What Does Florida Law Provide for Victims?
Florida Law provides guidelines for the fair treatment of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. It authorizes a direct-support organization to assist victims of adult and juvenile crime. It provides victims to have 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.
Florida Crime Victims' Bill of Rights
Victims of crime or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.Florida Constitutional Amendment, Article I
Sec. 16. Rights of accused and of victims
(a) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall, upon demand, be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and shall be furnished a copy of the charges, and shall have the right to have compulsory process for witnesses, to confront at trial adverse witnesses, to be heard in person, by counsel or both, and to have a speedy and public trial by impartial jury in the county where the crime was committed. If the county is not known, the indictment or information may charge venue in two or more counties conjunctively and proof that the crime was committed in that area shall be sufficient; but before pleading the accused may elect in which of those counties he will be tried. Venue for prosecution of crimes committed beyond the boundaries of the state shall be fixed by law.
(b) Victims of crime or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
Victims rights in Court and Clemency Proceedings
Victims of crime are entitled to information concerning services and protection available to victims of adult and juvenile crime; notification of scheduling changes; advance notification concerning judicial proceedings and the right to be present at those proceedings; an opportunity be consulted by the state attorney to express their views; prompt return of property held for evidentiary purposes unless there is a compelling law enforcement reason for retaining it; notification to employer for cooperation in the prosecution of the case and explanation to creditors the reason for such serious financial strain; notification of the right to request restitution, and submit an impact statement; information concerning the escape of the defendant; and general victim assistance.
Victims next of kin will be sent information explaining the capital clemency process; notification that a Florida Commission on Offender Review Investigator will be requesting an interview and the nature of the interview, victims will be offered the opportunity to submit written impact information in lieu of an interview; notification and explanation of a clemency hearing; opportunity to be present and submit a written statement or an oral statement at the clemency hearing; upon request, victims may receive copies of the actual transcript of any statements or testimony of the inmate
For further information or clarification, please call 1-800-226-6667.