South Florida Attorney for Crime Victim Representation
If there is a person facing charges for a crime committed against you in South Florida, be aware that you are entitled to have a crime victim attorney on your side throughout the court proceedings. Even in criminal cases that are prosecuted by the state, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation.
As a victim you have rights. Many individuals do not realize that legal representation is an option if they are not filing a civil suit, however, it is. It is a right that you should exercise to ensure that you are adequately protected for the duration of the criminal case.
Criminal Defense Attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal is an experienced crime victim lawyer who is ready to act as a voice between you and the state attorney’s office. When a person commits a crime against you it can be a traumatizing time. You may be unsure of your rights, how to proceed, or what to say to the other lawyers involved in the case. The defendant has a criminal defense attorney working on their behalf–as a victim you deserve to have aggressive representation advocating for you as well.
Crime Victim Representation Defined by Florida Law
There are many different types of crime victims. If someone commits a violent crime against you, such as assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence, or threatens you physically and receives criminal charges as a result, you are a victim of crime. Additionally, you may be a victim of a white-collar crime such as identity theft or fraud.
You may also be a crime victim if you are the parent or guardian of a minor who has had a crime committed against them, or if you are a family member of a homicide victim.
If any of these situations apply it is likely that the courts will ask for your involvement in the criminal case against the defendant. They may ask you to provide a deposition or testify in court. You may be a witness as well as a victim and have to provide information on the events.
It can be emotionally challenging to have a defendant’s lawyer question you or cross-examine you at trial. Just as you would have a lawyer represent if you yourself were facing charges and speaking with law enforcement or an attorney, you should have a victim lawyer with you for any questioning as well. Doing so ensures that your constitutional rights are upheld.
Crime Victims’ Rights
You know that a defendant has rights, but did you know that as a victim you also have constitutional rights? Many people are unaware, but you do, and you need a crime victim attorney to ensure they remain protected.
As per the United States Department of Justice, you have the right to be protected from the defendant, the right to have appropriate notice of any court proceedings, parole proceedings, or the release of a defendant from jail, and more.
Additionally, you have the right to remain involved in public court hearings and to be present, as well as to testify, unless otherwise determined by the judge. You also have the right to give input on a defendant’s sentencing and parole hearings, though know that a judge or committee does not have to implement your feedback.
You may also speak with the prosecutor and the district attorney regarding the case and have the right to receive timely restitution if the courts award you monetary compensation. You have the right to privacy, and you have the right to receive information regarding how to contact the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.
These are a lot of rights that you are entitled to as the victim of a crime. It may be hard to keep track of them all, or to know precisely what each of these rights mean. Having a crime victim attorney on your side will help guide you each step of the way.
Injunctions and Restraining Orders in Florida
Additionally, if a person commits a violent crime against you or is threatening yourself or your family, you may be able to file a restraining order against them. A victims attorney can assist you with filing the correct paperwork and ensuring that you have all the evidence and documentation you need to present to the courts to ensure that they approve the restraining order or injunction.
Common Crimes That Require Victim Representation
As noted, there are many crimes that you may fall victim to. It does not have to be a violent crime in order for you to require legal representation. Even if you are a family member who is affected by a crime and you are involved in the legal proceedings you have the right to retain a crime victim lawyer to protect you throughout the case.
This is especially true if the defendant committed homicide or manslaughter. If this is the case you will have the opportunity to appear at sentencing and parole hearings where you can give a statement regarding how the crime has affected your family and loved ones and what you believe is appropriate regarding the defendant’s time in jail or prison.
If you are the victim of another type of crime, such as assault, battery, robbery, or if someone commits arson against your home or property, you are also entitled to representation by a victim attorney. Having a crime victim attorney on your side can help ensure that justice is served as they help you to provide prosecutors with as much information as possible to help convict a defendant in a case.
The Florida Bureau of Victim Compensation
The Florida Office for Victims of Crime receives allocated funds from the Federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) that provides assistance and compensation to victims. You may be entitled to receive funds that cover medical expenses relating to the crime, therapy for any emotional trauma you endure, wages you lose if you are unable to work, and more.
Hiring a crime victim attorney can help you make sure that you get the most compensation possible. Filing paperwork can be tedious and time-consuming and you want to ensure that all of your documentation is correct, up-to-date, and fully outlines the total costs for which you are seeking assistance. You will need to provide detailed medical records, receipts, documentation of property damage, and more. Having a victim lawyer to help you through this process is the best way to get the money you are entitled to.
Hiring a Crime Victim Attorney in South Florida
If you require legal representation as the victim of a crime in West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, contact criminal defense attorney, Matt Shafran, at Weinstein Legal today. The defendant already has a lawyer working on their defense and you deserve the same opportunity to protect your rights and ensure that justice is served.
At Weinstein Legal, our phones are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Your call will never go unanswered and you will have around-the-clock access to your attorney. We serve all of South Florida with Law Offices in Broward and Palm Beach County.
If you are the victim of a crime and are going through court proceedings, filing charges, or filing a restraining order in South Florida, call today for a free case evaluation at 561-931-6687.