What is a victim impact statement?
Victims of “violent” crime have the right to prepare a victim impact statement (VIS) and present it to the Office of the State’s Attorney at any time during the proceedings. The VIS is the victim’s opportunity to tell the court prior to sentencing the defendant about the emotional, physical, and financial impact the crime has had upon the victim and victim’s family. The VIS must be completed in writing in conjunction with the State’s Attorney's Office prior to the change of plea hearing or sentencing hearing, before it can be presented orally or in writing to the court. The victim coordinator assigned to your case will work with you on how and when to complete a VIS. Any written VIS submitted to the Office of the Lake County State’s Attorney, and the victim is present in court, shall be considered by the court during its consideration of aggravation and mitigation in plea proceedings under Supreme Court Rule 402 or sentencing hearing.

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1. What type of services and information can I get through Victim Witness Assistance Unit?
2. If I am the victim in a criminal case, do I need to hire an attorney?
3. Can I drop charges against the defendant/offender?
4. Are defendants required to attend all court dates?
5. Are crime victim(s) or witnesses required to go to all court dates?
6. Can victims attend court dates?
7. How do I find out the next court date?
8. Will a Victim Witness Assistance Coordinator be assigned to every case?
9. How can an offender plea not guilty if he/she made a statement to the police or there are witnesses to the crime?
10. Who decides if the defendant pleas guilty or request a trial?
11. Will I have to testify in court?
12. What do I do if I receive a subpoena to testify?
13. What should I do if the defense attorney or investigator contacts me?
14. How long will I be in court?
15. Can a friend or relative be in court when I testify?
16. Will the defendant be in the courtroom when I testify?
17. What time does court start?
18. Where do I park when I come to the court house or Lake County State’s Attorney Office?
19. Does the victim of crime have input on the criminal case?
20. What is a victim impact statement?
21. Who can present a victim impact statement (VIS) in court?
22. When should a violent crime victim prepare or write a victim impact statement (VIS)?
23. When does the victim present the victim impact statement (VIS) in court?
24. How many victim impact statements can be presented in court?
25. Is a violent crime victim required to complete a victim impact statement (VIS)?
26. Can I write and present a victim impact statement for a non-violent crime in court?
27. Is there money to help cover medical expenses as a result of violent crime committed against me?
28. Is there money to help violent crime victims and families of homicide with medical, counseling, and burial expenses?
29. What is the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Compensation Program and who is eligible?
30. Is counseling available to violent crime victims?