(a) The court may permit the victim of any crime, his or her parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, or the next of kin of the victim if the victim has died, to file with the court a written, audiotaped, or videotaped statement, or statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or any other recording medium acceptable to the court, expressing his or her views concerning the crime, the person responsible, and the need for restitution, in lieu of or in addition to the person personally appearing at the time of judgment and sentence. The court shall consider the statement filed with the court prior to imposing judgment and sentence.
Whenever an audio or video statement or statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or other medium is filed with the court, a written transcript of the statement shall also be provided by the person filing the statement, and shall be made available as a public record of the court after the judgment and sentence have been imposed.
(b) Whenever a written, audio, or video statement or statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or other medium is filed with the court, it shall remain sealed until the time set for imposition of judgment and sentence except that the court, the probation officer, and counsel for the parties may view and listen to the statement not more than two court days prior to the date set for imposition of judgment and sentence.
(c) A person or a court shall not permit any person to duplicate, copy, or reproduce by audio or visual means a statement submitted to the court under the provisions of this section.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the prosecutor from representing to the court the views of the victim, his or her parent or guardian, the next of kin, or the California Victim Compensation Board.
(e) In the event the court permits an audio or video statement or statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or other medium to be filed, the court shall not be responsible for providing any equipment or resources needed to assist the victim in preparing the statement.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 238. (SB 836) Effective June 27, 2016.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018