The Victim/Witness Staff provides the following Services:
|Courtroom Assistance||Financial Assistance|
Tips for Testifying
The first and only rule of testifying is to TELL THE TRUTH!
Have dates, times, places and other details clear in your mind. Photos and/or medical records pertinent to your case need to be brought to court. It is extremely important that you write down the details of the crime as soon as possible so you refer to them before testifying. You will be able to refer to these notes while on the witness stand.
Your attire should be courtroom appropriate-clean and conservative. Dress the way you would to go to Sunday School or Church. Dresses/Suits for the females, khakis, and a dress shirt or a suit for the males is very appropriate. No jeans or shorts!
Be prepared to wait. Our courts are busy and handle many cases every day. You may have to wait, so bring something to occupy your time until your case is heard.
Look at the judge during your testimony. He/she or they (if jury) will be making the decisions in your case. If you hear "Objection", stop speaking until the judge makes a decision and someone asks you to speak again.
Speak loudly, clearly and be concise. Do not use jargon or clichés. Answers only those questions you are asked; do not volunteer extra information not relevant to the question asked.
Your testimony should concentrate on specific details of the incident in question. The details are extremely vital. You must tell where, when, and how the crime was committed. You should also describe the nature and extent of the injuries sustained and whether a weapon was used. Again, do not include details which are not relevant to the case.
Victim Impact Statement
What is a Victim Impact Statement and how is it used?
As a crime victim, you have the right to use this Victim Impact Statement to describe how this crime affected you and others close to you. This statement allows for you to write about the physical, emotional and financial effects of this crime, as well as any other changes in you life you have experienced.
This is your one chance to tell the judge how you feel in your own words. However, we ask that you do not tell the judge how much time the defendant should receive as punishment. You may use the Victim Impact Statement Form or write it in essay form.
Filling out the Victim Impact Statement is Voluntary.
How is it Used?
This Victim Impact Statement form gives the victim or others affected by crime(s) the opportunity to express, in writing, the impact of this (these) crime(s). This may include any economic losses, the extent of any physical or psychological injuries, and any major life changes as a result of the crime(s).
A written presentence report is prepared by a probation and parole officer to assist the judge in sentencing. This report focuses on the crime, the defendant's background, and any criminal history. The Victim Impact Statement is also part of this presentence report.
Your statement will become an official court document after it is given to the court, and will become part of the defendant's permanent file. The Judge, prosecutor, probation officer and defense attorney will read your Victim Impact Statement. They may even be able to ask you questions about your statement in court. The defendant will also be able to read what you have written. However, the defendant will not be able to see your address and telephone number because you are not asked to put this information on your statement.
A Victim Impact Statement may also helpful to the judge when he or she decides what sentence the defendant should receive and/or if restitution is ordered. Restitution is money that the judge orders the defendant to pay to you, the victim. However, there is no guarantee that the defendant will be able to pay the entire amount.
No one knows better than you do how this crime may have changed your life. Those of us involved in your case believe it is very important for you to help the court understand all of the ways this crime has affected you and those close to you. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this information.
Suggestions For Writing A Victim Impact Statement
Determine if you qualify as the "victim" in the case before writing a statement.
Use additional paper if necessary
Write or type clearly & concisely
Make statement readable in about 5 minutes.
Discuss characteristics of the life of the victim BEFORE the crime. List specific examples.
Discuss feelings DURING the crime
Discuss characteristics of the life of the victim AFTER the crime. List specific examples.
Write your statement as "awful" as it really is (don't be bashful)
As difficult as it may be, please use the word associated with the crime. For example, if you are raped, use this word. Do not minimize what happened by merely describing the offense as an "assault". If someone dear to you was murdered, use this word. Do not minimize what happened by describing the offense as a "death".
A "VICTIM" IS
An individual who has suffered physical, psychological or economic harm as a direct result of a felony or of assault and battery, stalking, sexual battery, attempted sexual battery or driving while intoxicated;
A parent or legal guardian of such person who is a minor
A spouse, child , parent or legal guardian of such person who is physically or mentally incapacitated or was a victim of a suicide.
*A victim does not mean a parent, child, spouse or legal guardian who commits a felony or other enumerated criminal offense against a victim
CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION FUND
Who May File:
When Must a Claim be Filed:
How To File a Claim:
The Henrico County Victim Witness Program can assist in the filing of the claim. Applications may be obtained from the Henrico County Victim Witness Program or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
What Qualifications Must Be Met:
What benefits are available:
What benefits are not available:
How a claim is processed:
Documentation is required to verify that the victim was an innocent victim of a crime, the victim received injuries as a result of the crime, the medical treatment provided was directly and solely related to the crime injuries and the victim sustained an out-of-pocket loss of at least $100.00 not covered by other sources. It is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to perfect a claim by providing all documentation required.
Collateral resources include but are not limited to benefits provided by insurance, Social Services, Social Security and employer (sick leave, vacation leave and disability). The claimant's income is not considered in determining eligibility.
If the qualifications are met and the victim has medical expenses or wage loss, an award up to a maximum of $15,000.00 may be made. Medical providers may be paid directly.
If the victim contributed to the injuries, the award will be reduced by the percentage of the contribution. Claims will be denied if all qualifications are not met or the victim was engaged in illegal activity at the time of the crime.
Crime Victims' Ombudsman:
11513 Allecingie Parkway