The Crime Stoppers program enables citizens to ANONYMOUSLY report individuals who are known or suspected of committing criminal acts in our community. Crime Stoppers cases are featured in news, television, and radio announcements. When you call in a tip which leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property, you can become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00.
Presently, over 1,000 Crime Stopper programs operate worldwide. Crime Stoppers of Volusia and Flagler Counties is a non-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer civilian organization. It is funded by tax deductible donations from businesses, clubs, associations, and individuals. The success of this program depends upon the cooperative efforts of concerned citizens, the media, and law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime.
If you have information concerning any criminal activity in the City of Port Orange, and wish to anonymously provide that information directly to the Port Orange Police Department, contact Det. Sgt. Wayne Dorman at 386-506-5881. You may also call the Crimestoppers tip line at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477)
The Port Orange Police Department is a proactive, community-oriented policing agency. We are committed to the prompt and professional investigation of all crimes, whether reported by private citizens or directly observed by officers on the street. If you are the victim of a crime, or believe one has been, is currently being, or about to be committed, there are several options available for you to make a report. A graphical representation of the reporting flowchart is available by clicking on the graphic in the upper left portion of this page. If it is determined that a crime has been committed, and the suspect is known, the Port Orange Police Department has several options available for filing charges.
Option #1: Call 911. The Port Orange Police Department is equipped with Enhanced 911 capabilities, meaning that the name and address registered to the phone you are calling from will be electronically transmitted to dispatch personnel. If you have an emergency, where there is an immediate threat to persons or property, please utilize this service.
Option #2: Call 756-5333 to reach our dispatch center and request an officer. This option should be selected anytime a crime is in progress, but does not fit the emergency criteria, or the additional reporting options listed below do not fit your needs. Response times are subject to emergency calls and officer availability. Depending upon the nature of the call, a Community Service Officer may be dispatched.
Option #3: You may walk into the Port Orange Police Department lobby between the hours of 8AM and 5PM Monday-Friday to make a report. This option is useful when the crime is not in progress and does not require an immediate response from an officer. Any crime not in progress may be reported using this option.
Option #4: For any minor crime, which is not in progress, a Citizen Crime Report (CCR) may be used to report the incident. The CCR is a self-report instrument that citizens may use to report crimes that require no follow-up by police, and when no charges will be filed in the case. Appropriate reasons for a CCR may be:
• A time lapse in reporting an incident prevents locating the suspect.
• Insufficient information about the suspect exists to locate him/her through follow-up.
• When the purpose of the report is for insurance purposes only and no follow-up is required.
When the completed report is received in the Records Section, it will be reviewed by a case manager. If the review reveals that suspect or follow-up information has developed, the case will be assigned to an officer. The following calls can be handled effectively with the Citizen Crime Report.
• Simple Assault
• Assault Threat
• Animal Complaint
• Civil Complaint
• Larceny, including gas drive-off reports
• Lost Tag
• Lost Property
• Suspicious Phone Call
• Suspicious Incident
• Storm Damage
• Telephone Threats
A Citizen Follow-Up Report may also be used to report any information that you gather after the original report was taken by the Police Department (i.e. you discover additional property missing or damaged.) The supplemental information that you send in will be reviewed by a police officer.
Citizen Crime Reports and Citizen Follow-Up Reports are available at the Port Orange Police Department, or by clicking the appropriate report name below to download an electronic version in a PDF. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.
A Crime is Committed
The criminal justice process is set into motion when a crime is committed and law enforcement is contacted. As a victim/witness, your role is crucial. You have seen, heard or know something that is important. A law enforcement officer will question you about the identity of the suspect, details of the crime, the location of the crime scene, etc. Your cooperation is necessary, and failure to provide complete information may result in a failed investigation. Each case will proceed differently.
Your case may proceed as follows:
• A criminal complaint is signed and law enforcement must establish probable cause to make an arrest; or
• A criminal complaint is forwarded to the State Attorney's Office for review to determine if probable cause exists. Further investigation may be necessary at this stage.
