Writing an impact statement for court

Victim impact statements Victim personal statements A victim personal statement VPS allows you to say, in your own words, how a crime has affected or continues to affect you.

Writing an impact statement for court

Further, one of the historical functions of the criminal law writing an impact statement for court been to discourage victims and their friends and families from resorting to self-help, and the consequent escalation of violent vendettas between members of the community.

That is the rule at common law. A sentencer is entitled to consider all the conduct of the offender, such as damage, harm or loss occasioned to the victim, but cannot take into account circumstances of aggravation which would have warranted a conviction for a more serious offence: The common law rule is that a court can only have regard to the consequences of an offence that were intended or could reasonably have been foreseen: The offender takes the victim as he or she finds the victim.

writing an impact statement for court

One of the most notable changes in the administration of criminal justice in recent years has been a growing awareness of a need to take account of the impact of offences on victims; in some jurisdictions provision is made for evidence of victim impact to play a formal role in sentencing proceedings.

The scheme also applies to offences for which a higher maximum penalty may be imposed if the offence results in the death of, or actual physical bodily harm to, any person than may be imposed if the offence does not have that result: Similarly, in the Local Court it applies to offences that result in the death of any person or to an offence for which a higher maximum penalty may be imposed if the offence results in the death of any person than if it does not: A VIS may be received and considered by the court at any time after it convicts, but before it sentences, an offender: If the primary victim dies as a direct result of the offence the relevant court may receive, acknowledge and appropriately comment on a VIS given by a family victim: While the court may make a VIS available to the prosecutor, offender or to any other person it considers appropriate, subject to conditions, the offender is not permitted to retain copies of the statement: Section 29 1 provides that the giving of a VIS is discretionary.

If the victim or any victims to whom the statement relates objects to the statement being given to the court it may not be received or considered by a court: No inference can be drawn that the absence of a VIS signifies that an offence had little or no impact on a victim: A VIS must be in writing and comply with any other requirements prescribed by the regulations: Victims Services provides information about victim impact statements, including the suggested form of a victim impact statement, on its website at http: A VIS may include photographs, drawings and other images: A VIS may only be received and considered if it complies with the prescribed statutory requirements: A victim to whom the statement relates, or a person having parental responsibility for the victim, or a member of the immediate family, or other representative, of the victim, is entitled to read out the whole or any part of the statement to the court: A victim is entitled to read out their VIS via closed-circuit television if he or she was entitled to give evidence that way during the trial: The Justice Legislation Amendment Act inserted further provisions with regard to reading out victim impact statements in court.

The victim is entitled to choose a person or persons, including a parent, guardian, friend, relative or support person, to be present near them and within their sight when the statement is read out whether read in open court, in camera or via CCTV: In that case, victims of the offences break, enter and steal and maliciously damage property by fire, tendered VIS at the sentencing proceedings without objection.

The court held that the material was admissible whether through VIS or in another form. This is especially so as no objection was taken to the material tendered. It is not uncommon for material concerning loss and harm to victims of burglary and arson offences to be included in statements taken by police from victims, or in statements of facts used on sentence.

It is unfortunate that the Act gives no greater guidance as to the appropriate use of such a statement, especially where untested, for the purposes of determining sentence. Victim impact statements are a particular species of evidence available to a sentencing judge.You can do this by writing a statement that you or an advocate can read in court or the probation officer can forward to the offender.

Another possibility is a facilitated dialogue with the offender, such as supervised victim-offender mediation. The statement should only include things that the person making the statement saw or heard or did.

writing an impact statement for court

Don't include rumours or gossip. You will need to prepare a witness statement for yourself and get one from each of your other witnesses. Personal Statement You have a voice in the criminal justice system and have a right to explain how the crime has affected you. CONTENTS and found guilty, the court will take into account the impact of the offence on you as set out in your VPS, as far as it considers appropriate, when deciding the.

A guide for victims of crime and our Victim Impact Statement factsheet gives more information about going to court or writing a victim impact statement. You do not have to make a victim impact statement if you don’t want to.

Victim Impact Statements at court Your Victim Impact Statement is used by the court at the plea hearing. The plea hearing is when the prosecution and defence lawyers provide information to the judge or magistrate to help them decide on the most fitting sentence (punishment).

In some states, but not all, the law allowing victim impact statements specifically require the judge (or parole board) to consider the statements in making a decision. In those states, the victim statements indeed have more impact on the judicial process and outcome.

Victim Impact Statement | 16 Impacts of Sexual Assault