Florida Crime Victim Compensation
The Florida Crime Victim Compensation program pays compensation to eligible persons who are victims of crime or provide services to victims of crime. A victim advocate will assist the victim with completing the application process.
This compensation can be paid to any eligible victim who suffered a personal injury or survivors of someone who was killed as a result of a felony or misdemeanor crime punishable under federal or state laws.
Attorney for Criminal Victim Compensation in Tampa, FL
Florida’s criminal victim compensation program is set up so that the victim of a crime can complete the application without any need to hire their own attorney.
In some cases, however, the victim of a crime might decide that they need to hire their own attorney to help them protect their rights particularly when restitution is owed and the defendant has the means to pay the restitution.
We can also provide you information about what happens when the alleged victim wants the criminal charges dropped, especially when the alleged victim and the defendant are related by blood or marriage.
We also represent clients during a criminal restitution hearing asking that the defendant be ordered to pay restitution, often as a condition of probation.
If you need to retain an attorney to help you navigate the criminal justice system as a victim of a crime so your rights are protected, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL.
Eligibility for Compensation as a Victim of Crime
- The victim or applicant must cooperate fully with law enforcement officials, the State Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office.
- The victim must have suffered a physical, psychiatric, or psychological injury, or death, as a result of the crime. (Exceptions may apply).
- The crime must be reported to law enforcement within three days after it happened, unless there is good reason for reporting it later.
- The claim must be filed within one year of the crime, up to two years if there is good reason for not filing the claim. Exceptions are made for minor children.
- The victim must not have contributed to the circumstances that caused the crime, injury, or death.
- The victim was not engaged in an unlawful activity at the time of the crime.
- Victim who is 60 years or older or a disabled adult who suffers a loss of tangible personal property as a result of a criminal or delinquent act may receive a property loss reimbursement.
- Victims who need immediate assistance to escape from a domestic violence environment may receive financial assistance to relocate.
Criminal history record check will be performed through the Florida Crime Information Center for all victims and claimants.
Persons who have been adjudicated as an habitual felony offender, habitual violent offender, or violent career criminals, and persons who have been adjudicated guilty of a forcible felony offense are not eligible to receive benefits.
Who Can Apply for Compensation for the Crime Victim?
The application for compensation can be completed by:
- any adult victim who has been physically injured as a result of a crime;
- the parent or guardian of a minor or incompetent victim that has been injured as a result of a crime;
- the parent or guardian of a minor victim less than 16 years old who was:
- present at the scene of a violent crime;
- who saw or heard the crime, and
- who suffered psychological injury but was not physically injured.
- the spouse, parent, sibling, or adult child of a deceased victim; or
- any elderly or disabled adult who lost property as a result of a crime.
Court-Ordered Restitution for Florida Crime Victim Compensation
In many of these cases, the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs, in the Bureau of Victim Compensation will send correspondence to the prosecutor about the amount of compensation paid.
The records are self-authenticating public records submitted in lieu of providing testimony in a restitution hearing.
The attached public record should be admissible as evidence under section 90.803(8), and since the document is self-authenticating pursuant to section 90.902(2), it is not necessary that a custodian be called to testify.
The letter will include an affidavit from the Program Administrator of Records Custodians for the Bureau of Vicitm Compensation, Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs, Office of the Attorney General that certifies that the attached record is a true copy of the original payment and crime information documents for claim number ______ for crime victim _______.
The payment and criminal information documents are generated by the Victim Assistance Newwork (VANext) which is operated and maintained by the Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs, Office of the Attorney General in Tallahassee, FL.
The payment and crime information documents contain a compilation of data used by the Bureau of Victims Compensation, Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs for the purpose of analyzing qualificaitons for compensationn, and payment of benefits to eligible crime victims and providers on behalf of victims.
These documents constitute record of payment of all benefits to, or on behalf of, the victim and are being provided pursuant to section 960.17, Florida Satutes, for restitution purposes.
Florida’s Restitution Crime Information Form
The Restitution Crime Information form (FORM RESCRIME (3/2018)) provides details about:
- the crime type
- start date
- end date
- whether the crime was reported within 72 hours
- law enforcement agency that investigated the crime
- crime location
- report information
- whether the victim cooperated with the proper authorities
- whether the victim was involved in unlawful activity
- whether the victim engaged in contributory conduct
- payment summary and details.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 31, 2019.