Victim Impact Statements for Sentencing and Parole Hearings
What is a Victim Impact Statement?
A victim impact statement provides an opportunity for your voice to be heard by our justice system. When completed, it is an important document that describes how the crime has affected you and your loved ones; it also provides input into how the court can best hold the offender accountable for the harm he/she has caused.
When can I make my Victim Impact Statement?
You can make your statement at the time the defendant is being sentenced.
What if I can not be present to make my statement in person?
Your impact statement can be submitted in a variety of formats. If you cannot be present in court, you can write out your statement for the judge to read. You can also submit your statement via video.
What happens to my written Victim Impact Statement after I send it to the District Attorney’s office?
First, an Advocate from our Division of Victim Services will review it to see if there are any immediate issues they may assist you with. Next, the statement will be brought to the attention of the Deputy District Attorney handling your case. It will be kept in the case file and taken into consideration when deciding on the best outcome.
What should a Victim Impact Statement include?
A brief summary of the harm or trauma suffered by the victim as a result of the crime. An effective statement is approximately 3-5 minutes in length.
A summary of the economic loss or damage suffered by the victim as a result of the crime. Include requests for restitution for out-of-pocket expenses.
For homicide cases: highlights about the victim. Their past accomplishments, hopes for the future, and what the crime has done to curtail these activities.
The overall impact the crime has had on the victim and family.
- The victim's reactions or objections to the proposed sentence. Jail, prison, work release, and community service can be addressed.
I received notice that the defendant is scheduled for a parole hearing. Can I make a Victim Impact Statement at that hearing?
Yes. You can attend the hearing and make your statement in person. You can also work with Victim Services to have your Victim Impact Statement video recorded at the time the defendant is sentenced. Your Impact Statement can be preserved for future parole hearings. Please contact the Division of Victim Services if you need further assistance.
National Impact Statement Information