Victim Services Unit
If you have been a victim or witness to a crime and could benefit from our assistance, contact the Victim Services Unit at (954) 321-4200.
BSO's Victim Services Unit provides assistance for the victims and witnesses of crimes through established advocacy policies and by providing necessary notification.
Victim/Witness Advocates deal with the emotional trauma resulting from a crime by addressing the physical and psychological well-being of a victim or witness. The unit provides crisis intervention, short-term counseling and referrals, criminal justice information, court support, and emergency assistance for limited shelter, food, and basic physical needs arising from victimization.
The agency's Victim Notification Specialist notifies known victims, including the next of kin of homicide victims and the relatives of minors who are victims, about the pending release of sentenced prisoners incarcerated in Broward County jails.
The Victim's Bill of Rights
Know your rights under the law. Victims of crime are entitled to information regarding:
- Local community services
- Availability of crimes compensation, when applicable
- The victim's role in the legal and judicial systems
Victims also have a right to:
- Protection from intimidation
- Advanced notification of judicial proceedings related to arrest, release and proceedings, including when to submit written statements
- Notification of scheduling changes by the agency scheduling court appearances
- Attend and be heard at crucial stages of the judicial process
- Prompt and timely disposition of a case (provided it does not interfere with the rights of the accused)
- Consultation by the State Attorney's Office in certain felony crimes
- Prompt return of property (if there is no compelling need to retain the property as evidence)
- Request assistance from law enforcement or the state attorney in notifying employers and creditors of circumstances resulting from the crime
- Request and receive restitution
- Submit a victim impact statement to the court
- Have a victim advocate attend depositions
- Review portions of the pre-sentence investigation
- Receive notification of the escape or release of the offender
In addition, the victims of a crime and the state attorney, with the consent of the victim, have standing to assert the rights of a crime victim as provided by law.
The Broward Sheriff's Office Victim / Witness Handbook includes information on these rights and other helpful information. You may download a copy of the Victims & Witnesses Handbook or contact BSO at (954) 321-4200 or visit your local BSO district office to request a copy.
- V.I.N.E. Program (Victim Information Notification Everyday)
- Protection from Domestic Violence
- Victim Services Volunteer Program
- Other agencies / organizations that can help
- Restraining Orders
- Protecting Yourself