It’s very common for crime victims to deal with a range of emotions. Completing a victim impact statement can often help victims express their emotions regarding the case to the prosecutor and the court. It also can help by letting the prosecutor and the court know what the victim would like to see regarding sentencing for an offender.
What is the purpose of a Victim Impact Statement?
An impact statement gives the sentencing judge an opportunity to clearly understand the effects of a crime from a victim’s perspective. The impact statement can also be a beneficial therapeutic tool for a victim.
Who can make a Victim Impact Statement?
Victims of dangerous felony crimes or immediate family members have a constitutional right to submit a written or verbal impact statement. Other family members or friends can submit a written statement, but in some instances, may not be allowed to address the judge in an open courtroom.
What should be included in a Victim Impact Statement?
Identify any physical injuries and long-term physical suffering
Identify any emotional injuries and long-term suffering
Total cost of any financial losses incurred (example: hospital, property, emotional, loss of wages, etc.)
Describe any changes resulting from the crime with family, job or relationships
Describe what sentence you believe is fair to impose on the person who committed the crime