A Victim Impact Statement (PDF) may be the only means of making offenders aware of the harm they have caused. A Victim Impact Statement can be written or oral. It gives the victim an opportunity to provide information for the judge to consider at sentencing and allows the victim to express the pain, anguish, and financial devastation the crime has caused. It also provides the court with information, which leads to appropriate sentences and suitable restitution.
According to the law, the victim determines how the statement should be presented at the sentencing or disposition hearing. They may choose one of the following:
- Present the statement in written form
- Present the statement orally to the court
- Request the prosecuting attorney or victim coordinator to orally present the statement
The following are items to consider including in your Victim Impact Statement:
- A brief summary of the harm or trauma suffered as a result of the crime
- A summary of the financial loss or damage suffered as a result of the crime
- The victim's reactions or objections to the proposed sentence
- Opinion regarding jail, prison, work release privileges, community service can be addressed
- A short statement of what the desired outcome should be, including support for, or opposition to, treatment or community service programs, and the reasons in support of such outcomes
- Highlights about the victim, their past accomplishments, hopes for the future, and what the crime has done to these activities
- The overall effect the incident has had on the victim and family
We encourage you to limit the facts to those which are unique to you and which the Court does not have knowledge of already. Contact the Victim Witness Office for more information.