Victim Impact Statements/Restitution
Victim Impact Statements
What is a Pre-Plea/Pre-Sentence Investigation?
Pre-Plea or Pre-Sentence Investigations are ordered by a Judge, and are conducted by the Ontario County Probation Department.
The purpose of the investigation is to provide the court with information to consider when determining how to hold a person who has committed a crime accountable for their actions.
Based on the investigation, the Probation Department will prepare a report for the court which may include information such as the defendant’s prior criminal history, social history, education, and any input that you, as the victim, would like to share with the court.
Your Victim Impact Statement is an important part of the investigation.
What is the purpose of the Victim Impact Statement?
Victim impact statements provide an opportunity for your voice to be heard within the justice system.
Your input on sentencing may make a difference.
Completing the Victim Impact Statement will let the Judge know you are seeking money for any out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the crime.
Who has access to my Victim Impact Statement?
Your Victim Impact Statement will become an official court document and will be part of the defendant’s permanent file.
If the defendant is sentenced to prison, your statement will be viewed by the parole board before considering any early release.
It is important to note that the defendant’s attorney will have access to your statement; however all victim contact information such as addresses and phone numbers will be removed.
Speaking at Sentencing
If the offender is convicted of a Felony, it is your right to decide whether you would like to speak at sentencing.
If you think you might be interested in speaking or having someone else speak on your behalf, please check YES on the worksheet. You may change your mind at any time, including in court that day.
If you select NO you may not have the option of changing your mind as sentencing gets closer.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Ontario County Probation Department or the Victim/Witness Assistance Program if you would like support regarding completion of your Victim Impact Statement.
What is Restitution?
Restitution is part of a sentence that requires offenders to “make amends” to their victim(s) for any out of pocket financial loss, damage or injury resulting from the crime.
Some examples of expenses victims may incur can include medical bills, counseling costs, lost wages due to missing work, and/or the cost of replacing damaged or stolen property.
In order to request restitution, you must provide proof of any financial loss or expense. Please enclose copies of any receipts or outstanding bills you may have received with your Victim Impact Statement.