Victim Information

The Victim Advocate Unit of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office was established in 1995 and aims to be the first source of help to victims of crime. As advocates it is our goal to provide the best possible service to those in need. Victims of crime have rights too. This unit is available on a 24 hour basis to respond to the needs of victims of crime in Leon County and is often one of the first to respond to a crime scene to assist victims and survivors.

Victim Information (FAQ)

Marsy’s Law is an amendment to the state’s constitution that protects and expands the legal rights of victims. Under Marsy’s Law, as a crime victim, you have the right to request that your personal information remain confidential

Leon County Sheriff’s Office has provided a link below to a form you can complete to submit your request to prevent disclosure of personal information.

Download Marsy's Law - Request to Prevent Disclosure here.

  1. Fairness and respect - The right to due process and to be treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s dignity.
  2. Freedom from intimidation - The right to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse.
  3. Protection from the defendant - To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant.
  4. Victim safety considerations in settings bail and release condition - To have the safety of the victim and victim’s family considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant.
  5. The prevention of the disclosure of confidential information - to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate confidential or privileged information of the victim.
  6. Notice of and presence at public proceedings - to reasonable, accurate and timely notice of, and be present at all public proceedings involving the criminal conduct including, but not limited to trial, please, sentencing or adjudication.
  7. Appearance at court proceedings - The right to be heard in any public proceeding involving pretrial or other release from any form of legal constraint, plea sentencing, adjudication, or parole, and any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated, including first appearance.
  8. Property return - The right to the prompt return of the victims property when no longer needed as evidence in the case.
  9. Restitution - The right to full and timely restitution in ever case and from each convicted offender for all losses suffered both directly and indirectly by the victim as a result of the criminal conduct.
  10. Speedy trial and prompt conclusion of the case - The right to a speedy trial and prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings.
  11. Information about these rights - Florida Constitution Article 1, Section 16. FSS 960

The Law Enforcement Victim Advocate is often one of the first to respond to a crime scene to assist victims and survivors. During this critical time victims may experience a wide range of feelings and emotions.

As an advocate, we can assist in many ways:

  • Provide emotional and moral support
  • Conduct on-scene crisis intervention and grief & bereavement counseling
  • Act as a liaison between victim, deputies, detectives, and community-based agencies
  • Identify and inform victims of their rights under the law
  • Educate law enforcement and victims of new laws pertaining to specific victimization
  • Provide information about professional counseling and support groups
  • Offer assistance with filing crime victim’s compensation to help with lost wages, medical, counseling, and funeral expenses
  • Help prepare victims for court injunction hearings, provide court advocacy and accompaniment
  • Provide transport to court, referrals to emergency shelter, and safety planning. Assist victims in obtaining cellular phones for 911 emergencies

Provide information regarding current status of cases

A Victim is a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as the result of an act by someone else, which is a crime.

Services include:

  • Assist victims in providing cellular phones for 911 emergencies.
  • Crisis Intervention, Grief and Bereavement Counseling
  • Support through the criminal justice system
  • Community information and referrals
  • Assistance with filing crime victims compensation
  • Safety Planning
  • Assistance with domestic violence injunctions
  • Provide transportation to court and emergency shelter.

On-call twenty-four hours, seven days a week.

The Victim Advocate Unit in the Leon County Sheriff's Office aims to be the first source of help to victims of crime. As advocates it is our goal to provide the best possible service to those in need. Victims of Crime have rights, too.

