Marsy’s Law in Florida: Protecting Victims of Crimes

In 2008, California passed a law as part of the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act. This law, called Marsy’s Law, aimed to protect victims of crime while expanding their rights under the law. The legislation outlined 17 total rights of victims, including the right to be protected from the defendant, and the right to be notified of any and all court proceedings. Since 2008, similar laws have been passed in Illinois and Ohio, with Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Florida all promoting efforts to pass similar laws.

Marsy’s Law is gaining momentum in the state of Florida, and may appear on ballots as early as 2018. Just as those arrested are read their Miranda Rights, Marsy’s Law would provide Floridians with an overview of their rights as a victim of a crime. Under the law, victims would no longer be obligated to provide a deposition to the defense. Florida is one of only a handful of states that require a victim to undergo a deposition. Depositions are often emotionally draining and hostile to victims, and may exacerbate any post-traumatic stress. The passage of this legislation would give a voice to victims throughout Florida. Current legislation is vague and unenforceable, although well-intended.

If you are arrested or charged with a crime, the United States Constitution outlines 20 distinct rights that you are entitled to. The Constitution does not provide victims with any sort of equivalent rights. Victims of the wrongdoings of others have been forced into the criminal justice system by no fault of their own. Marsy’s Law would provide victims with the same amount of rights that defendant’s are entitled to. This legislation seeks, above all, equity between the rights of the victim and the defendant.

Tim Cerio, the Florida Constitution Revision Commissioner, has been a strong proponent of Marsy’s Law for Florida. Some of the rights that would be added to the state constitution for victims are: notification of all court or public proceedings, access to criminal records and other reports, the ability to testify regarding the impact of the crime, notification and access to any plea agreement via the state attorney, notification of sentencing and the place where the defendant will be incarcerated, as well as all post-conviction proceedings. The Marsy’s Law proposal will be heading to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission to be voted on. At least 22 commissioners need to vote yes on the passage of this legislation in order for it to move forward. If it gains their support, the legislation will be placed on the general election ballot in 2018, and Florida citizens will be able to vote on its addition to the state constitution. A supermajority of 60% is required for any constitutional amendment in Florida.

Call Pallegar Law, P.A. If You Have Been Arrested

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a crime, contact a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today. Call 813-444-3912 for your free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I could not be more satisfied and grateful for Mr. Pallegar and his team!! I found myself in some trouble when visiting Florida on vacation. When I got back home up north I started looking for local lawyers in the area and after reading recommendations and reviews, Mr. Pallegar was the clear choice. I did not have to appear in court a single time and Mr. Pallegar treated me as if I was his only client always keeping me in the loop and explaining every step of the process. Living 800+ miles away from where I got in trouble, and having someone put that much dedication and effort into my case is more than I could have asked. I will be sure to recommend anyone I know that needs help to seek out Mr. Pallegar and if you are looking for an honest, intelligent, personal, and professional representative, Mr. Pallegar is your answer.
★★★★★
Pallegar Law, always put my family first, their team always explained things in full detail, and got the very best results possible. They genuinely care. Our family will forever be grateful. Thank you. Dennis
★★★★★
He took me on and from the word go communicated everything in a timely and professional fashion about how everything is going to be played it; and then delivered word for word. The best part about them apart from their professionalism and efficiency would have to be their honesty which lets you entrust them, which in today's day and age is a rare virtue. Hemant
★★★★★
Excellent communication skills between the staff and client. I always felt I was in the know as to what to expect next. Ajay was up front on possible outcomes of the case and did not promise unrealistic results. Hope to not need them again, but definitely would recommend them. Steve
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Free Consultation: 813-444-3912