Victim Witness Services Division

Since 1986, the innocent victims of crime in Brevard and Seminole counties have had access to a comprehensive Victim Witness Program through the State Attorney’s Office. State Attorney Phil Archer has vowed to continue the tradition of providing the essential elements of Victim’s Rights as outlined in one of the advocacy group’s standards, the Presidential Task Force formed by former President Ronald Reagan. From the fledgling Victim-Witness Services Division of 1986, to the award-winning and nationally recognized division of today, the office continues to have one all-important focal point: Serving the victims of crime.

Purpose of Victim Services

In the aftermath of crime, victims often experience emotional pain and trauma as well as confusion concerning the legal process. The Victim Witness Services Division is dedicated to ensuring that the needs and the rights of crime victims and witnesses are met through compliance with the law, and with respectful and fair treatment. On January 3, 1989, with the enactment of Article 1, Section 16, Paragraph (b), of the Florida Constitution, the State of Florida became the first state in the nation to change their constitution to include the rights of crime victims.

As a victim or witness of crime, you have certain rights and are entitled to information regarding what you may expect from the criminal justice system and how you may receive any available assistance needed as a result of the crime. Section 960.001, Florida Statutes, provides legal rights established for crime victims.

Understanding Your Role and Rights As A Victim of Crime

As a victim of crime in the State of Florida, you have an important role in the administration of justice. This role involves cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation and possible prosecution of a criminal case. Victims of crime are often called as witnesses in a case. This means you may be required to be present at various stages of the criminal justice process to provide truthful testimony.

It also means that you are entitled to certain rights within the criminal justice system, and to assistance from the State Attorney in asserting these rights.

Rights of a Crime Victim

  • Notification of the arrest, release or escape of the accused, if possible
  • Advance notice of all court proceedings, if time permits
  • Information on steps concerning freedom from intimidation
  • Notification of scheduling changes
  • Opportunity to have a victim advocate present during depositions
  • Assistance in obtaining the return of recovered property
  • A prompt and timely disposition of the case
  • Prompt notification of the results of court proceedings
  • To be informed, present and heard, when relevant, at all criminal proceedings
  • Assistance in obtaining Crime Victim Compensation, restitution, and other services to which you may be entitled
  • Upon request, notification to your employer and/or school when you must appear in court
  • Opportunity to submit an oral or written impact statement at the time of sentencing

Stages of the Criminal Justice Process

Criminal cases generally follow the sequence shown below, however, no two cases are alike and variations do occur in some instances:

  • Crime Committed
  • Police Investigation
  • Arrest
  • First Appearance
  • Arraignment
  • Hearings and Depositions
  • Trial
  • Sentencing

Contacting Victim Services

In Brevard County call (321) 617-7555
In Seminole County call (407) 665-6112

What is a Victim Advocate and What Services Do They Provide?

Victims of crime are entitled to information regarding what to expect from the criminal justice system and how to receive available assistance. The State Attorney's Office is staffed with Victim Advocates who provide the following services:

  • Emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime
  • Information concerning stages in the criminal or juvenile justice process, and the role of the victim
  • Courtroom orientation and accompaniment
  • Crisis intervention services and groups
  • Referrals to social service agencies
  • Assistance in filing Florida Crime Victim Compensation claims
  • Support Groups for some crimes

Specialized Programs Provided by Our Victim Services Division

In addition to our other services, the Victim Witness Services Division also has specific advocates to help individualized victim populations, and a specific unit to offer assistance to witnesses.

Sexual Assault (Rape) Victim Services
- Getting Help
Domestic Violence Victim Services
Florida Crime Victim Compensation Program
- Application for Compensation (English)
- Application for Compensation (Spanish)
Support Groups
Witness Management Program

Volunteers Are Needed

Victim Witness Services is in need of volunteers! There are a wide variety of activities in which a volunteer can participate, and this office continually accepts citizen-partner volunteer applications.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week

National Crime Victims' Rights Week is an annual commemoration of crime victims during the month of April. Visit our site on local activities during National Victims' Rights Week.

Information for Victim and Witnesses of Crime Brochure

Brochure

Other links

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) Service
Victim Assistance Office - Florida Department of Corrections

Site Map

Created and maintained by:
Site Developed and Maintained by Nsync Data Systems
"N-Sync Computer Services"