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If you are a victim or a witness of a crime, you may have to testify in court. However, many cases resolve without actually going to trial. If this happens, you will not be required to testify, as there will not be a trial. If you have concerns about testifying, contact a victim/witness provider in our office at (360) 577-3080.
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All crime reports should be made to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the city or county area where the crime occurred. For example, if your house was burglarized in the city limits of Longview, the Longview Police Department has jurisdiction. If your house is outside city limits in the unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s office has jurisdiction.
For emergency calls where the crime is in progress call 911.
To report a non-emergent crime that has already occurred, please call the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. If not known then call (360) 577-3090 or (360) 577-3098.
If you have medical bills or funeral expenses resulting from a crime, Crime Victim's Compensation may cover expenses not covered by your insurance company, including deductibles and copays. Generally speaking, you are responsible to pay most other bills. If a defendant is found guilty, he or she could be ordered to pay restitution to you and/or your insurance company. In order to have restitution ordered, you must provide the office with a summary and receipts for your losses. You can always contact our victim service providers for more information as to restitution at (360) 577-3080. Click here to view the State website and for more information: Crime Victim's Compensation
If an attorney or investigator is contacting you, they most likely work for the defense. You have the right to speak with them or to decline to speak with them. If you would like us to set up and/or attend the interview with you, you can let the person contacting you know this, or you can contact our office at (360) 577-3080 and let us contact them. You never have to speak with someone simply because they show up at your home/work or call you. Victims and witnesses often feel pressured to talk immediately, but you get to decide when and where an interview may take place and we can help with that.
There are two methods. The first and best is to register through the Washington Statewide Victim Information and Notification Service. You can register online or by phone. To register online, go to www.vinelink.com and click on Washington State. Follow the directions. To register by phone, call 1-877-846-3492. The other method is to contact the Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s office and request to speak to an advocate and they can notify the jail on your behalf. You will not be notified unless you register through one of these methods. There is no automatic notification unless you register.
Click here to go directly to the vinelink website: VINELink
If you are a witness to a crime and you must appear at trial, you will receive a subpoena from the Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney or another attorney in the case. The subpoena should state where and when you must appear. When you are subpoenaed for a Superior, District or Juvenile Court trial, you can check the day before trial by calling (360) 414-5505 after 5:00 PM to see what trials are scheduled for the following day. Questions about subpoenas can be answered during regular business hours, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday, by calling our office: (360) 577-3080.