(a) For the purposes of this section, "victim" means a person who is a victim of a felony, or, where a death occurs during the commission of a felony or a misdemeanor, the following persons shall be notified if known by the prosecutor: A member of the deceased victim's immediate family, the fiduciary of the deceased victim's estate or an adult household member residing with the victim.
(b) Prior to the imposition of sentence upon a defendant who has been found guilty of a felony, or of a misdemeanor if death occurs during the commission of a crime, or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony, or to a misdemeanor if death occurs during the commission of a crime, the court shall permit the victim of the crime to appear before the court to make an oral statement for the record if the victim notifies the court of his or her desire to make such a statement after receiving notification provided in subsection (c) of this section. If the victim fails to notify the court, the failure is a waiver of the right to make an oral statement. In lieu of the appearance and oral statement, the victim may submit a written statement to the court or to the probation officer in charge of the case. The probation officer shall forthwith file the statement delivered to his or her office with the sentencing court and the statement must be made a part of the record at the sentencing hearing. The statement, whether oral or written, must relate solely to the facts of the case and the extent of 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 the defendant, the prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney in charge of the case shall make reasonable efforts, in writing, to advise the person who was the victim of the crime, the parent or guardian of a minor who was the victim of a crime, the fiduciary of the victim's estate if the victim is deceased and the immediate family members of the victim if the victim is deceased and if their whereabouts are known to the prosecutor or assistant prosecutor. The writing will provide the date, time and place of the original sentencing hearing and of the victim's right to submit a written or oral statement to the sentencing court.
(d) The oral or written statement given or submitted by a
victim in accordance with the provisions of this section is in
addition to and not in lieu of the victim impact statement required
by the provisions of section three of this article.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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