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The Florida Statutes

The 2003 Florida Statutes

Title IV
Chapter 16
View Entire Chapter
Section 16.56, Florida Statutes 2003

16.56  Office of Statewide Prosecution.--

(1)  There is created in the Department of Legal Affairs an Office of Statewide Prosecution. The office shall be a separate "budget entity" as that term is defined in chapter 216. The office may:

(a)  Investigate and prosecute the offenses of:

1.  Bribery, burglary, criminal usury, extortion, gambling, kidnapping, larceny, murder, prostitution, perjury, robbery, carjacking, and home-invasion robbery;

2.  Any crime involving narcotic or other dangerous drugs;

3.  Any violation of the provisions of the Florida RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act, including any offense listed in the definition of racketeering activity in s. 895.02(1)(a), providing such listed offense is investigated in connection with a violation of s. 895.03 and is charged in a separate count of an information or indictment containing a count charging a violation of s. 895.03, the prosecution of which listed offense may continue independently if the prosecution of the violation of s. 895.03 is terminated for any reason;

4.  Any violation of the provisions of the Florida Anti-Fencing Act;

5.  Any violation of the provisions of the Florida Antitrust Act of 1980, as amended;

6.  Any crime involving, or resulting in, fraud or deceit upon any person;

7.  Any violation of s. 847.0135, relating to computer pornography and child exploitation prevention, or any offense related to a violation of s. 847.0135;

8.  Any violation of the provisions of chapter 815; or

9.  Any criminal violation of part I of chapter 499;

or any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the crimes specifically enumerated above. The office shall have such power only when any such offense is occurring, or has occurred, in two or more judicial circuits as part of a related transaction, or when any such offense is connected with an organized criminal conspiracy affecting two or more judicial circuits.

(b)  Upon request, cooperate with and assist state attorneys and state and local law enforcement officials in their efforts against organized crimes.

(c)  Request and receive from any department, division, board, bureau, commission, or other agency of the state, or of any political subdivision thereof, cooperation and assistance in the performance of its duties.

(2)  The Attorney General shall appoint a statewide prosecutor from not less than three persons nominated by the judicial nominating commission for the Supreme Court. The statewide prosecutor shall be in charge of the Office of Statewide Prosecution for a term of 4 years to run concurrently with the term of the appointing official. The statewide prosecutor shall be an elector of the state, shall have been a member of The Florida Bar for the preceding 5 years, and shall devote full time to the duties of statewide prosecutor and not engage in the private practice of law. The Attorney General may remove the statewide prosecutor prior to the end of his or her term. A vacancy in the position of statewide prosecutor shall be filled within 60 days. During the period of any vacancy, the Attorney General shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the statewide prosecutor. A person appointed statewide prosecutor is prohibited from running for or accepting appointment to any state office for a period of 2 years following vacation of office. The statewide prosecutor shall on March 1 of each year report in writing to the Governor and the Attorney General on the activities of the office for the preceding year and on the goals and objectives for the next year.

(3)  The statewide prosecutor may conduct hearings at any place in the state; summon and examine witnesses; require the production of physical evidence; sign informations, indictments, and other official documents; confer immunity; move the court to reduce the sentence of a person convicted of drug trafficking who provides substantial assistance; attend to and serve as the legal adviser to the statewide grand jury; and exercise such other powers as by law are granted to state attorneys. The statewide prosecutor may designate one or more assistants to exercise any such powers.

(4)  It is the intent of the Legislature that in carrying out the duties of this office, the statewide prosecutor shall, whenever feasible, use sworn investigators employed by the Department of Law Enforcement, and may request the assistance, where appropriate, of sworn investigators employed by other law enforcement agencies.

History.--ss. 1, 9, ch. 85-179; s. 1, ch. 90-12; s. 1, ch. 92-108; s. 4, ch. 93-212; s. 51, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 95-427; s. 8, ch. 96-252; s. 6, ch. 96-260; s. 69, ch. 96-388; s. 3, ch. 97-78; s. 12, ch. 2001-54; s. 30, ch. 2003-155.

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