If a victim has suffered damages or a loss caused directly or indirectly by a defendant’s criminal acts, they have the right to restitution. In addition to any punishment, the State Attorney’s Office will seek restitution pursuant to 775.089(1)(a). If you are requesting restitution, please fill out the victim impact statement and send it to the Assistant State Attorney or Victim Witness Specialist assigned to your case, along with supporting documentation for the amount you are seeking. The supporting documentation can be a bill, receipt, invoice, or a google search of an item to show value. The Assistant State Attorney can ask that the restitution amount be part of the plea negotiations or it can be ordered by the Court at a Restitution hearing. The defendant cannot be compelled to pay restitution if he is financially unable. However, the Court can ask for a Judgement to be entered.
Victims of certain crimes (including Domestic Violence) may be eligible to apply to the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund for assistance with medical bills, lost wages and counseling costs for you and your children. An advocate from a domestic violence center or the State Attorney’s Office will be able to help you. You may also call the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 226-6667 or (850) 414-3300 or review the Crimes Compensation Brochure for more information.
Victim Impact Statements
A Victim Impact Statement (VIS) is a statement a victim is entitled to give to the court about how the defendant’s actions have affected the victim emotionally, physically and monetarily. An impact statement can be presented to the court in writing or given verbally by the victim or by somebody on his or her behalf. It is not required. Our office has put together a form that will help guide victims. If you are a listed victim in a case, a Victim Witness Specialist can assist you with this statement.