State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > West-virginia > 61 > 61-11a-2

§61-11A-2. Testimony of crime victim at sentencing hearing.
(a) For the purposes of this section, "victim" means a person who is a victim of a felony, the fiduciary of a deceased victim's estate or a member of a deceased victim's immediate family.

(b) Prior to the imposition of sentence upon any defendant who has been found guilty of a felony or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any felony, the court shall permit the victim of the crime to appear before the court for the purpose of making an oral statement for the record if the victim notifies the court of his desire to make such a statement after receiving notification provided in subsection (c) of this section. If the victim fails to so notify the court such failure shall constitute a waiver of the right to make an oral statement. In lieu of such appearance and oral statement, the victim may submit a written statement to the court or to the probation officer in charge of the case. Such probation officer shall forthwith file any such statement delivered to his office with the sentencing court, and the statement shall be made a part of the record at the sentencing hearing. Any such statement, whether oral or written, shall relate solely to the facts of the case and the extent of any injuries, financial losses and loss of earnings directly resulting from the crime for which the defendant is being sentenced.

(c) Within a reasonable time, prior to the imposition of sentence upon such defendant, the prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney in charge of the case shall in writing advise the person who was the victim of such crime or in the case of a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, or the fiduciary of his estate, if he be then deceased, of the date, time and place of the original sentencing hearing, and of the victim's rights to submit a written or oral statement to the sentencing court as hereinabove provided.

(d) The oral or written statement given or submitted by any victim in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of the victim impact statement required by the provisions of section three of this article.