Notification of Scheduling Changes
Each victim or witness who has been scheduled to attend a criminal or juvenile justice proceeding shall be notified as soon as possible by the agency scheduling his appearance of any change in scheduling which will affect his appearance.
Advance Notification to Victim or Relative of Victim Concerning Judicial Proceedings
Any victim, relative of a minor who is a victim, or relative of a homicide victim shall receive from the appropriate agency, at the address found in the police report or other criminal report or at a more current address if such has been provided to the agency, prompt advance notification, unless the agency itself does not have advance notification, of judicial and post judicial proceedings relating to his case, including all proceedings or hearings relating to:
- The arrest of the accused
- he release of the accused pending judicial proceedings or any modification of release conditions
- The approval of the accused for Community Work Release or Community Control
- Proceedings in the prosecution or petition for delinquency of the accused, including the filing of the accusatory instrument, the arraignment, disposition of the accusatory instrument, trial or ad judicatory hearing, sentencing or disposition hearing, appellate review, subsequent modification of sentence, collateral attack of a judgment, and, when a term of imprisonment, detention, or involuntary commitment is imposed, the release of the defendant or juvenile offender from such imprisonment, detention, or commitment by expiration of sentence or parole and any meeting held to consider such release.
A victim or a victim’s next of kin may not be excluded from any portion of any hearing, trial, or proceeding pertaining to the offense based solely on the fact that such person is subpoenaed to testify, unless, upon motion, the court determines such person’s presence to be prejudicial.
Consultation With Victim or Guardian or Family of Victim
The victim of a felony involving physical or emotional injury or trauma or, in a case in which the victim is a minor child or in a homicide, the guardian or family of the victim shall be consulted by the state attorney in order to obtain the views of the victim or family about the disposition of any criminal or juvenile case brought as a result of such crime, including the views of the victim or family about; notification of the release of the accused; plea negotiations; pre-trial intervention; and sentencing.
Notification of the Release of the Accused
If the defendant is able to post bond, he/she may be released pending trial. You, as a victim, have a right to be advised of the release of the defendant. The Department of Corrections will attempt to notify you when the defendant is being released via telephone. If they cannot contact you by phone a letter will be sent to you by the Department of Corrections advising you of the release. The North Miami Beach Police Department will assist the Department of Corrections in notifying you of a release if they notify us of the release.
In many cases, the defendant will plead guilty before trial. This plea may be a result of discussions between the assistant state attorney and the defendant’s attorney. The defendant will plead guilty to a crime in exchange for some concession. The concession may involve a lesser charge, dismissal of other pending charges, or a recommendation by the prosecutor for a reduced sentence. The assistant state attorney also considers the wishes of the victim in determining what sentence to recommend to the court.
This is a program for first time offenders of non-violent crimes, which must have the approval of the State Attorney and you, as the crime victim. It basically functions as a “pre-trial probation”. If the offender completes the program the criminal charges are dropped. If the offender does not fulfill the terms of the program the charges are re-activated and full prosecution will be pursued.
Pre-Sentence Investigation Report
The victim, the victim’s parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, or the victim’s next of kin in the case of a homicide has the right to review a copy of a pre-sentence investigation report on an adult or youthful offender completed prior to the sentencing hearing, upon request of the victim.
Information, such as medical history, mental health, or substance abuse, and any information that pertains to other victims, shall be redacted from the copy of the report. Any person who reviews this report shall maintain the confidentiality of the report.
The Judge sentences a defendant found guilty or who has pleaded guilty or no contest. Using state sentencing guidelines, the Judge sentences the defendant in a manner appropriate to the crime and other circumstances related to the case. The Judge may impose the following sentences:
The victim may personally appear in court at the sentencing hearing to make a statement.
Return of Property
You have the right to a prompt return of your property unless there is a compelling law enforcement need to retain it. If property was stolen or other property is needed by law enforcement to prove the crime, it becomes important as evidence. Some evidence/property must be sent to labs for analysis. It is helpful for the jury to see the property at trial and is sometimes necessary to keep the property until trial. However, your property will be returned to you as promptly as possible. If you have questions concerning the release of your property, call (305) 949-5500.
Escape From Commitment Facility
You have the right to be notified of an offender’s escape from a state correctional institution, county jail, juvenile detention facility, or involuntary commitment facility. The state attorney will make every effort to notify the victim, material witness or relatives of a homicide victim, of the escapee.
Notification to Employer and Creditors
At your request, the North Miami Beach Police Department and State Attorney's Office will inform your employer that your cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of the case may necessitate your absence from work. At your request, we will also contact your creditors to seek their consideration if you are temporarily unable to continue payments as a result of the crime.
Restitution to Victim
You have the right to request and receive restitution. The court may order restitution for certain losses (medical bills, property damage, stolen property). Keep documentation of your losses and provide them with your testimony to the State Attorney. The State Attorney will make the effort to secure the proper amount of restitution. You also have the right to receive information on how to enforce the court’s order of restitution to you.
What Happens Next?
Information on how your case proceeds after First Appearance will be available to you at the State Attorney’s Office. We thank you ahead of time for your patience, assistance and cooperation in the investigation of this crime.