Frequently Asked Questions
Marsy’s Law for Florida is a grassroots movement working with a broad coalition of Floridians seeking to secure equal rights for victims of crime.
Our coalition includes victims, victim advocates, law enforcement, state legislators and other policymakers, legal experts and members of local communities all across Florida.
We are working with State Senator Lauren Book, Constitution Revision Commissioner Timothy Cerio, CRC co-sponsors Patricia Levesque, Darlene Jordan, Fred Karlinsky, State Representative Jeanette Nuñez, Brecht Heuchan, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and State Senator Darryl Rouson, as well as a range of victims’ rights advocates, supporters and community activists to draft a proposed constitutional amendment through the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to give victims equal rights in Florida.
Currently, the U.S. Constitution and every state constitution includes rights for individuals accused of a crime and those convicted of a crime. Yet, the U.S. Constitution and 15 state constitutions have not clear, enforceable enumerated rights to crime victims.
Like in other states, Marsy’s Law for Florida is about giving victims constitutional standing equal to that of the accused and convicted criminals – no more, no less. Victims are the ones hurt by criminals, and yet we often treat them as though they have nothing at stake.
Marsy’s Law for Florida will put victims’ rights on the same legal level as the rights of the accused, guaranteeing they are respected and protected.
Marsy’s Law for Florida aims to ensure victims and their families have true equality under the law by guaranteeing them standing in court. Protections that would help ensure equality include the rights:
- To be treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, sensitivity and fairness.
- To have standing in court.
- To privacy.
- To have information or records protected that could be used to locate or harass the victim or which could disclose confidential or privileged information about the victim.
- To proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
- To timely disposition of the case free from unreasonable delay.
- To be present at all proceedings involving the case.
- To reasonable protection from the accused throughout the justice process.
- To confer with the attorney for the government.
- To be informed by and provide input to the attorney for the government about any case disposition agreement including a plea agreement, deferred prosecution agreement or diversion agreement before a decision is made concerning such agreement.
- To be heard in any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated including release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, revocation, expungement or pardon.
- To have the authority with jurisdiction over the case provided with information pertaining to the economic, physical and psychological effect of the crime or juvenile act upon the victim and have the information considered by the authority with jurisdiction.
- To timely notice of any release, escape or death of the accused, if the accused is in custody or on supervision at the time of death.
- To full restitution and to be provided with assistance collecting restitution.
- To have any monies or property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution be first applied to the restitution owed to the victim before paying any amounts owed to the government.
- To compensation as provided by the law.
- To timely information about the outcome of the case.
- To timely notice about all rights in this section, or as provided by law, including the enforcement of these rights.
Coalition member and Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) member, Timothy Cerio, along with state Senator Lauren Book and CRC co-sponsors co-sponsors Patricia Levesque, Darlene Jordan, Fred Karlinsky, State Representative Jeanette Nuñez, Brecht Heuchan, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and State Senator Darryl Rouson, presented the proposed amendment to the CRC, which meets every 20 years to identify any needed changes to the Florida Constitution. If approved by 22 out of the 37 CRC members, the amendment will be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot and will become law upon receiving 60 percent voter approval.