What Florida Law Provides for Victims
Florida Law provides for the fair treatment of victims and
witnesses in the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. It authorizes
assistance to victims of adult and juvenile crime. It provides victims the
opportunity to have a defendant tested for HIV if there was a transmission of
body fluids during the crime. It also designates a Victims Compensation Trust
Fund to assist victims of violent personal crimes to pay for stipulated expenses
they incur as a result of the crime.
Crime Victim's Have the Right
To assert victims' rights as provided by law
or the State Constitution. The victim of a crime
and the State Attorney, with the consent of the
victim, have standing to assert the rights of
the crime victim which are provided by law or
s.16(b)Art. 1 of the State Constitution.
To information regarding the availability of
funds through Victim Crime Compensation, when
To information about community-based treatment
programs, crisis intervention services,
counseling, and social services.
To information on the role of the victim in the
Criminal and Juvenile Justice process.
To information about the stages in the Criminal
or Juvenile Justice process which are of
significance to the victim and how such
information can be obtained.
To be informed, to be present, and to be heard
when relevant, at all crucial stages of a
Criminal or Juvenile proceeding, to the extent
that right does not interfere with the
constitutional rights of the accused.
To be informed and to submit written statements
at all crucial stages of the criminal, juvenile
and parole proceedings if the victim is
To the prompt and timely disposition of the
case, to the extent that this right does not
interfere with the Constitutional rights of the
To information concerning the steps available to
law enforcement and the State Attorney to
protect the victim or witness from intimidation.
To be notified as soon as possible by the agency
scheduling your appearance in a Criminal or
Juvenile Justice proceeding of any change in
scheduling which will affect your appearance.
To receive advance notification of the arrest,
the release, or modification of the release
conditions and proceedings in the prosecution or
petition for delinquency of the accused.
To be consulted by the Assistant State Attorney
in order to obtain the views of the victim or
family about: the release of the accused pending
a judicial proceeding, plea agreements,
participation in pretrial diversion programs,
and the sentencing of the accused in those
felony and juvenile cases that involved physical
or emotional injury or trauma.
To have your property returned to you as soon as
possible unless there is a compelling law
enforcement need to retain it.
To have your employer or creditors informed that
your cooperation with a criminal prosecution may
cause absences or financial hardship.
To request restitution and to be notified if
restitution is ordered by the Court and to
receive information on how to enforce the
court's order of restitution.
To submit an oral or written Victim Impact
Statement describing how the crime affected you
and your family. The Assistant State Attorney
will assist in the preparation of such statement
To have any special needs accommodated as is
practical. (For instance: physical handicap
parking, or translator services)
To be notified if the offender escapes from a
state correctional facility or involuntary
To have a Victim Advocate present during any
depositions of the victim.
To request that the Assistant State Attorney
permit the victim to review a copy of the
present investigation report prior to the
sentencing hearing if one is completed.
To request that the court clear the courtroom of
all persons, with certain exceptions, during his
or her testimony concerning a sexual offense,
regardless of the victim's age or mental
To request, for specific crimes, an exemption
prohibiting the disclosure of information to the
public which reveals your identification, home
and work phone numbers, home and work addresses,
and personal assets not otherwise held
confidential under the Public Records Law.
To know, in certain cases, at the earliest
possible opportunity, if the person charged with
an offense has tested positive for Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. Upon
request of the victim or victims' legal guardian
or parent or legal guardian of the victim if the
victim is a minor, the court shall order such
person to undergo HIV testing. If requested by
victim, the results of the testing shall be made
available to the victim no later than two weeks
after the court receives such results.
To receive information about the "Address
Confidentiality Program" available to victims of
domestic violence administered through the
Office of the Attorney General.
To receive information notifying a victim or the
next of kin of a victim that they may not be
excluded from any portion of any hearing, trial,
or proceeding pertaining to the offense based
solely on the fact that such person is
subpoenaed to testify, unless, upon motion, the
court determines such person's presence to be
To attend, as parent or guardian of a juvenile
victim, the sentencing or disposition of a
juvenile defendant and request that the offender
be required to attend a different school from
To be informed that victims and witnesses who
are not incarcerated shall not be required to
attend discovery depositions in any correctional
To be informed that information gained by the
victim pursuant to Chapter 960, including the
next of kin of a homicide victim, regarding any
case handled in juvenile court, must not be
revealed to any outside party, except as is
reasonably necessary in pursuit of legal
To be notified by the appropriate agency of the
arrest and release of the offender (including
work release and community control).
Victim Services 24-Hour Hotline
- (800) 569-7273
The State Attorney Victim Services Division has a 24-hour
If you are a victim and would like to speak with someone,
call the Hotline any time day or night and a Victim Advocate will assist you.