Victim Representation in Florida – Aggressive Lawyers for Victims

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VICTIM REPRESENTATION

If you have been a victim of a crime, you have rights.  Marsy’s Law came into effect on January 8, 2019 and gives specific rights to victims – including the right to be heard and the right to be treated with fairness and respect.  It important that you have an experienced attorney by your side so you can assert your rights.

If you have been the victim of a crime, you can file this motion in your assailant’s case and demand that your rights be respected.  We highly recommend you consult with a lawyer before doing so.

Florida Victim Representation -Victim Assertion of Rights- Word Document Download Florida Victim Representation -Victim Assertion of Rights - PDF Download

What is Marsy’s Law in Florida?

Marsy’s Law is the Florida Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, in which a victim is afforded certain rights by the courts.

You can find more information on Marsy’s Law on the website of the Office of the Attorney General for Florida.

Who is considered a victim under Marsy’s Law?

A victim is any person who suffers physical, psychological and/or financial hard as a result of a crime committed by another person or persons.  This can include your family and/or legal representative.

What are my rights as a victim or family of a victim?

Article 1, Section 16(b) of the Florida Constitution guarantees the following rights to victims and their families:

  1. The right to due process and to be treated with fairness and respect.
  2. The right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse.
  3. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused and any person acting on behalf of the accused.
  4. The right to have the safety and welfare of the victim and the victim’s family considered when setting bail, including setting pretrial release conditions that protect the safety and welfare of the victim and the victim’s family.
  5. 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.
  6. A victim shall have the following specific rights upon request:
    • The right to be noticed of hearings and noticed of any release or escape from jail or prison.
    • 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.
    • The right to provide information regarding the impact of the offender’s conduct on the victim and the victim’s family.
    • 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 offender, any scheduled release date of the offender, and the release of or the escape of the offender from custody.
    • The right to be informed of all postconviction processes and procedures and participate when appropriate.
    • The right to be informed of clemency and expungement procedures and provide input as to their position.

How does the criminal court process work?

The court process can be long and confusing.  Here are some of the important stages you should be aware of in a criminal proceeding:

Initial Appearance – the defendant has the right to go before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest.  At the hearing the judge will consider bail and other release conditions. The victim can be present and tell the court if they want to have contact with the defendant and their concerns about the defendant being released from jail.

Arraignment – once the defendant has been formally charged with a crime there is an arraignment.  At the arraignment the defendant is notified of the formal charges and given future court dates.  Most defendant enter a plea of not guilty at this hearing, but they can sometimes plea guilty if they choose to do so.

Pretrial Conference – the prosecutor and the defense attorney will tell the judge if the case is going to be a trial, a plea or if a continuance is needed for more time to prepare the case.

Plea – a defendant will enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the charges.  There are certain rights a defendant gives up when entering a plea such as the right to go to trial and the right to remain silent.

Trial – the prosecutor will present evidence to prove the crime charged was committed.  The defendant’s attorney can also present evidence.  A victim will be needed to testify at trial.  Ultimately a judge or a jury will decide if the prosecutor has proven the defendant committed the crime beyond every reasonable doubt.

Sentencing – the defendant will be told their punishment for violating the law. Victims have the right to be present and heard.  You can make a victim impact statement which you or a representative can read to the court.

How does the injunction court process work?

This process can move rather quickly. It is important to be ready with evidence to ensure the injunction is granted.

Petition – the victim files a petition for an injunction.  You must include specific examples to the court in the petition along with other information about the victim (Petitioner) and the offender (Respondent).

Petition Review – A judge will review the petition.  The judge can grant the petition and provide a temporary injunction, they can order a hearing to get more information without a temporary injunction or they can deny the petition outright.

Temporary Injunction – if the judge grants a temporary injunction, the respondent must be served, and the case will be scheduled for a hearing to determine of the injunction should be extended for a longer period of time.

Injunction Hearing – the petitioner must present evidence for the injunction to be granted.  The respondent can also present evidence.  The judge will make a decision and either grant or deny the injunction.  If the injunction is granted, it can be for any length of time from a year to a lifetime.

How can Fighter Law help?

Fighter Law can help you assert your rights. We can represent you in obtaining an injunction or restraining order.  For a criminal case, attorneys can communicate with the prosecutor on your behalf and be by your side in court and make sure your voice is heard. We can prepare you to testify at a deposition or trial. Let us walk you through the court process with care and professionalism. Our team can also assist you in finding the resources you need such as housing, restitution, counseling.

We fight because we care.  Call us at 407-344-4837 to learn more.


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