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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 and Article 1, Section 16(b) of the Florida Constitution


Please note:  This booklet references certain crimes, but it is a tool for victims of all types of crimes. Brochures pertaining to specific crimes can be obtained on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website ( in the Publications section.

Statement of Crime Victims' Rights

As a crime victim, the Florida Constitution guarantees you the following rights: 
Article 1, Section 16(b), Florida Constitution
  • The right to due process and to be treated with fairness and respect for your 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.  However, this is not intended to create a special relationship between the crime victim and any law enforcement agency or office absent a special relationship or duty as defined by Florida law.
  • The right to have your safety and welfare as well as your family’s considered when setting bail, including setting pretrial release conditions that could affect you or your family’s safety and welfare.
  • The right to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass you or your family, or which could disclose your confidential or privileged information.
  • The right to the prompt return of your property when no longer needed as evidence in the case.
  • The right to full and timely restitution in every case and from each convicted offender for all losses you suffered, both directly and indirectly, because 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.  (In appropriate cases, the prosecutor may file a good faith demand for a speedy trial.  In non-capital cases, all state-level appeals and post-conviction proceedings must be complete within two years and five years for capital cases, unless the court enters an order with specific findings concerning why the court was unable to do so and the circumstances causing the delay.)
  • The right to be informed of your state constitutional rights, and to be informed that you can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to your rights.
As a crime victim, you are afforded the following constitutional rights upon request: 
  • 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 you will be a witness at the proceeding, notwithstanding any rule to the contrary.  (For this purpose, consider providing the prosecutor an address, an email address, or a telephone number at which you can be reached quickly, and update this information during the pendency of your case.)  You shall also be provided reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any release or escape of the defendant or delinquent, and any proceeding during which a right of yours 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 yours 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 offender’s conduct on you and your family to the individual responsible for conducting any presentence investigation or compiling any presentence investigation report, and to have any such 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 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 post conviction processes and procedures, to participate in such processes and procedures, to 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 offender.  The parole or early release authority shall extend the right to be heard to any person harmed by the offender.
  • The right to be informed of clemency and expungement procedures, to provide information to the governor, the court, any clemency board, and other authority in 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 offender.

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 Pretrial 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: Records 
           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.


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


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.


Victim Compensation – 1.800.226.6667 OR Division of Citizen Services

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

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