.
Why am I not getting my restitution check?
If the court ordered the defendant to pay restitution
to you, but you are not getting money, it could be because the defendant is still in jail or
prison, or the defendant is not making any money to pay to the court, or the defendant isn’t
paying for some other reason. You may have to wait a long while for money. Various departments,
including the Washington State Department of Corrections, are then responsible for collecting
money owed to victims. The Clerk of the Court where the case was filed will send the money to
you as it is received. If you are not receiving your restitution you should contact that
Clerk’s office to make sure it has your correct address. If the defendant has community
supervision or probation, you can also call the defendant’s community custody officer or
probation officer about the lack of payment.
How do I collect restitution when I know the defendant
is working but isn’t paying?
The defendant is responsible to make his or her
community corrections officer or probation officer aware of his or her living and employment
status. If you have additional information about the defendant, the community corrections
officer or probation officer would like to be informed. If the defendant is not being
supervised, contact the Clerk's office of the court in which the case was heard.
I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the
name of the defendant and the defendant's next court date?
Our Office can give you the name of an adult defendant
and the next court date if we have filed charges against the defendant. To obtain this
information, call our Felony Division office if the crime
was a felony (most serious crimes) or our District Court
Division office if the offense is not a felony. If the defendant was a juvenile, call our
Juvenile Division office.
What is the status of my case?
You should receive some information from someone in our
office. If not, or if you want more information, please call our office and ask to speak with
the prosecutor handling the case. The office telephone numbers and addresses are in the
Office Divisions section of this website.
Do you have a witness protection program?
No. We can help by giving victims and witnesses the
names and telephone numbers of both government and non-government organizations that can
provide other types of aid, but we cannot promise security.
What kind of counseling services do you provide?
The Victim/Witness Assistants in our office are trained
in crisis response and victim awareness. However, they are not trained counselors. We do
provide a list of counselors in the area that provide services to victims of crime.
Is the prosecutor my attorney?
No. The prosectuting attorney represents the State of
Washington and Yakima County, not individual persons or businesses. The prosecutor will
listen to your concerns and take into consideration your wishes. However, the prosecutor
must weigh all the aspects of the case and makes the final determination.