A victim impact statement is written to convey the expression of crime victims to the court. It will explain the effects the crime has had on the victims and their families. The statement is used as an important part of the decision-making process during the verdict phase of the successful prosecution. The statement typically involves the descriptions of the physical, emotional and financial effects of the crime on the victim. It may include some recommendations for sentencing. The statement can be in writing or recorded form, or it can also be shared verbally with the court. A victim impact statement should be impressive enough with all important details to persuade the decision-making authority.
Tips to Write Victim Impact Statement:
An impressive victim impact statement can bring positive results and following are some tips to write a victim impact statement:
- You have to talk to the prosecutor and ask about the victim assistance program. This will help you in different ways to get guidance on the impact statement. Explain your physical injuries and provide details of the necessary treatments and the duration of recovery. Do not forget to include necessary arrangements that are required for the treatment of your family. Demarcate the permanent injuries and disabilities you have and their effects on your life.
- Clearly explain the emotional impact of crime and write about any nightmares or insomnia, you might have developed as the result of crime. If you are suffering with depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome or anxiety just because of crime, let the court know about it. Tell about any medication prescribed for these issues. Do not forget to discuss the effect of crime on your personal relationship.
- Write the details of any financial loss you have suffered. Write the cost of medical care, prescriptions, physical and occupational rehab. Mention counseling and related travel expenses. Write the total amount of wages you lost due to wastage of time and court appearance. The financial impact of the crime can be calculated to get the compensation from the offender.
- You can recommend some appropriate sentences for the offender based on the sentencing guidelines. It will be good to consult any prosecutor and get guidelines about the case. You can request for the offender to follow strict rules. These provisions may be the anger management classes, alcohol and other drug testing, community service and electronic monitoring.
- Do not rehash too many details about the crime, because the court already had enough information. Be careful about making recommendations to the jury for the sentence of the offender. Focus on the crime and its effects on your life, your family and loved ones. Your message should be concise and clear for the easy understanding of the judge.
It is important to write victim impact statement, even if the victim chooses to tell everything verbally in the court. Read the impact statement in the loud voice in the court. Provide a copy of the written victim impact statement to the prosecutor, because the document will become the part of the permanent file.
Free Victim Impact Statement Templates
Download all these Free Victim Impact Statement Templates that can easily help you to prepare your own Victim Impact Statement effectively.