If an arrest is made and the arrestee has not already bonded out of jail, within 24 hours the court holds a hearing called the "First Appearance Hearing." At this hearing, the judge hears facts and decides whether a bond amount should be set, changed or waived and if so, how much. If the defendant is able to post the bond amount, he/she may be released pending trial. Our Constitution guarantees the right to release on reasonable bail, before conviction. Frequently, the judge will include a special condition ordering the defendant not to have contact with the victim. If you are contacted or harassed be the defendant, you should contact the Police Department immediately. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE PRESENT AT FIRST APPEARANCE, HOWEVER YOUR PRESENCE IS NOT NECESSARY. You can ascertain the time of First Appearance by calling the Volusia County Branch Jail.
Once the State Attorney's or City Prosecutor's Office receives the formal charging complaint from law enforcement, an Assistant State Attorney or City Prosecutor will review the case and, when necessary, interview the victims and witnesses in the case. If the Assistant State Attorney determines that there is sufficient evidence, criminal charges may be filed. The formal charging document is called an "Information." If the Assistant State Attorney determines that the case cannot be prosecuted, he/she will attempt to notify the victim prior to that decision being filed with the court. The paperwork filed with the court stating that the State will not prosecute is known as a "No Information." A State Attorney will decide on felony cases and the City Prosecutor will decide on misdemeanor cases. The felony division can reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.
Following the First Appearance Hearing, if the prosecutor files a charge, the defendant is required to appear in court to state whether he/she is guilty or not guilty. AS A VICTIM, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE PRESENT AT THE ARRAIGNMENT. HOWEVER, YOUR APPEARANCE IS NOT REQUIRED. You can ascertain that hearing date by calling the felony clerks office or by calling the City Prosecutor's Office.
Florida law allows the defense attorney to interview witnesses prior to trial. This interview is called a deposition. You may receive a subpoena from the defendant's attorney requiring you to appear to have your deposition taken. You are not required to talk to the defendant, his or her attorney or a representative of the defendant, such as a private investigator, without a subpoena and the presence of an Assistant State Attorney. If you have questions concerning this matter, please contact your Assistant State Attorney or Victim Advocate.
Prior to trial, the defendant may agree to plead guilty or plea bargain and be sentenced. If you wish to be consulted before the final plea agreement is reached, call the Assistant State Attorney or City Prosecutor assigned to the case.
Notification of Hearing
The State Attorney's Office and the City Prosecutor's Office are responsible for notifying victims, relative of a minor who is a victim, or relative of a homicide victim, at the most current address available, of judicial and post judicial proceedings which are related to the arrest of an accused.
The Pre-Trial Hearing
The pre-trial hearing is held prior to trial week. At this hearing, the defendant is required to appear in court to advise the judge whether or not he/she is ready for trial. The defendant may also enter a plea at this time or request a continuance if he/she is not ready for trial. As a victim, you have the right to be present.
It is not unusual for a case to be continued or postponed. The State Attorney's Office and City Prosecutor will try the case as quickly as possible. However, there are circumstances that cannot be controlled by the prosecutor, which makes a continuance necessary.
In some cases, the defendant will plead guilty before trial. However, the defendant may go to trial and you will be required to testify in court. The State Attorney's or City Prosecutor's Office will notify you concerning the trial schedule. During the trial, you must be very careful not to discuss the case with anyone outside the courtroom, except the lawyers involved.
Close of the Trial
Following presentation of evidence by the Assistant State Attorney and the defendant's attorney, each attorney summarizes their side of the case in the "Closing Arguments." Following Closing Arguments, the jury is sent out of the courtroom to decide whether or not the defendant is guilty. The jury's decision is called the "verdict."
When the judge schedules the sentencing, he usually orders the Department of Corrections to complete a report on the defendant, which includes the defendant's prior criminal history, personal background, etc. The report includes a section for input from the victim of the crime, which provides the court with information regarding restitution for losses, damages and injuries to the victim and his/her recommendations as to the sentence.
In misdemeanor cases, sentencing of the defendant usually occurs immediately after a guilty verdict. In felony cases, a defendant who has been found guilty or has pled guilty is brought back before the judge weeks later at a scheduled hearing called "sentencing."
At sentencing, the court can order the defendant to pay restitution for damages caused by the crime. If you desire restitution, itemize and document your losses, damages and injuries on the Victim Impact Statement provided by the State Attorney's Office.
• The diverting of legally obtainable drugs into illegal channels.
• The acquiring or obtaining of a controlled substance by an illegal method.
• Of the 20 most commonly abused drugs, 13 are obtainable by prescription.
• National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) identifies 57 prescription drugs which are commonly diverted.
• 68% of what every police officer does in this country is drug related.
Pertinent Florida Statutes
• FSS 893.13(1)(a) PROHIBITED ACTS - Except as authorized by this chapter and chapter 499, it is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.
• FSS 893.13(7a1) DISTRIBUTION - It is unlawful for any person to distribute or dispense a controlled substance in violation of this chapter (1st Deg. Misd, 2nd offense - 3rd Deg. Fel).
• FSS 893.13(7a7) DOCTOR SHOPPING - It is unlawful to withhold information from a practitioner from whom the person seeks to obtain a controlled substance or prescription for a controlled substance that the person has received a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance of like therapeutic use from another practitioner within the last 30 days (1st Deg. Misd, 2nd offense - 3rd Deg. Fel).
• FSS 893.13(7a8) PRESCRIPTION BLANKS - It is unlawful to possess a prescription form which has not been completed and signed by the practitioner whose name appears thereon, unless the person is that
practitioner, is an agent or employee of that practitioner, or is a supplier of prescription forms who is authorized by that practitioner to possess those forms (1st Deg. Misd, 2nd offense - 3rd Deg. Fel).
• FSS 893.13(7a9) PRESCRIPTION FRAUD - It is unlawful to acquire or obtain or attempt to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, subterfuge, or deception (3rd Deg. Fel).
• FSS 499.03(1) UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED MEDICATION - A person may not possess, or possess with intent to sell, dispense, or deliver, any habit-forming, toxic, harmful, or new drug or legend drug unless the possession of the drug has been obtained by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe the drug.
• FSS 499.03(2) IMPROPER CONTAINER - The possession of a drug under FSS 499.03(1) by a person not exempted under this section, which drug is not properly labeled to indicate that possession is by a valid
prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe such drug, is prima facie evidence that such possession is unlawful (2nd Deg. Misd, except that possession with the intent to sell, dispense, or deliver is a 3rd Deg. Fel).
• FSS 831.30(1) PRESCRIPTION FRAUD, MEDICINAL DRUGS - Whoever falsely makes, alters, or forges any prescription as defined in S. 465.031(2) for a medicinal drug other than a drug controlled by chapter 893, knowingly causes such prescription to be falsely made, altered, forged or counterfeited, or passes, utters, or publishes such prescription or otherwise knowingly holds out such false or forged prescription as true, with intent to obtain such drug, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree (2nd conviction - 1st Deg. Misd).
• FSS 831.31 COUNTERFEIT CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SALE, MANUFACTURE, DELIVERY, OR POSSESSION WITH INTENT, etc. - It is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or to possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a counterfeit controlled substance. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to a controlled substance named in FSS 893.03 (1), (2), (3) or (4) is guilty of a felony of the 3rd degree. For purposes of this section, a counterfeit controlled substance means a controlled substance named or described in FSS 893.03 which, or the container or labeling of which, without authorization, bears the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or number, or any likeness thereof, of a Manufacturer other than the person who in fact manufactured the controlled substance, or any substance which is falsely identified as a controlled substance named or described in FSS 893.03.
• FSS 893.135(1c1) TRAFFICKING (Paraphrased) - Except as authorized in this chapter or in chapter 499 and not withstanding the provisions of FSS 893.13, any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of 4 grams or more of any morphine, opium, oxycodone (percodan or percocet), hydrocodone (lortab, lorcet, vicodin, etc.), hydromorphone (dilaudid) or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, as described in FSS 893.03 or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance but less than---see guidelines---commits a felony of the 1st degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking In Illegal Drugs."
• FSS 893.07(1) PHARMACY RECORDS (Paraphrased) - Every person who engages in the manufacture, compounding, mixing, cultivating, growing, or by any other process producing or preparing, or in the dispensing, importation, or as a wholesaler, distribution, of controlled substances shall:
- On January 1st, 1974, or as soon thereafter as any person first engages in such activity, and every second year thereafter, make a complete and accurate record of all stocks of controlled substances on hand;
- On or after January 1st, 1974, maintain, on a current basis, a complete and accurate record of each substance manufactured, received, sold, delivered, or otherwise disposed of by him, except that this subsection shall not require the maintenance of a perpetual inventory.
In either case, records shall be kept and made available for a period of at least 2 years for inspection and copying by law enforcement officers whose duty it is to enforce the laws of this state relating to controlled substances.
• 893.09(1) ENFORCEMENT - The Department of Law Enforcement, all state agencies which regulate professions or institutions affected by the provisions of this chapter except those specifically delegated, and shall cooperate with all agencies charged with the enforcement of laws of the United States, this state, and all other states relating to controlled substances.
• 893.09(4) PENALTY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE - It shall be unlawful and punishable as provided in Chapter 843 (Resisting officer without violence to his person, 1st. Deg. Misd) for any person to interfere with any such law enforcement officer in the performance of his official duties. It shall also be unlawful for any person falsely to represent himself to be authorized to enforce the drug abuse laws of this state, the United States, or any other state.
Prescription Fraud - Schedules • Schedule I - A substance listed in Schedule I has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards. Examples: Heroin, LSD, Cannabis, Peyote, PCP, Psilocybin, Rohypnol.
• Schedule II - A substance in Schedule II has a high potential for abuse and has a currently accepted but severely restricted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples: Morphine, Methadone, Dilaudid, Percodan.
• Schedule III - A substance in Schedule III has a potential for abuse less than the substances contained in Schedules 1 and 2 and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence, or in the case of anabolic steroids, may lead to physical damage. Examples: Vicodin, Lorcet, Codeine, Fiorinal, Anabolic Steroids (any drug or hormonal substance, chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone, other than estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids, that promotes muscle growth and includes (see statute).
• Schedule IV - A substance in Schedule IV has a low potential for abuse relative to the substances in Schedule III and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical and psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III. Examples: Valium, Xanax, Darvocet.
What is domestic violence?
As stated in Florida Statute 741.28, domestic violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit. This includes acts such as:
Physical Abuse - Pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, chocking, and beating
Emotional/Verbal Abuse - Threats, verbal intimidation, following and stalking, or acting out in anger
Sexual Abuse - Any unwanted touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his/her will
What does the law mean?
If you are being physically or sexually abused, threatened, or stalked by a family or household member, there is a law to protect you. Family or household member means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past as a family, and persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
Under the provisions of Florida Statute 741.29(3), whenever a law enforcement officer determines upon probable cause that an act of domestic violence has been committed within the jurisdiction, the officer may arrest the person or persons suspected of it commission and charge such person or persons with the appropriate crime.
The decision to arrest and charge shall not require the consent of the victim or consideration of the relationship of the parties.
If you are the victim of domestic violence...
As stated in Florida Statute 741.29(1)(b), if you are the victim of domestic violence, you may ask the State Attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence, which may include, but need not be limited to:
Provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse
Directing the abuser to leave your household
Preventing the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment
Awarding you custody of your minor child or children
Directing the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so
How can the law help me?
If you are the victim of domestic violence, or if you have reason to believe that you may become a victim of any act of domestic violence, you have the right to request that an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence be issued. The victim's advocate office at the Port Orange Police Department or the Clerk of the Court is required to assist you in seeking both injunctions for protection against domestic violence and enforcement for a violation of an injunction. For safety reasons, you may furnish your address to the court in a separate confidential filing when filing the petition for injunction. Representation by an attorney is not required. If you cannot afford filing fees, tell the Clerk of the Court and there may be no cost. The applicable forms may also be obtained from the Port Orange Victim Advocate Office.
Bring information about where the abuser can be located
Bring any other information on the abuser, such as photos or identification
Bring any papers relating to your case
Tell the clerk that you are interested in filing an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence. The Court Clerk will help you in filing the proper paperwork. By filling out these forms, you will be explaining to the judge whom you need protection from and exactly what type of protection you need.
