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Victim Impact Statement
What is a Victim Impact Statement and How Is It Used?
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Victim Witness Program


110 Edwards Ferry Road, N.E.
Leesburg, VA 20176

Ph: 703-777-0417
As a crime victim, you have the opportunity to use this Victim Impact Statement to describe how this crime affected you and others close to you. This statement allows for you to write about the physical, emotional, and financial effects of this crime, as well as any other changes in your life you may have experienced.

If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, your impact statement will help the judge understand how this crime has affected you and those close to you.

Filling Out This Statement is Voluntary

You do not have to fill out a victim impact statement. However, it may be helpful to the judge when he or she decides what sentence the defendant should receive and/or any money the defendant may have to pay you for expenses you have paid or owe because of this crime. When the judge makes the defendant pay the victim it is called "restitution." If the judge orders the defendant to pay you restitution, there is no guarantee that the defendant will be able to pay the entire amount.

Statement Becomes an Official Court Document
Your statement will become an official court document after it is given to the court, and will become part of the defendant's permanent file. The judge, prosecutor, and probation officer will read your statement. In addition, prison and parole officials may read your statement if the defendant is sentenced to a prison term.

The defendant and the defendant's attorney will also be able to read what you have written. They may even be able to ask you questions about your statement in court. However, the defendant will not be able to see your address and telephone number because you are not asked to put them on your statement.

No one knows better than you how this crime may have changed your life. Those of us involved in your case believe that it is very important for you to help the court understand all of the ways this crime has affected you and those near you. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this information.