Victim Impact Statement Booklet

Tips for Preparing Your Statement It is time to begin writing your rough draft. Here are some tips to help you: • Write simply and descriptively. Your goal is to help the court feel your loss. Your words will help others in the court understand your experience. • Write in short sentences and paragraphs. Leave space between paragraphs. • Ask someone to check your statement draft for spelling and grammar before writing your final version. • Prepare early (if possible) to avoid the stress of last minute writing after the conviction. • Focus on what the crime means to you and/or your loved one physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. • Write and speak from the heart about your pain. • Keep the statement relatively short, reading it aloud should take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes. When the statement is short and simple it will help you keep the attention in the courtroom. • You can write your statement by hand or type it. • Consider including a photograph as part of your statement. • You can find examples of Victim Impact Statements online or ask your MADD Victim Advocate. Reading other statements can give you a general idea of a good statement. • Show respect to the court by addressing the judge as “Your Honor” and refrain from unsuitable language. It will diminish the effectiveness of your statement. • Consider writing a couple of sentences about how difficult it is to prepare your statement and why. • Only write things that you know are true. In most states, the defendant, through his or her attorney, can question or object to statements not believed to be factual. In a few states, the defense attorney can cross-examine the victim about what has been said in the statement. Ask your victim assistance provider if this is allowed in your state.


Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter