Victim/Witness Program

Victim Impact Statement

In felony cases, if a defendant is found guilty, the judge may withhold sentencing until the probation office completes a pre-sentence report. A pre-sentence report focuses on the crime committed and provides information about the defendant’s background and criminal history. To assist in preparing this report, the probation office may contact you about writing a Victim Impact Statement.

Composing a Victim Impact Statement serves as an opportunity for you to tell the court and the offender, in your own words, how the crime has affected your life. In your statement, you may discuss any economic losses, physical or psychological injuries, and major life changes you have experienced as a result of the crime. This information will be included as part of the probation office’s pre-sentence report and will be considered by the judge in determining an appropriate sentence for the defendant.

Please be assured that all Victim Impact Statements will be kept confidential. If you are unable to complete your statement on your own, a friend or relative may assist you. Keep in mind that unsuitable language or information can lessen the power and effect of your statement.

If you would like more information about the Victim Impact Statement, or you need assistance in writing your statement, please contact the Victim Services Unit at (757) 926-7443.