Presenters of Victim Impact Statements

If you are a victim of a “violent” crime you have a right to present a victim impact statement at the court date when the defendant pleas guilty to a plea agreement, or at the sentencing hearing date. It must be done in writing in conjunction with the Lake County State’s Attorney Office before being presented in court. The victim coordinator assigned to the case can assist and provide victims guidance for completing a Victim Impact Statement (VIS). Below explains fully the rights of “violent” crime victims to present a victim impact statement.

In any case where a defendant has been convicted of a violent crime or a juvenile has been adjudicated a delinquent for a violent crime and a victim of the violent crime or the victim’s spouse, guardian, parent, grandparent, or other immediate family or household member is present in the court at the time of the sentencing or the disposition hearing, the victim or his or her representative shall have the right and the victim’s spouse, guardian, parent, grandparent, and other immediate family or household member upon his, her, or their request may be permitted by the court to address the court regarding the impact that the defendant’s criminal conduct or the juvenile’s delinquent conduct has had upon them and the victim. The court has “discretion” to determine the number of oral presentations of victim impact statements. Any impact statement “must” have been prepared in writing in conjunction with the Office of the State’s Attorney prior to the initial hearing or sentencing, before it can be presented orally or in writing at the sentencing hearing.

In conjunction with the State’s Attorney's Office, a victim impact statement that is presented orally may be done so by the victim or the victim’s spouse, guardian, parent, grandparent, or immediate family or household member or his, her or their representative. At the sentencing hearing, the prosecution may introduce that evidence either in its case in chief or in rebuttal. The court shall consider any impact statement admitted along with all other appropriate factors in determining the sentence of the defendant or disposition of such juvenile.

In any case where a defendant has been convicted of a violation of any statute, ordinance, or regulation relating the operation or use of motor vehicles, the use of streets and highways by pedestrians or the operation of any other wheeled or tracked vehicle, except parking violations, if the violation resulted in great bodily harm or death, the person who suffered great bodily harm, the injured person’s representative or the representative of a deceased person shall be entitled to notice of the sentencing hearing. “Representative” includes the spouse, guardian, grandparent, or other immediate family or household member of an injured or deceased person. If the injured person, the injured person’s representative or a representative of a deceased person is present in the courtroom at the time of sentencing, the injured person or his or her representative and a representative of the deceased person shall have the right to address the court regarding the impact that the defendant’s criminal conduct has had upon them.

If more than one representative of an injured or deceased person is present in the courtroom at the time of sentencing, the court has discretion to permit one or more of the representatives to present an oral impact statement. Any impact statement must have been prepared in writing in conjunction with the Office of the State’s Attorney prior to the initial hearing or sentencing, before it can be presented orally or in writing at the sentencing hearing. In conjunction with the Office of the State’s Attorney, an impact statement that is presented orally may be done so by the injured person or the representative of an injured or deceased person. At the sentencing hearing, the prosecution may introduce that evidence either in its case in chief or in rebuttal.