Crime victims have the right to submit what are known as victim impact statements, and the State's Attorney's Office strongly encourages victims to exercise this important right.
What is a victim impact statement?
In an impact statement, a victim provides an explanation of how the crime affected you, your family, or even your community. Statements should include:
- A "brief" summary of the harm or trauma suffered by the victim or family as a result of the crime.
- A summary of the economic loss or damage suffered by the victim as a result of the crime. Include requests for restitution for out-of-pocket expenses.
- A concise statement of what outcome the victim would like and the reasons to support this opinion, including support for or opposition to treatment or community service programs.
- Highlights about the victim, past accomplishments, hopes for the future, and what the crime has done to change these activities.
- The overall effect the crime has had on the victim and family.
Why is a victim impact statement so important?
After a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime, a Judge sentences the defendant. The Judge responsible for sentencing the defendant reads and considers victim impact statements before setting the sentence.
What else should I know about victim impact statements?
A victim impact statement submitted to the Court becomes part of the criminal case file. As a result, everyone involved in the case will receive a copy, including the Judge prosecutor, defendant, defense lawyer, and probation officer.
Is a victim required to submit a victim impact statement?
No. There is no obligation to compose and submit a victim impact statement.
Where are victim impact statements to be sent?
Victim impact statements can be submitted in one of three ways: through this Web site, by mail, or by fax.
To submit by mail, send to:
The Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City
Communications and Community Affairs Division
100 North Calvert Street, Suite 302
Baltimore, MD 21202
To submit by fax, send to:
Still have questions?
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City's Victim and Witness Division at 410-396-1897.