A VICTIM ADVOCATE CAN PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING SERVICE
Crisis Intervention services on scene of a crime
Continued emotional support services to victims of crimes
Information concerning stages of police department investigation and the criminal justice process
Explain the role of the victim throughout the various processes
Accompaniment to various court proceedings
Link information and referrals to community resources
Assistance in filing for Crime Victim Compensation claims and restitution
Link victims to their rights and options
If you feel you are in need of a Victim Advocate, please contact the State Attorney's Office Victim Advocate at 727-464-6090.
CRIME VITIM RIGHTS
Section 960.001, Florida Statutes, outlines the rights victims (including the next of kin) are entitled to within the criminal justice system. www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index Below are a few of these rights:
To be notified of support services available
Notification of arrest, release or escape of the accused (if possible)
To be informed, present, and heard, when relevant, at all criminal proceedings
Advanced notification of all court hearings and any schedule changes (if time permits)
A prompt and timely disposition of the case
To submit an oral or written impact statement
Presence of a victim advocate during discovery depositions and forensic medical exams
Information concerning protection from victim or witness intimidation
To be consulted by the state attorney in order to obtain the views of the victim about disposition of case
Upon request, notification to your employer and/or school when your appearance is necessary
Victim's Rights A "victim" is a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act or against whom the crime or delinquent act is committed.
The term "victim" includes the victim's lawful representative, the parent or guardian of a minor, or the next of kin of a homicide victim, except upon a showing that the interest of such individual would be in actual or potential conflict with the interests of the victim. The term "victim" does not include the accused. The terms "crime" and "criminal" include delinquent acts and conduct.
If you are a victim, you have a right to be informed of these rights and to seek the advice of an attorney regarding these rights.
Summary of Victim's Constitutional Rights
The right to due process, and to be treated with fairness and respect for victim's dignity;
The right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse;
The right, within the judicial process, to be reasonably protected from the accused and any person acting on behalf of the accused;
The right to have the safety and welfare of the victim and the victim's family considered when setting bail, including pretrial release conditions that protect the safety and welfare of the victim and the victim's family;
The right to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim's family or which could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim.
Victim Identity Redaction Request
Upon request, a victim shall have the following specific rights: The right to 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;
A victim shall also be provided reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any release or escape of the accused or delinquent, and any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated;
The right 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;
The right 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;
The right to provide information regarding the impact of the accused's conduct on the victim or the victim's family to the person responsible for conducting any presentence investigation or compiling presentence investigation report, and to have the information considered in any sentencing recommendations submitted to the court;
The right 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; The right to be informed of the conviction, sentence, adjudication, place and time of incarceration, or other disposition of the convicted accused, any scheduled release date of the accused, and the release of or the escape of the accused from custody;
The right 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 accused;
The right to be informed of clemency and expungement procedures, to provide information to the governor, the court, and any clemency board, and other authority in the 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 accused;
The right to the prompt return of victim's property when no longer needed as evidence in the case;
The right to full and timely restitution from each convicted accused for all losses suffered, both directly and indirectly by the victim as a result of the criminal conduct;
The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay and to a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings;
The right to be informed of these rights;
The right to seek the advice of an attorney with respect to victim's rights; and
The right to assert and seek enforcement of these rights and any other right afforded to a victim by law 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.
If you would like to be informed of the booking and release of the accused,
contact Inmate Records at 727-464-6415, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
Advisory hearings are held seven days a week.
For advisory information, contact Inmate Records at 727-464-6415.
For all other court information, contact the Clerk of Circuit Court at 727-464-7000.
iNFORMATION & REFERRALS
The State Attorney Victim Advocate works closely with local social service agencies to secure the services necessary to help crime victims and survivors. Referrals are made on the basis of the victim's specific needs.
24 Hour Helpline for social services www.211tampabay.org
Pinellas County Social/Health & Human Services www.pinellascounty.org/humanservices/default.htm
Area Agency on Aging www.agingcarefl.org
C.A.S.A (south county domestic violence shelter/center) www.casa-stpete.org
The Haven (north county domestic violence shelter/center) www.rcspinellas.org
Family Service Centers www.familyservicecenters.org
Hispanic Outreach Center www.hispanicoutreachcenter.org
Suncoast Hospice www.thehospice.org/resources_support/grief_counseling.aspx
The Life Center of Suncoast Inc www.lifecenteroftampa.org
Community Law Program (legal aid) www.lawprogram.org
Gulf Coast Legal Services (legal aid) www.gulfcoastlegal.org
VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday) www.vinelink.com/vinelink/siteInfoAction.do?siteId=10000
Pinellas County Victim Rights Coalition www.pcvrc.wordpress.com
Pinellas County Clerk of Court Injunction for Protection Info. (site includes forms, instructions and video) www.pinellasclerk.org/aspInclude2/ASPInclude.asp?pageName=domestic.htm
FL Crime Victim Compensation Program www.myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/B371D29EBE5C97748525749C00518B58
The Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida www.jud6.org
National Organization for Victim Assistance www.trynova.org
The National Center for Victims of Crime www.ncvc.org/ncvc/Main.aspx
Federal Trade Commission (ID Theft) www.ftc.gov