A Guide to Victim Impact Statements

 

   Upon the conviction, or plea of guilty of a defendant, a victim impact statement is an opportunity for the victim of a crime to voice their opinion to the court. In the case of a homicide, the victim's family members may submit an impact statement. This is your chance to tell the Judge how this crime has affected your life.

  As a victim of crime, or homicide victim family member, it is your right to have a victim impact statement submitted to the court and included with the judgement and sentence. This statement will also be sent to the Department of Corrections and Pardon and Parole Board. This statement is public record.  
According to recent Court of Criminal Appeals case decisions, a victim impact statement may include some personal characteristics of the victim, as well as how the crime has affected your life
1) financially
2) psychologically
3) physically, and
4) emotionally.

   The impact statement must be written by the victim, or members of the immediate family. In April, 1997, a murder case was reversed based on the victim impact statement. The Court of Criminal Appeals established guidelines regarding these statements. It must not be too "inflammatory".

   In order to comply with these guidelines, it is necessary that all victim impact statements be submitted to the District Attorney's office at least 15 days prior to sentencing. Our office will review the statement.


Please submit your victim impact statement to


 Tulsa County District Attorney
Victim/Witness Center
500 S. Denver Ave. Suite 800
Tulsa, OK 74103
918-596-4915
FAX 918-596-4923
districtattorney@tulsacounty.org

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our department, or the Assistant District Attorney handling your case.