Writing an Impact Statement as the victim or complainant

Writing impact statements is important for the most serious felony cases, or the smallest misdemeanor cases.  The court is expected to receive your impact statement no matter the severity of the crime.  Don’t let the severity of the situation stop you from participating in the criminal justice system if you are the victim or complainant of a crime.

As the victim, you can write what no one else can write for you, about what you lost in terms of property, security or personal health and well-being.  Describe your injuries and damages in your impact statement.  Describe the changes you have made so you can continue your life.  Include changes for your family.  Write honestly and from the heart since the court needs to hear this.  You need to let people know your situation as the crime victim for your own restoration as well.

As the victim, you can also inform the court, what you think should be done to restore you and your family.  This may be restitution, a request for an apology or what you think is justice for the injuries you have received.  Describe what you hope the court would do:  send the person to jail, order the person to get treatment, order the person to get employment, order the person to stay out of a particular area (i.e. a geographic restriction for a particular neighborhood), sentenced to service for garbage pickup, graffiti removal and so on.

The Council on Crime and Justice has a 24 hour Crime Victim Hotline for Advice and support after a crime – 612-340-5400 and other information at their website http://www.crimeandjustice.org, under Victim Services.  The card the Minneapolis Police Officers give you with your case number has other important resources.  The Crime Victim’s bill of rights page at the Dept. of Public Safety’s website is also a resource for victims.  https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/help-for-crime-victims/Pages/crime-victims-rights.aspx.

Send your impact statements to your victim advocate, if one has contacted you.  If you don’t have a specific victim advocate assigned or that you know of, contact your Crime Prevention Specialist.  They will deliver your impact statement to the proper City Attorney for misdemeanor cases,  or the proper County Attorney for state prosecuted felony cases.

Here is a link to identify your Crime Prevention Specialist.

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crimeprevention/police_outreach_safe-teams

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