SUMMARY OF YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AS A VICTIM OF CRIME

Florida Constitution, Article 1, Section 16(b) effective 01/08/2019

(Marsy’s Law)

 

  • To preserve and protect your right to achieve justice, ensure a meaningful role throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems

 

  • To have your rights and interests respected and protected by law

 

  • To due process, fair treatment and respect for your dignity

 

  • To be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse

 

  • To be reasonably protected from the accused and any person acting on behalf of the accused within the judicial process

 

  • To have the safety and welfare of you and your family considered when setting bail and pretrial release conditions

 

  • To prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass you or your family or which could disclose your confidential or privileged information.

 

A victim shall have the following specific rights upon request:

  • Reasonable , accurate, and timely notice of, and to be present at, all public proceedings involving the criminal conduct, including, but not limited to, trial, plea, sentencing, or adjudication, even if the victim will be a witness at the proceeding , notwithstanding any rule to the contrary;

 

  • Reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any release or escape of the defendant or delinquent , and any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated;

 

  • To be heard in any public proceeding involving pretrial or other release from any form of legal constraint , plea, sentencing, adjudication, or parole, and any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated ;

 

  • To confer with the prosecuting attorney concerning any plea agreements, participation in pretrial diversion programs , release, restitution , sentencing, or any other disposition of the case;

 

  • To provide information regarding the impact of the offender ‘s conduct on you or your family to the court or person conducting any presentence investigation or presentence investigation report, and to have the information considered in any sentencing recommendations submitted to the court;

 

  • To receive a copy of any presentence report, and any other report or record relevant to the exercise of a victim’s right, except for such portions made confidential or exempt by law;

 

  • To be informed of the conviction, sentence, adjudication, place and time of incarceration ,or other disposition of the convicted offender, any scheduled release date of the offender, and the release of or the escape of the offender from custody;

 

  • To be informed of and participate in all post-conviction processes and procedures and provide information to the release authority to be considered before any release decision is made, and to be notified of any release decision regarding the offender;

 

  • To be informed of clemency and expungement procedures, to provide information to the governor, the court, any clemency board , and other authority in these procedures, and to have that information considered before a clemency or expungement decision is made; and to be notified of such decision in advance of any release of the offender;

 

  • To the prompt return of your property when no longer needed as evidence in the case;

 

  • To full and timely restitution from each convicted offender for all losses suffered , both directly and indirectly as a resu1t of the criminal conduct;

 

  • To proceedings free from unreasonable delay, and to a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings;

 

  • To be informed of these rights;

 

  • To seek the advice of an attorney with respect to their rights;

 

  • To assert and seek enforcement of these rights and any other right afforded to a victim bylaw and to have the court or other authority with jurisdiction act promptly on such a request and to seek remedy for the violation of any right

 

OTHER RIGHTS

Florida statutes also provide the victim with statutory rights and many overlap with the constitutional rights listed above. Additional rights not already mentioned which may apply in your case include:

  • The right to be informed of crisis intervention services and referrals;

 

  • Explanation concerning the stages of the criminal justice process and your role as a victim;

 

  • To be consulted by the State Attorney in certain felony cases;

 

  • The right to have a victim Advocate present during discovery depositions and the right to be excused from depositions held at a correctional facility unless you are a victim currently incarcerated;

 

  • To be provided information concerning protection from intimidation. It is a felony of the third degree to threaten and intimidate victims and witnesses. Please contact your local law enforcement agency should this occur;

 

  • Access to a translator, transportation and separate waiting rooms;

 

  • To be told of your right to request and receive assistance, if applicable, in filing Florida Crimes Compensation Claims (1-800-226-6667);

 

  • To request assistance from law enforcement and the State Attorney’s office in notifying employers/creditors of financial strain and absenteeism resulting from victimization;

 

  • Victims of sexual offenses may request the courtroom be cleared in certain instances during their testimony and in cases involving the transmission of bodily fluids to request hepatitis and HIV testing of the accused and the right to request a victim advocate to be present during a forensic medical examination. A victim of a sexual offense cannot be required nor be asked by a law enforcement officer, state attorney or other government official to submit to a polygraph or other truth telling device as a condition of the investigation;

 

  • In juvenile cases, minor victims may request at sentencing/disposition, that the defendant be required to change schools if they attend the same school.