Victim/Witness Assistance Program
The Plumas County Victim/Witness Assistance Program is designed to assist people who have been involved in a crime. We are here to help make the criminal justice system more understandable, accessible, and responsive to the concerns of victims and witnesses. Our Victim Witness Advocate is available to ensure that crime victims and their family members are kept informed and supported throughout the criminal justice process and are treated with dignity, compassion, and respect.
The Victim/Witness Assistance Program serves all victims/witnesses of interpersonal crime. Victims/witnesses may suffer from physical injury, disability, emotional trauma, etc. The aftermath of a crime may leave people feeling alone and confused. Our Victim Advocates are here to help.
Victim Witness Assistance Program Overview
The Plumas County Victim Witness Assistance Program provides the following direct services to victims of crime:
- Orientation to the criminal justice system (victims and witnesses)
- Court escort (victims and witnesses)
- Secure waiting room before trial (victims and witnesses)
- Resource and referral assistance
- Case status (next hearing dates, trial date, sentencing date, etc.) and case disposition
- Assistance with claims with California's Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
- Assistance in seeking a restitution order from the defendant
- Assistance in the return of the victim's property that was held as evidence
- Restraining order assistance
- Funeral arrangements (assisting the next of kin)
- Transportation assistance (victims and witnesses)
- Assisting victims of crime with their Victim Impact Statements
- Notification of the crime to family/friends at the request of the victim
- Employer notification of the crime at the request of the victim
- Educational outreach to the community
The Victim Witness Assistance Program advocate can be reached at 530-283-6285. If you need an advocate during an emergency call 911 or for Non-Emergencies Plumas County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 530-283-6300.
(Civil/Domestic Violence/Elderly Abuse) https://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm
California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board: http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/
In Custody Status (State PRISON) VINELink - California (vineapps.com) Account Needed
Human Response Network: http://www.humanresponsenetwork.org/
California Courts: http://www.courts.ca.gov/
California Office of the Attorney General, Victims Services Unit: http://oag.ca.gov/victimservices
California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Victim & Survivor Rights and Services: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/index.html
|Income and documentation of legal status are not required to receive assistance through this program.|
Special Events throughout the Year for the Victim Witness Program:
- Child Abuse Awareness Month (April)
- Victim Rights Week (3rd week in April)
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October)
Victim Witness Assistance, What we do
If you or someone close to you is affected by crime, advocates at the Plumas County Victim/Witness Assistance Program can help. Our program is part of a statewide effort to provide crime victims with emotional support in the aftermath of crime, guidance through the criminal justice process, and awareness of victims’ rights (679.02 of the Penal Code and Article 28 of the California Constitution). All services are confidential and free of charge. California was one of the first states to pass legislation addressing victims' needs and rights by providing funds through the California Office of Emergency Services to establish comprehensive Victim Witness Assistance Centers in each county (13835 of the Penal Code, et seq.). Further rights were granted to victims with the passage of the California Constitutional Amendment known as Marsy’s Law.
Marsy's Rights and Resources
VICTIMS’ BILL OF RIGHTS “Marsy Rights” California Constitution, Article I, Section 28(b) Penal Code Section 649.026
1. FAIRNESS AND RESPECT To be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process.
2. PROTECTION FROM THE DEFENDANT To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant.
3. VICTIM SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS IN SETTING BAIL AND RELEASE CONDITIONS To have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant.
4. THE PREVENTION OF THE DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family, or which disclose confidential communications made in the course of medical or counseling treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or confidential by law.
5. REFUSAL TO BE INTERVIEWED BY THE DEFENSE To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which the victim consents.
6. CONFERENCE WITH THE PROSECUTION AND NOTICE OF PRETRIAL DISPOSITION To reasonable notice of and to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency regarding, upon request, the arrest of the defendant, the charges filed, and the determination of whether to extradite the defendant. Upon request, to be notified of, and informed before any pretrial disposition of the case.
7. NOTICE OF AND PRESENCE AT PUBLIC PROCEEDINGS To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including juvenile delinquency proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present, and to notice of all parole or other post-conviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such proceedings.
8. APPEARANCE AT COURT PROCEEDINGS AND EXPRESSION OF VIEWS To be heard, upon request, at any proceeding, including a juvenile delinquency proceeding, involving a post-arrest release decision, a plea, sentencing, a post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding in which a right of the victim is an issue.
9. SPEEDY TRIAL AND PROMPT CONCLUSION OF THE CASE To a speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings.
10. PROVISION OF INFORMATION TO THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT To provide information to a probation department official conducting a pre-sentence investigation regarding any sentencing recommendations and concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim’s family, before the sentencing of the defendant.
11. RECEIPT OF PRE-SENTENCE REPORT To receive, upon request, the pre-sentence report when available to the defendant, except for those portions made confidential by law.
12. INFORMATION ABOUT CONVICTION, SENTENCE, INCARCERATION, RELEASE, AND ESCAPE Being informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant, and the escape by the defendant from custody.
13. RESTITUTION Restitution is already an existing victim right in the California Constitution. Proposition 9 eliminates the authority of the court to refuse to order victim restitution. (Previously a court could refuse to order victim restitution if there were compelling and extraordinary reasons to not order it.). Requires that all monetary payments, monies, and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution be first applied to pay restitution (i.e., not fines or fees).
14. THE PROMPT RETURN OF PROPERTY To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence.
15. NOTICE OF PAROLE PROCEDURES AND RELEASE ON PAROLE To be informed of all parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to provide information to the parole authority, and to be notified, upon request, of the parole or other release of an offender.
16. SAFETY OF VICTIM AND PUBLIC ARE FACTORS IN PAROLE RELEASE To have the safety of the victim, the victim’s family, and the general public considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made.
17. INFORMATION ABOUT THESE 16 RIGHTS To be informed of all 16 of the above rights.