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Services Offered

The Victim/Witness Staff provides the following Services:

Courtroom Assistance Financial Assistance
  • Criminal Justice Process Support and Explanation
  • Accompaniment To Court
  • Trial Preparation Assistance
  • Courtroom Tours
  • Confidentiality Forms
  • Interpreters
Victim Input Notifications
Support Services Protection
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Crisis Referrals
  • Emergency Assistance


Tips for Testifying

The first and only rule of testifying is to TELL THE TRUTH!

Have dates, times, places and other details clear in your mind. Photos and/or medical records pertinent to your case need to be brought to court. It is extremely important that you write down the details of the crime as soon as possible so you refer to them before testifying. You will be able to refer to these notes while on the witness stand.

Your attire should be courtroom appropriate-clean and conservative. Dress the way you would to go to Sunday School or Church. Dresses/Suits for the females, khakis, and a dress shirt or a suit for the males is very appropriate. No jeans or shorts!

Be prepared to wait. Our courts are busy and handle many cases every day. You may have to wait, so bring something to occupy your time until your case is heard.

Look at the judge during your testimony. He/she or they (if jury) will be making the decisions in your case. If you hear “Objection”, stop speaking until the judge makes a decision and someone asks you to speak again.

Speak loudly, clearly and be concise. Do not use jargon or clichés. Answers only those questions you are asked; do not volunteer extra information not relevant to the question asked.

Your testimony should concentrate on specific details of the incident in question. The details are extremely vital. You must tell where, when, and how the crime was committed. You should also describe the nature and extent of the injuries sustained and whether a weapon was used. Again, do not include details which are not relevant to the case.


Victim Impact Statement

What is a Victim Impact Statement and how is it used?

As a crime victim, you have the right to use this Victim Impact Statement to describe how this crime affected you and others close to you. This statement allows for you to write about the physical, emotional and financial effects of this crime, as well as any other changes in you life you have experienced.

This is your one chance to tell the judge how you feel in your own words. However, we ask that you do not tell the judge how much time the defendant should receive as punishment. You may use the Victim Impact Statement Form or write it in essay form.


Filling out the Victim Impact Statement is Voluntary.

How is it Used?

This Victim Impact Statement form gives the victim or others affected by crime(s) the opportunity to express,
in writing, the impact of this (these) crime(s). This may include any economic losses, the extent of any physical or psychological injuries, and any major life changes as a result of the crime(s).

A written presentence report is prepared by a probation and parole officer to assist the judge in sentencing. This report focuses on the crime, the defendant’s background, and any criminal history. The Victim Impact Statement is also part of this presentence report.

Your statement will become an official court document after it is given to the court, and will become part of the defendant’s permanent file. The Judge, prosecutor, probation officer and defense attorney will read your Victim Impact Statement. They may even be able to ask you questions about your statement in court. The defendant will also be able to read what you have written. However, the defendant will not be able to see your address and telephone number because you are not asked to put this information on your statement.

A Victim Impact Statement may also be helpful to the judge when he or she decides what sentence the defendant should receive and/or if restitution is ordered. Restitution is money that the judge orders the defendant to pay to you, the victim. However, there is no guarantee that the defendant will be able to pay the entire amount.

No one knows better than you do how this crime may have changed your life. Those of us involved in your case believe it is very important for you to help the court understand all of the ways this crime has affected you and those close to you. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this information.


Suggestions For Writing A Victim Impact Statement



Determine if you qualify as the “victim” in the case before writing a statement.

Use additional paper if necessary

Write or type clearly & concisely

Make statement readable in about 5 minutes.

Discuss characteristics of the life of the victim BEFORE the crime. List specific examples.

Discuss feelings DURING the crime

Discuss characteristics of the life of the victim AFTER the crime. List specific examples.

Write your statement as “awful” as it really is (don’t be bashful)

As difficult as it may be, please use the word associated with the crime. For example, if you are raped, use this word. Do not minimize what happened by merely describing the offense as an “assault”. If someone dear to you was murdered, use this word. Do not minimize what happened by describing the offense as a “death”.


  1. Repeat evidence already presented.
  2. Bad mouth the defendant or defense attorney.
  3. Discuss new evidence not presented at trial.


