“GIVING VICTIM’S A VOICE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM”
As the victim of a crime, your participation and cooperation is essential for the successful prosecution of your case. Florida law guarantees your right to be informed, present and heard, when relevant, at all crucial court proceedings. The information contained here is intended to aid you in understanding your rights as a crime victim, along with providing you useful information about the various steps your case will take in court. You will also find information on some of our community resources available to assist you. The Office of the State Attorney, Twelfth Judicial Circuit, is here to assist you as your case progresses through the criminal justice system. We remain committed to seeking justice on behalf of victims of crime and stand ready to assist you with information, empathy and understanding.
State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit
As the victim, the victim’s parent or guardian (if the victim is a minor), the lawful representative of the above, and the next of kin of a homicide victim,
You have the right to:
- Be informed, be present and be heard, when relevant, at all crucial stages of the criminal and juvenile justice proceedings. Incarcerated victims have the right to be informed and to submit written statements.
- Be informed of what you may expect from the criminal or juvenile justice process as well as what the system expects from you.
- Be consulted by the prosecutor in regard to: release of the accused pending judicial proceedings, plea agreements, pre-trial diversion programs, and sentencing.
- Information on steps that are available to law enforcement officers and the State Attorney for protection from intimidation.
- Submit an oral or written impact statement to the Court outlining how the crime has affected you and your opinion concerning sentencing.
- Request and receive restitution from the offender, or, in the event of non-compliance, information regarding enforcement of the restitution order.
- Be informed of the Victim Compensation Fund, when applicable.
- Be advised of victim services within your community.
- A prompt return of property unless there is a compelling law enforcement need to retain it.
- Receive information about defendant’s release from incarceration (unless waived) in certain types of violent crimes.
- Be advised of any escape of an offender by a reasonable attempt of the State Attorney, if so notified, and with the help of the Sheriff’s office upon request. The sheriff of the county of origin of the charge/petition for delinquency shall also be notified. A VINE program for notification is explained on page 12.
- Request, in certain types of violent crimes, that your home and/or employment address, phone number, or personal assets be withheld from public view.
- A prompt and timely disposition of the case to the extent that this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
- Review certain portions of any pre-sentence investigation report for adult and youthful offenders completed prior to the sentencing of the accused. Confidentiality of the contents must be maintained.
- Have standing to assert, or request of the State Attorney to assert, your rights as provided by law or in the State Constitution.
- Assistance from law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office in explaining to employer and/or creditor circumstances created by victimization.
- Be notified of any change which would affect your pre-scheduled appearance in a criminal or juvenile justice proceeding.
- Request the courtroom be cleared, with certain exceptions, during any victim’s testimony of a sexual offense.
- Receive information about the “Address Confidentiality Program” available to victims of domestic violence administered through the Office of the Attorney General.
- Receive information regarding a request to the Court for an order for HIV testing in any case which involves the transmission of body fluids from one person to another. However, in some circumstances, a request for HIV testing may be made, regardless of whether transmission of bodily fluids is involved, should the victim be under the age of 18 or is a disabled or elderly adult.
- The right of a victim or the victim’s legal guardian, or the parent or legal guardian of a victim, if the victim is a minor, to request that a person who is charged with any offense enumerated in section 775.0877(1)(a)-(n), Florida Statutes, that involves the transmission of body fluids from one person to another, undergo hepatitis and HIV testing.
- Advance notification, unless the agency had none, of judicial/post-judicial proceedings or hearings with the right to be present, including those relating to the arrest and the release of the defendant from either prison, detention, residential commitment, community work release or control, by either expiration of sentence or parole.
- The right of a victim of a sexual offense to request the presence of a victim advocate during the forensic medical examination. An advocate from a certified rape crisis center shall be permitted to attend any forensic medical examination.
- No law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney or government official shall ask or require a victim of a sexual offense to submit to a polygraph examination or other truth telling device as a condition of the investigation
Victim’s Role in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems
Your participation and cooperation are essential to the successful prosecution of the case. You may be required to be present at various court proceedings and will be expected to provide truthful testimony.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep the State Attorney’s Office informed of your current address and both work and residence telephone numbers.
Office of the State Attorney Twelfth Judicial Circuit Victim Services Program
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan Voca Grant - Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan - 2017