What are the Rights of a Victim?

In addition to your rights under Marsy's Law, as a victim, parent or guardian, their lawful representative, or the next of kin in a homicide, you have certain rights as set forth in Florida statutes. These rights include:

  1. To be informed, present, and heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent it does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused. (Incarcerated victims have the right to be informed and submit written statements at all crucial stages.)
  2. The victim or next of kin of a victim 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 prejudicial.
  3. To receive advanced notification of proceedings in the prosecution of the accused as well as judicial proceedings relating to the arrest, release, work release or release on community control.
  4. To have a prompt and timely disposition of the case, to the extent that this does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
  5. To have your employer notified that your cooperation may be necessitate absences from work and to explain to creditors the reasons for your financial hardships when it is a direct result of a crime.
  6. To request and have the court appropriate restitution for your financial losses as a result of the crime and to receive information on the right to enforcement of the court's order.
  7. If you are the victim of a felony involving physical or emotional injury or trauma, the parent/guardian of a minor child victim or the next of kin of a homicide, you shall be consulted by the State Attorney to obtain views about the release of the accused pending judicial proceedings, plea arrangements, participation in pretrial diversion programs and the sentencing of the accused.
  8. To submit (oral or written) a Victim Impact Statement to the Court prior to sentencing.  This statement may include a request that a juvenile offender be required to attend a different school that the victim or the victim's siblings.
  9. If you are the victim in a sexual offense, you have the right to  have the courtroom cleared during your testimony of all persons except those as provided by in Florida Statute 918.16.
  10. No law enforcement office, procecutor or Goverment offical shall ask or require a Victim of a sexual offense to summit to a polygraph examination or other truth telling device as a condition of their investigation.
  11. Victims of sexual offenses also have the right to have a advocate from a certified rap crisis center ( Refuge House ) present with them opon  request during any forensic medical examination
  12. To receive notification of all schedule changes regarding your case as soon as possible
  13. To be informed concerning the escape of the accused from prison, jail, juvenile detention facility or residential commitment facility.
  14. To notify you of a defendant's release from prison, jail, juvenile detention facility or residential treatment facility if you are the victim of domestic violence, any sexual offense, stalking, attempted murder or if you are the next of kin of a homicide.
  15. To have property that was held for evidentiary purposes returned, unless there is a compelling reason for retaining it.
  16. To review a copy of the pre-sentence investigation report upon request, excluding confidential information pertaining to the offender's medical history, mental health, substance abuse, or to another victim.

The victim and the State Attorney, with the consent of the victim, have the legal standing to assert these rights.

    You may waive your rights regarding notification of crucial proceedings and request to be notified only when your attendance is required at a proceeding or the final disposition of the cause. Also, you may waive any of the other rights mentioned above. If you wish to waive any of your rights, please contact the Assistant State Attorney handling your case or a member of our Victim/Witness Assistance Unit.

    As a victim, a minor victim's parent or guardian, their lawful representative, or the next of kin in a homicide,  you have certain rights as set forth in the State Constitution and in Florida Statute 960.001 These rights are:



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