May 26, 2018
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The Florida Statutes

The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)

Title XLVII
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND CORRECTIONS
Chapter 914
WITNESSES; CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 914.25
914.25 Protective services for certain victims and witnesses.
(1) For purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Victim or witness at risk of harm” means a victim or witness who, as a result of cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of a serious felony offense, has been subjected to violence or other forms of intimidation, or who is the subject of a substantial threat to commit violence. The term also includes a member of the victim’s or witness’s immediate family.
(b) “Serious felony offense” means one of the following offenses, including an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one of the following offenses: murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, aggravated stalking, aggravated battery, carjacking, home invasion robbery, burglary, arson, robbery, kidnapping, racketeering, or trafficking in a controlled substance.
(2) A law enforcement agency is hereby authorized to provide protective services, including temporary relocation services, to a victim or witness at risk of harm. Protective and temporary relocation services, as deemed appropriate, shall be provided pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(3)(a) The statewide prosecutor, any state attorney, or any law enforcement officer may identify a victim or witness as a victim or witness at risk of harm. Upon such identification, the statewide prosecutor, the state attorney, or the law enforcement officer must notify either the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney who has jurisdiction over the criminal investigation or prosecution, if necessary.
(b) The statewide prosecutor or the state attorney, as appropriate, may determine whether an identified victim or witness at risk of harm is critical to a criminal investigation or prosecution. If the victim or witness at risk of harm is deemed critical, the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney may:
1. Certify that the victim or witness receive protective services; or
2. If the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney finds a compelling need to temporarily relocate the victim or witness, certify that the victim or witness receive protective services, including temporary relocation services.
(4)(a) When a victim or witness is certified as provided in subsection (3), a law enforcement agency, in consultation with the certifying state attorney or the statewide prosecutor, may provide appropriate protective services. If a victim or witness needs to be temporarily relocated, the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney must notify the Department of Law Enforcement. The Department of Law Enforcement, in consultation with the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney, and any other law enforcement agency involved in the criminal investigation or prosecution, shall coordinate the temporary relocation of the victim or witness.
(b) Protective services, including temporary relocation services, may initially be provided for up to 1 year or until the risk giving rise to the certification has diminished, whichever occurs sooner. The statewide prosecutor or the state attorney may, at the end of the certification year, recertify a victim or witness at risk of harm for an additional period of up to 1 year or until the risk giving rise to the certification has diminished, whichever occurs first. A victim or witness at risk of harm may be certified and recertified annually as provided in this section to provide a maximum of 4 years of eligibility for protective services.
(5) The lead law enforcement agency that provides protective services, as authorized in this section, may seek reimbursement for its reasonable expenses from the Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee, pursuant to s. 943.031. This section does not prevent any law enforcement agency from providing protective services at the agency’s expense beyond the 4-year maximum period established in this section. Any such additional expenditures for protective services are not eligible for the reimbursement provided in this section.
(6) The statewide prosecutor, any state attorney, or any law enforcement officer, acting in good faith in determining eligibility for victim and witness protective services, including temporary relocation services, or in providing such services, is immune from civil liability.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-52; s. 1, ch. 98-96; s. 2, ch. 2006-176.
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