  1. Information concerning available crisis intervention services, supportive or bereavement counseling, community-based victim treatment programs, the availability of crime protection services and crime victim compensation.
  2. Information about the role of the victim in the criminal justice system, the stages in the criminal and juvenile justice process which are of significance to a crime victim, and the manner in which such information can be obtained.
  3. Information concerning steps that are available to Law Enforcement Officers and State Attorneys to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation.
  4. Advance notification of judicial and post-judicial proceedings which relate to the offender's arrest, release or community work release, provided that the victim gives the State Attorney's Office her/his current name and address.
  5. In felony crimes or homicide, consultation by the State Attorney's Office to obtain the views of the victim or in the case of a minor child, the guardian or the victim's family regarding the release of the accused, plea agreements, participation in pretrial diversion programs, and the sentencing of the accused.
  6. Return of the victim's property collected by Law Enforcement or the State Attorney's Office for evidentiary purposes.
  7. Assistance from Law Enforcement or the State Attorney's Office, when requested by victims, to inform the victim's employer about necessary absences from work, and to explain to the victim's creditors about serious financial hardship incurred as a result of the crime.
  8. Request restitution from the offender for certain out-of-pocket losses. The State Attorney shall inform the victim if and when restitution is ordered.
  9. Submit a Victim Impact Statement orally, or in writing, to the judge, prior to the sentencing of an offender who pleads guilty, nolo contendere, or is convicted of a felony crime.
  10. Information concerning the escape of the offender from a state correctional institution, county jail, juvenile detention facility, or involuntary commitment facility.
  11. Accompaniment by a victim advocate during any deposition of the victim or testimony of the victim of a sexual offense.
  12. Request HIV testing of the person charged with committing any sexual offense (under F.S. 794 or 800.04 which involves the transmission of body fluids). HIV test results shall be disclosed to the victim or the victim's legal guardian, if the victim is a minor.
  13. Prompt and timely disposition of the court case (as long as this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused).
  14. In the case of minors, if the victim or any sibling of the victim and the offender attend the same school, the victim and their siblings have the right to request that the offender be required to attend a different school.
  15. A victim of a sexual offense shall be informed of the right to have the courtroom cleared of certain persons as provided in s. 918.16, F.S., when the victim is testifying concerning that offense.
  16. The victims of domestic violence shall be provided with information regarding the address confidentiality program as provided in s. 741.465 F.S.

The Florida Department of Corrections offers a toll-free automated inmate information and notification service, Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE), that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide victims of crime continuous access concerning and inmate's custody status. Anyone may call the toll-free number 1-877-VINE-4-FL (1-877-846-3435) and receive an inmate's current location and tentative release date. Victims may also register to receive an automated notification when an inmate is released, transferred, escapes, is placed in a work release facility, transferred to another jurisdiction, returned to the Department's custody, or dies while in custody. The VINE Service is anonymous and confidential.

To find an offender or register for notification, you must call the VINE service at 1-877-VINE-4-FL (1-877-846-3435) from any touch-tone telephone and follow the instructions given by the system.

The VINE service will keep trying to reach you. If there is no answer or the line is busy, VINE will continue to call every half hour for 48 hours. VINE will leave a message on an answering machine, but will continue to call until a PIN is entered to stop the notification calls. VINE calls automatically when an offender's custody status changes.

The PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a four-digit number that you create that you will use to stop notification calls from VINE. Entering your correct PIN and pressing the # button on your telephone is the only way to confirm and stop VINE notification calls.

Yes. Your family, friends and other concerned persons may also check on offender information and register for notification. Each registration is separate and requires a PIN.

Guidelines For Fair Treatment of Victims And Witnesses In The Criminal Justice System

Victims, including the next of kin of a homicide victim, have the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant at all crucial stages of a criminal proceeding, to the extent that this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused. In the case of a minor, the victim's parent or guardian and the next of kin of a homicide victim is given notificatio

justice system. Victims, including the next of kin of a homicide victim, have the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant at all crucial stages of a criminal proceeding, to the extent that this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused. The implementation of FSS 960 is the cornerstone of ensuring that these rights for victims are met.

Offenders in the Florida Department of Corrections (State Prison System), the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and Florida County Detention Facilities (including the Leon County Detention Facility) will be included in the VINE service.

For more information on Victim Services and the VINE program, please visit the State of Florida Department of Corrections website at:

Download Marsy's Law - Request to Prevent Disclosure form here.

Important Telephone Resources for Crime Victims

  • Victim Advocates
  • Emergency
  • Leon County Sheriff's Office
  • Tallahassee Police Department
  • Refuge House
    (Shelter and assistance for victims of
    domestic violence and sexual assault)
    24 Hour Hotline
  • 211 Big Bend Hotline
    2-1-1 or 850-617-NEED
    850-921-4020 (TTY)
  • State Attorney's Office

Helpful Links for Crime Victims

Attorney General's website