As a victim of crime in Clay County, you have a very important position in the administration of justice. This role involves cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of a criminal case. Victims of crime are often called to testify as witnesses in a case. You may be required to be present at various stages of the justice process to provide truthful testimony.
If you are the victim of a violent crime or have had your property stolen, damaged or misused, the case may not be able to be properly prosecuted unless you testify. It is important in order to prevent delay and possible dismissal of a case that you are present when asked to appear. We must be able to contact you, so it is important that you keep our office informed of your present address and all contact numbers.
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.
Crime Victims Have The Right To
- Be treated with dignity and compassion.
- Be protected from intimidation and harm.
- Be informed about the availability of funds through Victim Crime Compensation, when applicable.
- Be informed about community-based treatment programs, crisis intervention services, counseling and social services.
- Information on the role of the victim in the criminal and juvenile justice process.
- 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.
- Be informed, be present and 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.
- Notification of scheduling changes and prompt notification of the results of court proceedings.
- 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 if necessary.
- Have your property returned as quickly as possible unless there is compelling law enforcement need to retain it.
- The prompt and timely disposition of the case, to the extent that this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
- Seek restitution for loss of property and income, and seek reimbursement for medical expenses incurred as a result of the offense and to receive information on how to enforce the court’s order of restitution.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have your employer or creditors informed that your cooperation with a criminal prosecution may cause absences or financial hardship.
- Have any special needs accommodated as is practical such as handicap parking or translator services.
- Be notified if the offender escapes from a state correctional facility or involuntary commitment facility.
- Have a victim advocate present during any depositions of the victim.