Q: We were both charged with domestic violence, simple assault. My case will be dropped but he is on probation for non-violent traffic plea deal. I received paper in mail this week asking for victim impact statement. Can I take this opportunity to tell the judge my man is actually innocent and the negative effects this is having and has had on our family is due to the judicial system and him being held in jail instead of home raising our baby and providing for us as he always has? He does NOT deserve the charges. I want to know if this can hurt him at all if I plead to let him come home? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Every victim is afforded the right to speak at a defendant’s sentencing. Since I am not intimately familiar with the facts here, I suggest you run this past your attorney first. This is to make sure that anything you say will not jeopardize the plea agreement that you have been offered. You stated your case, “will be dropped”, so you want to make sure that happens. Secondly, you need to be careful that what you say at his sentencing is not contrary to your prior statements in the case which led to his arrest. This could lead to false report charges being filed against you. You may also want to seek counseling with a domestic violence therapist.