An individual who has suffered physical, psychological or economic harm as a direct result of a felony or of assault and battery, stalking, sexual battery, attempted sexual battery or driving while intoxicated;

A parent or legal guardian of such person who is a minor

A spouse, child , parent or legal guardian of such person who is physically or mentally incapacitated or was a victim of a suicide.

*A victim does not mean a parent, child, spouse or legal guardian who commits a felony or other enumerated criminal offense against a victim


P.O. Box 26927
Richmond, VA 23261
Ph: 1-800-552-4007
Ph: 804-367-1018
Fax: 804-367-1021


Who May File:

  • A victim who suffers personal physical injury or death as a result of a crime, trying to prevent a crime or apprehending a criminal. If a minor, the claim must be filed by the victim’s parent or legal guardian.
  • A parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling or child of a homicide victim who dies as a result of the crime.
  • Any person legally dependent for principal support from a victim who dies as a result of the crime.

When Must a Claim be Filed:

  • Within 1 year from the date of the crime in an injury case.
  • Within 1 year from the date of the victim’s death if death is caused by the crime.
  • Within 1 year after a minor reaches majority age.
  • Within 2 years from the date of the crime where good cause for the delay is shown.

How To File a Claim:

The Henrico County Victim Witness Program can assist in the filing of the claim. Applications may be obtained from the Henrico County Victim Witness Program or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
11513 Allecingie Parkway
Richmond, Virginia 23235
Phone: 804-378-3434 (V-TDD) – Richmond
Phone: 1-800-552-4007 (V-TDD) – Statewide

What Qualifications Must Be Met:

  • The crime occurred in Virginia and resulted in physical or psychological injury or death.
  • The crime was reported to law enforcement within 120 hours after occurrence unless good cause for the delay is shown.
  • The victim cooperated with law enforcement and was willing to prosecute in court.
  • The value of the claim, not paid by other sources, amounts to at least $100.00
  • The crime did not involve a motor vehicle accident unless it was a result of a violation of the Drunk Driving Statute or the injuries were intentionally inflicted.

What benefits are available:

  • A maximum award of up to $15,000.00 is available to pay for the following expenses if they are not paid by other sources.
  • The victim’s unreimbursed medical expenses
  • The victim’s unreimbursed wage loss based on 2/3 of the wages up to a maximum of $200.00 per week.
  • Mental health counseling up to $60.00 per hour for individual psychotherapy and $25.00 per hour for group psychotherapy.
  • Counseling expenses up to $1,000.00 for eligible family members of homicide victims. (Same limits apply as described above.)
  • Funeral/burial expenses up to $3,500.00.
  • Other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a result of the crime, such as prescriptions, mileage to doctors, eyeglasses.

Emergency awards:

  • An emergency award up to $2,000.00 for wage loss can be awarded to a victim if the claim appears to meet the qualifications and the victim will suffer undue financial hardship.

What benefits are not available:

  • Property loss
  • Attorney fees
  • Pain and suffering

How a claim is processed:
Upon receipt of a complete application, information is requested from law enforcement, employers, medical providers, public agencies and insurance companies to determine if the victim is eligible for benefits. The applicant will be notified in writing of a decision upon receipt of all necessary information.

Documentation is required to verify that the victim was an innocent victim of a crime, the victim received injuries as a result of the crime, the medical treatment provided was directly and solely related to the crime injuries and the victim sustained an out-of-pocket loss of at least $100.00 not covered by other sources. It is ultimately the applicant’s responsibility to perfect a claim by providing all documentation required.

Collateral resources include but are not limited to benefits provided by insurance, Social Services, Social Security and employer (sick leave, vacation leave and disability). The claimant’s income is not considered in determining eligibility.

If the qualifications are met and the victim has medical expenses or wage loss, an award up to a maximum of $15,000.00 may be made. Medical providers may be paid directly.

If the victim contributed to the injuries, the award will be reduced by the percentage of the contribution. Claims will be denied if all qualifications are not met or the victim was engaged in illegal activity at the time of the crime.


Appeal Process:
If the applicant disagrees with the decision, an appeal process is available. Instructions for filing an appeal are provided to each applicant. The Crime Victims’ Ombudsman can help you through the appeal process:

Crime Victims’ Ombudsman:

11513 Allecingie Parkway
Richmond, Virginia 23235

Contact Us

Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office

(804) 501-4218

(804) 501-4110

[email protected]

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775

Note: Email is not monitored 24 hours a day.

Main Courts Building, 1st Floor, Room 170

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