When does the victim present the victim impact statement (VIS) in court?
The VIS is presented at any hearing where the judge imposes sentence on the defendant. The hearing may be called a “sentencing hearing” or it may be called a “change of plea” (the defendant will plead guilty and sentenced at same court proceeding.) A victim has the right to make a VIS even if the prosecutor and the defense has an agreed upon sentence (negotiated plea agreement) As a result a victim may choose to prepare a VIS in the early stages of the pending case for two reasons. The prosecutor will consider the VIS before plea offers to the defense, and if the defendant pleas to a negotiated agreement the VIS must be prepared in writing before it can be presented during the plea in court. The victim must also be present. A victim may revise the VIS any time prior to sentencing. If the case goes to trial and the defendant is found not guilty, the VIS would not be presented in court. Contact the victim coordinator assigned to your case for assistance.

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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?