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Victim & Witness Services

To contact an Advocate today please call 904.630.1764.

Our Victim Services Coordinators, also known as Victim Advocates, are committed to providing compassionate, supportive and non-judgmental support to all crime victims, witnesses, survivors and their significant others in the aftermath of victimization.

They are equipped with an in-depth knowledge of available community resources to address the needs of the victim and are there to assist law enforcement officers at crime scenes providing emotional support and crisis intervention.

You as a victim have rights - Florida State Statute 960.

Resources:

Statement of Crime Victims' Rights

The Florida’s Constitution, Article 1, Section 16, provides victims of crime the following rights to the extent these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused:
  • 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.
  • The right to due process and to be treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s dignity.
  • The right to be free from abuse, harassment, and intimidation within the judicial process.
  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused, within the judicial process.
  • The right to have the safety and welfare of the victim and the victim’s family considered when setting bail and release conditions.
  • The right to reasonable, accurate and timely notification of, and to be present at, all court proceedings involving the criminal conduct, even if the victim is to testify, notwithstanding any rule of evidence to the contrary.
  • The right to be heard in any public proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, and parole or that implicates the victim’s right.
  • The right to confer with the prosecution concerning the role of the victim in the judicial process and any disposition of the case.
  • The right to provide a victim impact statement for the presentence investigation report.
  • The right to receive a copy of the presentence investigation report except for such portions made confidential or exempt by law.
  • The right to be informed of the conviction, sentence, incarceration or other disposition and any release or escape of the offender.
  • The right to be informed of, and to participate in, all post-conviction processes.
  • The right to the prompt return of the victim’s property when it is no longer needed as evidence.
  • The right to full and timely restitution for all losses, both directly and indirectly, and crime compensation and services when applicable.
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay and to a prompt and final disposition of the case and any related post judgment proceedings.
  • The right to retain and to seek the advice of an attorney regarding these enumerated rights.
  • The right to enforce any additional applicable rights enumerated in Florida Statutes 960.
  • The right to be informed of these rights.

First Appearance

First Appearance Court occurs within 24 hours of a suspect’s arrest. Each suspect arrested must appear before a Judge, except for misdemeanor charges when an administrative bond is set. The Judge will determine if there is probable cause for the suspect’s arrest; determine conditions of pretrial release; and decide whether a monetary bond should be set. If appropriate the Judge will appoint a defense attorney if the suspect cannot afford one.

First Appearance takes place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day in courtroom J-1 located at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility (jail), 500 E. Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

To find out more about court proceedings, please call: 904.630.5882

Disclosure of Information

Victims can prevent the disclosure of information through the following methods:
  • Appear in person or via legal representation at the Police Memorial Building (501 E. Bay St.) or at any of the six JSO substations
  • Send signed affidavit to:
           Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
           Attn: Public Records Unit 
           501 E. Bay St.
           Jacksonville, FL 32202

Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE)

What is VINE?

VINE is a toll-free, 24-hour telephone program that provides information and notification on offenders in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections.  Victims and the general public may register at any time to be notified. When an offender is released, transferred, escapes, or dies, registered persons will receive an automatic telephone notification.

How Do I Register?

To register, call VINE at 1.877.846.3435 (TTY: 1.866.847.1298) and follow prompts. Caller will simply enter telephone number, including area code, where they want to be reached. Caller will then be asked to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for use during notification to confirm that the message was received.

Automatic Registration

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will automatically register the victim or the appropriate next of kin of the victim who have reported an offense involving domestic violence, homicide, attempted murder, sexual battery, stalking, cyber-stalking, kidnapping related to domestic violence, and false imprisonment related to domestic violence.

Victims of the crimes listed above who do not have a phone may be notified by United States Postal Service (mail) of an inmate’s release or arrest.

Notification

VINE calls automatically when an offender’s custody changes, regardless of the time of day. Listen to the entire message, enter the PIN and press the # when prompted.

The VINE service will keep trying to reach you. If there is no answer or the line is busy, VINE will continue to call every half an hour for 24 hours, until a PIN number is entered to stop the notification calls. Call 1.877.846.3435 (TTY: 1.866.847.1298) or go to www.vinelink.com.

Information

For custody information, call VINE and follow prompts. VINE will quickly tell the caller if the offender is in custody, and the name and location of the facility where the offender is in custody. Anyone may call VINE to check on an offender’s custody status. Live operator assistance is available, 24 hours a days, seven days a week.

Do not depend solely on the VINE program for your protection. If you feel that you may be at risk, take precautions as if the offender has already been released.

Additional Information is available on the VINE website and the Florida Department of Corrections’ Victim Services webpage.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF A CRIME (OR IN CERTAIN CASES, THE SURVIVING SPOUSE, FAMILY MEMBER OR A PERSON LEGALLY DEPENDANT UPON THE VICTIM) , YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE CRIMES COMPENSATION TRUST FUND.  PURSUANT TO FLORIDA STATUTE 960.065.

Victim Compensation – 1.800.226.6667 OR Division of Citizen Services
850.414.3990

Information on both of these can be found on the Attorney General’s website.


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