Victim Impact Statements
Restitution & Crime Victims Compensation
Other Services 

Victim Impact Statement

A Victim Impact Statement is an opportunity for you to explain, in your own words, how being a victim of crime has affected you and the people close to you.  This statement may include an explanation by the victim of the nature and extent of any physical, psychological, or emotional harm or trauma suffered by the victim; an explanation of the extent of any economic loss or property damage suffered by the victim; an opinion of the need for and extent of restitution; and the victim’s recommendation for an appropriate sentence.

A Victim Impact Statement may be submitted by the victim, family members of a deceased victim, or parents of a victim who is a child. Sometimes the Court will allow statements from other family and friends of the victim.

The information that you give in your statement is helpful to the Court in understanding the full effects of the crime on you. It will be submitted to the Judge prior to sentencing. This statement will also be shared with the State’s Attorney Office, defendant's attorney, defendant, and possibly a probation or parole officer. An oral Victim Impact Statement may only be given in a case of violent crime at the discretion of the judge. If you have any questions or wish to make an oral Victim Impact Statement, please contact a Victim/Witness Coordinator, within 14 days of receipt of the included cover letter.  If an oral impact statement is given, it will be under oath and subject to cross examination by the defense.

If you prepare a Victim Impact Statement, please make it in your own words and not too lengthy.  Your statement may address the following matters, among others:

Physical - Describe how the crime has physically changed your life:

<        Do you have any physical discomfort or illness because of this crime?
<        What treatment have you received or will be required to receive in the future?
<        Do you have any permanent or long term disability or injury as a result of the crime?

Emotional - At first, it may be difficult to explain the emotional impact of the crime. When completing your statement consider the following:

<        Do you feel fearful, vulnerable, helpless, violated, angry?
<        Do you feel uncomfortable or frightened in your own home?
<        Have you changed your lifestyle? Do you restrict your activities? Do you avoid going out at a certain time?
<        Has the crime affected your relationship with your family, friends or colleagues?

Financial - Describe any expenses you have had or paid as a result of the crime:

<        Personal belongings or property lost, destroyed, or damaged.
<        Medical expenses incurred.
<        Future medical or counseling expenses your doctor anticipates.
<        Funeral expenses.
<        Lost wages or income.  

Submitting a Victim Impact Statement is completely voluntary. You are not required by law to submit this information to the Cass County State’s Attorney Office. The Victim Impact Statement must be submitted under oath. To submit your Victim Impact Statement: you may personally bring your completed statement to the Cass County State’s Attorney Office and have it notarized at no cost; or you may have the completed statement notarized at your own cost and then deliver it to the Cass County State’s Attorney Office.

If you decide to complete a Victim Impact Statement, it should be submitted within 14 days of receipt of the included cover letter to:   Cass County State’s Attorney Office

Attn: VW Coordinator
PO Box 2806, 211 9 St S
Fargo, ND 58108

If a Victim Impact Statement is not included and you wish to complete one, contact a VW Coordinator at 241-5850 within 10 days of receipt of the included cover letter.

Restitution Claim Form

The court, when sentencing a person found guilty of criminal activity, may order the defendant make restitution to the victim or other recipient. In determining whether to order restitution the court will take into account:

<        The reasonable damages sustained by the victim or victims of the criminal offense, which directly relate to the criminal      offense and expenses actually incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s criminal action.
<        The ability of the defendant to pay monetary reparations to the victim.
<        The likelihood that ordering restitution will serve a valid rehabilitational purpose.   

Submitting a Restitution Claim Form or restitution information to the Cass County State’s Attorney Office is completely voluntary.

If restitution is to be sought or obtained, the Restitution Claim Form should be completed and returned within 14 days of receipt of the included cover letter to:

Cass County State’s Attorney Office
Attn: Restitution Supervisor
PO Box 2806
211 9 St S
Fargo, ND 58108

If a Restitution Claim Form is not included and you wish to complete one, contact the Cass County Restitution Supervisor, at 241-5856 within 10 days of receipt of the included cover letter. For other questions pertaining to restitution also contact the Restitution Supervisor.

Crime Victims Compensation

North Dakota law (Crime Victims Reparation Act) provides monetary compensation to victims of criminal attacks who suffer bodily injury. Victims may be eligible for payments of medical expenses, lost wages, and mental health counseling. Dependants of deceased victims may also be eligible for certain benefits, including funeral expenses.

To receive a Crime Victims Compensation application, please contact Cass County Victim/Witness Coordinator, at 701-241-5850.

Other Services

If you would like information regarding available public or private programs that provide counseling, treatment, or support, please contact a Cass County Victim/Witness Coordinator at 701-241-5850.

Please note: This guide is intended for general information only. It is not a statement of the law. It is provided as a service by the Cass County State’s Attorney Office.