According to the Hawai`i Revised Statutes, a victim of a felony offense, where the offender has been convicted, is entitled to certain rights. In all Circuit Court cases, the court shall afford a fair opportunity to the victim to be heard on the issue of the offender's disposition, before imposing sentence. This not only provides information to the judge, but may also be beneficial to provide release and closure to the victims.
After a felony offender pleads to, or is found guilty of a criminal offense, the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney sends the crime victim's name, address and telephone number to Adult Probation. A pre-sentence probation officer contacts the victim to inform him/her of the offender's sentencing date and time. In the event the sentencing hearing is continued, the victim will be notified.
The victim will be sent a form asking if he/she wishes to make a statement at the sentencing hearing. The purpose of the statement is to inform the judge of the physical, psychological and/or financial effect(s) that the crime has had upon the victim.
The victim may appear in person at the sentencing hearing to make a verbal statement or submit a written statement to be included in the pre-sentence report. In the case of a homicide in which the victim is unable to appear, the victim's family will be afforded the fair opportunity to be heard.
Our victim services coordinator is available to answer questions about the victim impact statement. If a victim is already working with an advocate from Victim Witness Kokua Services (Department of the Prosecuting Attorney), the victim may choose to coordinate the victim impact statement with his/her advocate.
Victims wishing to make a statement at the offender's sentencing hearing should go to the designated courtroom and report to the bailiff on the day of the hearing.
Written statements must be mailed to: Adult Client Services, First Circuit Court, 777 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813.