CHAPTER 352

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 509

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 43, PART II, TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; AND PROVIDING FOR A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

"Section 1. Amend Subchapter III, Chapter 43, Part II, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking the title of §4331, and substituting in lieu thereof the following;

"§4331. Pre-sentence Investigation; Victim Impact Statement"

Section 2. Amend §4331, Chapter 43, Part II, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto the following new subsections:

"(d) Except for those offenses where no victim can be ascertained, a victim impact statement shall be presented to the Court prior to the sentencing of a convicted person, where such person has been convicted of:

(1) a felony;

(2) an offense under Subchapter V, Chapter 5 of this Title or Subpart D, Subchapter II, Chapter 5 of this Title; or

(3) a misdemeanor which resulted in physical injury or death.

The victim impact statement shall not be required where an immediate sentence is rendered, except in cases of conviction by plea or where the defendant has been convicted under §4209A of this Title.

(e) A victim impact statement shall:

(1) identify, to such extent as can be reasonably ascertained, those victims (except persons involved in the commission of the offense) who received physical, psychological, or economic injury as a result of the offense;

(2) describe, to the extent possible, such physical, psychological or economic injury;

(3) identify any physical injury suffered by the victim, together with a description of the seriousness and permanence of such injury;

(4) contain a description of any change in the victim's personal welfare or familial relationships which can reasonably be attributed to the offense;

(5) identify any request for psychological services or counselling services initiated by any person identified under paragraph (1) of this subsection, if such request or need for such services can reasonably be determined to have resulted from the offense; and

(6) determine any fees or costs for psychological or counselling services;

(7) any other information relating to the impact of the offense upon the victim or other person.

(f) If a victim or other person identified in subsection (e) is deceased; is a child; is under a mental, physical or legal disability; or is otherwise unable to provide the information required under this section, such information may be obtained from the personal representative, guardian, committee, family member, treatment professional, child protection agency or such other involved State agency as the pre-sentence officer may deem necessary.

(g) The provisions of this section relating to victim impact statements shall apply only to those victims who have cooperated with the Court and with pre-sentence officers. The provisions of this section relating to victim impact statements shall apply to all Courts having original jurisdiction to hear, try and finally determine criminal offenses; provided however, that such provisions shall not apply to Justice of the Peace Courts, and the Municipal Court for the City of Wilmington."

Approved July 17, 1984.