How do I make a VIS?

The most common way to make a VIS is to write a letter to the judge. You do not need to know the judge's name. You can simply address your letter Honorable Judge. Your letter should be typed if possible but it can be handwritten if it is easy to read.

Another common method is to be present at sentencing and to make a verbal statement addressing the judge. In this case, you simply need to be present at sentencing. When the case is called, the judge will ask at some point whether there is someone who wants to speak on behalf of the victim. This is when you will speak. You will not be placed under oath, but naturally, you are expected to tell the truth. Normally you will stand near the table where the prosecutor is standing. The Victim/Witness Coordinator can attend the sentencing hearing with you and stand next to you when you speak if requested.

There are other options as well. Some people choose to bring pictures of a victim who is not able to be present for one reason or another. You can also make a video or audiotape or even a PowerPoint presentation. If you choose to do this, be sure to let the Victim/Witness Unit know so the courtroom can be set up properly.

Show All Answers

1. What is a Victim Impact Statement (VIS)?
2. How do I make a VIS?
3. What should I say?
4. Can someone else speak for me?
5. What if I don't want to make a VIS?
6. What happens to my VIS after sentencing?