Rights at the sentencing stage

A criminal sentence is the punishment that the judge decides the convicted person should receive for their crime. Sometimes the accused is sentenced on the day of the guilty verdict, but usually, the sentencing will happen at a later date at a sentencing hearing.

Right to make a Victim Impact Statement

If the accused pleads or is found guilty, you will have an opportunity to share your views on the impact the crime had on you. This is called a Victim Impact Statement. It will help the judge understand the impact the crime had on you before they decide on the sentence. This will help the judge decide on how serious the crime was. Your Victim Impact Statement can be handwritten, typed or spoken out by you, the prosecuting barrister or the investigating police officer.

It is important to know that if you do not want to make a Victim Impact Statement, that is okay. The judge will not make any assumptions as to why you do not want to make a statement. They will not assume that it means that the crime did not have a big impact on your life.

The judge can make an order stating that the information in your Victim Impact Statement cannot be published by the media. This means it is kept private and heard only by whoever is in court at the time.

Right to receive a copy of your Victim Impact Statement

You are entitled to a copy of your Victim Impact Statement.


For more information about the Victim Impact Statement see the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)‘s website.

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