What is a presentence investigation? Can I talk to the judge myself?

A pre-sentence investigation is, essentially, an inquiry into various aspects of your abuser's life. The results are put together in a report and forwarded to the judge to help the judge decide your abuser's sentence. One of the most important parts of the investigation is the victim impact statement. The probation office will send you a form that contains a series of questions. We encourage you to complete the form and/or attach a letter to the judge.

This is your opportunity to communicate to the judge your feelings and thoughts about the case, your abuser, and what you would like to see for a sentence.  It is important to complete the form or statement quickly and return it as there are sometimes a very short period between the time the abuser is found guilty and when they are sentenced.  If you do not receive a victim impact statement from Probation, please contact our office and we will make sure one is sent to you.

Please Note

Copies of your victim impact statement are not provided to your abuser, however, his or her attorney is entitled to review the statement to know what information the judge is considering, and will discuss the contents with your abuser.  You should always consider your safety first.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the deputy county attorney assigned to your case.

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1. I was assaulted last night by my spouse/significant other/boyfriend/parent of my child, and the police arrested the person and took him/her to jail. What happens next?
2. How can I get the charges dropped?
3. Will anyone from your office tell me what is happening?
4. When does my abuser go to court?
5. What does a no-contact bond mean?
6. What is the purpose of the no-contact bond?
7. What if my abuser contacts me while out of jail on a no-contact bond?
8. What can happen if my abuser violates his no-contact bond?
9. If I have questions about my case, who can I talk to?
10. What is a Protection Order?
11. How do I obtain a Protection Order?
12. I heard my abuser pled “not guilty” and that the case is now set for trial. What happens next?
13. I don't want to see my abuser again. Is there any way to avoid seeing him/her on the date of the trial?
14. I'm afraid that after I testify my abuser might follow me to my car. What can be done?
15. What if my abuser pleads guilty or, after a trial, is found guilty by a judge or jury?
16. What is a presentence investigation? Can I talk to the judge myself?
17. What can I do to assist in the prosecution of my abuser’s case?
18. Do I have to testify? Can’t you just use my statement to the police?
19. How can I protect myself during and/or after the case?
20. What happens if my address or phone number changes?
21. Can you keep my address and/or phone number confidential?