Victims’ Rights Advocacy

Dedicated to Defending and Advocating for Victims’ Rights

There are, rightfully, many constitutional rights granted to those who commit crimes; however, there are surprisingly few for those who those criminal actions have harmed. We are committed to defending victims’ rights and creating a safe and supportive environment for those who are victims of crimes through victims’ rights advocacy. 

At the core of victims’ rights advocacy is a set of fundamental rights designed to protect and empower those who have been victimized by crime. These rights recognize the deep-seated and profound impact criminal acts have on communities and the lives of victims by seeking to ensure their well-being, dignity, and participation in the justice system.

Protecting and advocating for victims’ rights is important in bringing balance back to the system. This is done by providing access to resources and information and providing victims the protection that gives them the opportunity to share their experiences. Their insight can be invaluable for judges, prosecutors, and the justice system as a whole.

Marsy’s Law

Marsy’s Law is a legal initiative aimed at protecting and expanding the rights of victims of crime all over the country. It’s named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, a young woman who was tragically stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Soon after her funeral, her family came face-to-face with their daughter’s murderer while out in public. Although he was legally out on bail, the court was under no obligation to inform her family, and they were vulnerable to the shock of meeting him by chance. Since then, her family has worked tirelessly to provide basic constitutional rights and protections to victims and their families to prevent situations like this and empower them to be heard. 

In 2018, Florida signed in Amendment 6 to the state constitution, which significantly expanded the rights of victims and their families. Although specific jurisdictions may have slight variations, Section 16 of the Florida State Constitution grants rights such as:

The right to be informed: Victims have the right to be notified about all significant proceedings, including bail hearings, plea negotiations, and parole hearings. They should be informed about the status of their case and any major developments.

The right to be present and heard: Victims have the right to attend court proceedings like parole and appeal hearings. They have the right to express their views and concerns regarding the crime’s personal impact on their lives. This will ensure their voices and perspectives are considered. 

The right to restitution: Victims have the right to seek financial restitution for the losses they have suffered as a result of the crime, including medical expenses, counseling costs, and property damages.

The right to privacy and protection: Victims have the right to privacy. Their information cannot be disclosed to the public, and victims and their families must be protected from harassment or intimidation. 

As a committed victims’ rights advocate, attorney Candice Dixon is actively involved in upholding the principles of Marsy’s Law. One of the best ways to protect equal rights under the law is to provide the same protections to the accused and to victims. If you are in need of legal representation and support, call our office at (863) 825-5309 for assistance.