Victim's Rights

What is Your Role As a Victim/Witness?
You are a witness because you have seen, heard, or know something about a crime. If you are the victim of a violent crime or the owner of damaged, misused or stolen property, the case cannot be prosecuted unless you stay involved.

You may not think that what you know about the case is significant, but it may be very important. Often, many small pieces of information are required to determine what happened. This same information may be essential to effectively prosecute the case.

You Have Rights
The Florida Constitution and Florida Statute 9601 guarantee victims of crime, the victim's parents or guardian if the victim is a minor, or the victim's next of kin in the case of a homicide, the lawful representative of the victim or of the victim's parent or guardian if the victim is a minor or the family if the victim is deceased, the following rights:
  • To be informed, present, and heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal or juvenile proceedings
  • To not be excluded from a case-related court event based on witness status alone and to be provided information regarding your right of standing through the State Attorney's Office with your consent to assert these rights
  • To be informed that if you are an incarcerated victim, that you can submit written statements at all crucial stages of criminal, juvenile, or parole proceedings
  • To be notified of the offender's arrest, release, escape and/or approval for community control and work release
  • To be notified of scheduling changes, and advance notice of all court proceedings, if time permits
  • To have a victim advocate present during depositions, and the right to be excused from depositions held at any correctional facility
  • To be consulted by the Assistant State Attorney regarding disposition of cases involving certain crimes, as well as a prompt and timely disposition of the case
  • To be notified of the opportunity to submit an oral or written impact statement at the time of sentencing
  • To have prompt notification of the results of court proceedings
  • To have prompt return of property and assistance in obtaining return of recovered property unless there is a compelling law enforcement need to retain the property
  • To be given information and assistance in obtaining Florida Crime Victim Compensation (1-800-226-6667)
  • To be given information on the right to request, and receive restitution and how to enforce a restitution order
  • To be given information on steps concerning protection from intimidation - it is a third degree felony to threaten and intimidate victims and witnesses. Please contact law enforcement if this happens
  • Upon request, to notify employers and to explain to creditors of serious financial strain resulting from victimization
  • To be notified of the opportunity to review pre-sentence investigation report on adult and youthful offenders, prior to the sentencing of the offender
  • If you are a victim of a sexual offense, to be notified that you may request the courtroom be cleared in certain instances during your testimony
  • To be notified of the opportunity to request HIV testing of the accused when the crime involves transmission of body fluids
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence, to be provided information on the address confidentiality program through the Attorney General's Office
  • If you are a minor victim and/or their siblings who attend school with the offender, you or your parent or legal guardian may request at sentencing or disposition hearing that the defendant be required to change schools
  • To be informed that information obtained from cases handled in juvenile court should be kept confidential, not revealing it to anyone unless necessary for other legal remedies
  • To request exemption from disclosure of victim information not otherwise held as confidential under the Public Records Law in certain instances

For more information, see the Victim's Resources section for the department.