Frequently Asked Questions about the Victim Witness Program

  1. I am a victim of a crime; how do I report it?
  2. How can I drop charges against someone, make additions to a police report, or correct errors on a report?
  3. What are the rights of victims in the criminal justice system?
  4. What criminal offenses equip victims with rights?
  5. Who is a victim of a crime?
  6. When do victims' rights begin?
  7. What is the difference between a "No Contact Order" and a "Protection Order"?
  8. How do I get a No Contact Order or a Protection Order?
  9. How do I drop a No Contact Order or a Protection Order?

I am a victim of a crime; how do I report it?

In the case of an emergency call 911. In non-emergency instances you may contact Dispatch at 377-6790, and they will direct you to the proper law enforcement agency to take your report.

How can I drop charges against someone, make additions to a police report, or correct errors on a report?

To make changes, corrections or additions to a police report, contact the officer who took the report. If that is impossible, you may contact the proper law enforcement agency to request a supplemental report be made. Rarely is a case dismissed even if the victim requests that all charges be dropped. The State is pressing charges against the defendant, not the victim.

What are the rights of victims in the criminal justice system?

To be treated fairly, to be involved in the court process, to have a timely disposition of the case, to be notified of hearings and the incarceration/release of the offender, to be involved in plea negotiations, to refuse interviews or contact with the defendant or their representative, to be involved in sentencing, and/or to have property returned.

What criminal offenses equip victims with rights?

Any charged felony or misdemeanor involving physical injury or threat of physical injury, sexual assault offenses, and juvenile offenses involving acts that would be considered felonies if committed by adults.

Who is a victim of a crime?

Any individual who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial or emotional harm as a result of a crime or juvenile offense. Rights apply to the immediate families of homicide victims, or victims that are unable to exercise these rights, such as children.

When do victims' rights begin?

When a criminal complaint or juvenile petition is filed by the prosecuting attorney. This is when a case is filed with the court (charged), NOT when a statement is given to an officer.

What is the difference between a "No Contact Order" and a "Protection Order"?

A no contact order is issued by the judge in a criminal case and orders the defendant to have no contact with the victim.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can also personally petition the civil court for a protection order to keep you safe. To be eligible, you must have had a domestic relationship with your offender (ie: spouse, former spouse, be related by blood or marriage, have a history of living together, have a child in common, married or not).

How do I get a No Contact Order or a Protection Order?

You may obtain a petition from the district court clerk, located at 200 W. Front St. in Boise, Idaho. This is FREE. Be specific on the form about violent acts or threats. The clerk will give the judge the form, and if the judge issues a temporary order, you will be given a hearing date within 14 days to appear again (the offender will also be there) to see if the judge will issue a 90 day order of protection. You can renew this for up to a year if you continue to need protection.

How do I drop a No Contact Order or a Protection Order?

To change or drop a protection order, you fill out another form with your requests and file it with the clerk.