If you’re a crime victim, Attorney Michael Panella can be your voice in the legal system, so you need not relive your story and trauma over and over. You’ve been victimized already — don’t let the criminal justice system do it again. We can help you speak out, assert your rights, so prosecutors and judges will consider what you have to say.
The Panella Law Firm helps crime victims have a say during criminal proceedings. As a criminal defense attorney, Michael Panella has extensive experience with how criminal prosecutions work and the effect crime can have on victims. To learn more about how he can help you, call his office at 407-233-1822.
Under Section 16 of Article I of the Florida Constitution, “victim” is defined as:
The term “victim” does not cover the accused.
Defendants have constitutional rights, so they’re fairly treated, and you do, too. Crime victims have state constitutional standing equal to that of those who are accused and convicted of crimes. You have many rights and protections, including the right to due process and to be treated with fairness and respect.
Take advantage of the protection of victims’ rights. Don’t let your experience overwhelm you. Speak out and let the powers that be know what you and your family have dealt with. Do your part to make sure the defendant’s case is handled with all the seriousness you deserve.
Crime victims are often traumatized, and their fear of retaliation may stop them from filing charges. Protection of victims’ rights include:
You have the right to . . .
At your request, you’ll also know the offender’s disposition, place and time of incarceration, and when they have been released or they escaped from custody.
You deserve to know what’s going on, to have your say, and to have an impact on a case’s outcome. Upon your request, you have the right to have information and appear at various proceedings, give your input into how you were affected, and have your views considered. Specifically, you have the right to . . .
You also have the right not to be taken advantage of by the court system, including:
You have a right to legal representation. You may assert and seek enforcement of your rights in any trial or appellate court involved in the case, or with any authority with jurisdiction over it. The court or other authority must promptly act on your requests and give you a remedy if they violated your rights.
Marsy’s Law was a state constitutional amendment passed by referendum in 2018; it greatly expanded victims’ rights in Florida. The state constitution addressed victims’ rights starting in 1988, and it was a standard for the rest of the country, reports WLRN.
Those rights were repealed and replaced by the language in Marsy’s Law. The effort to get it passed was led and mostly funded by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister, Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 1983.
State statutes that cover victims’ rights include one setting guidelines for the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems for fair treatment. Another concerns a victim’s right to a speedy trial.
If you’re a victim of a crime, you may feel frightened and confused. Having an attorney on your side can ease your anxiety and be your voice in court. Our attorneys at Panella Law Firm have been trusted by many clients involved in criminal cases. They’re passionate about achieving justice for those victimized by offenders. Don’t wait to hire an attorney following a crime. Call us now at 407-233-1822 so that we can discuss what happened and how we can help.