After you have completed the paperwork, the court may determine that danger of domestic violence exists. The court may order a temporary injunction, which is good for 15 days. Then a full hearing is held to consider the safety of you and your children
The abuser must be served with the injunction before it becomes effective. The injunction will tell the abuser what the judge requires and when to return to court for a hearing. The hearing will be within 15 days, unless the abuser cannot be served.
It is important to attend the hearing so that you can make sure the judge understands exactly what help you need and why. A victim's advocate from the Port Orange Police Department will accompany you if requested. If you do not attend, the judge will end the injunction.
After the hearing, a final injunction may be granted for life or a specific period of time, and may be extended past that time.
Only a judge may modify or dissolve an existing injunction
What if the abuser violates the injunction?
You will receive a copy of the injunction. Keep it with you at all times. If the abuser violates the conditions of the injunction, call the police right away.
The abuser may be arrested
If the abuser is arrested, he/she will be held until the court determines bail
The judge will consider your safety and the safety of your children
You may go to court if you wish
The court may order penalties as allowed by law
If the injunction has been violated, but no arrest has been made, violation forms are available in the victim's advocate office at the Port Orange Police Department. You may also report the violation to the Clerk's Office where you filed your injunction papers. The Clerk's Office will help you file your petition for enforcement of the violation. The judge will determine what action should be taken for your safety and the safety of your children.
Exemption from public inspection...
Under the provisions of Florida Statute 119.07(3)(s), disclosure of any document which reveals the home or employment telephone number, home or employment address, or personal assets of a person who has been the victim of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated stalking, harassment, aggravated battery, or domestic violence is exempt from public inspection and examination, if that document is received by an agency that regularly receives information from or concerning the victims of crime. You must make a written request to the agency and provide official verification, such as a police report, that an applicable crime has occurred. Such information shall remain exempt for 5 years, after which it will become available to the public.
Note: This provision is limited to documents received by agencies; it does not apply to records generated or made by these agencies. Accordingly, this exemption does not apply to police reports.
A communication between a domestic violence advocate and a victim is "confidential" if it relates to the incident of domestic violence for which the victim is seeking assistance and if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons. An advocate has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, a confidential communication made in the course of advising, counseling, or assisting the victim.
Note: This privilege is reserved for communications with advocates at the Domestic Abuse Council. While communications with Port Orange Victim Advocates are not subject to public record, they may be subpoenaed.
Securing a domestic violence injunction...
Routine Injunctions: Go to the victim's advocate office at the Port Orange Police Department, or to the Volusia County Courthouse Annex in Daytona Beach (M-F 8am - 4:30pm), located at 125 East Orange Avenue, Room #308 . The clerk there will give you simplified forms to complete. The clerk requires you to pay a filing fee to the Clerk of Court in the amount of $30.00 and a service fee to the Sheriff of Volusia County in the amount of $20.00. If you are unable to pay the above fees, the clerk can provide you an Affidavit of Indigency in lieu of payment for these costs. After you have paid or filed the Affidavit and completed the necessary paperwork with specific facts and circumstances upon which you are seeking protection, the clerk will require you to sign all paperwork under oath. The clerk will then process the paperwork and forward your file immediately to the assigned judge. The judge reviews all paperwork and renders his/her decision accordingly. Whether the judge grants or denies your petition, a hearing will be set and both parties will be required to appear. The clerk will provide a certified copy of the Order and Notice of Hearing for you to keep at all times. The clerk will furnish a copy of all the paperwork to the Sheriff of the county where the respondent resides or can be found. The Sheriff will serve the respondent as soon thereafter as possible.
Non-Emergency Immediate Injunctions: When a physical domestic occurs, and the abuser has been arrested, this process occurs at the Volusia County Branch Jail during first appearance (8:30am). Contact the Port Orange Victim Advocate Office for assistance with the paperwork.
Emergency Immediate Injunctions: When a physical domestic occurs, and the abuser has not been arrested, contact the Port Orange Victim Advocate Office for assistance. They will assist you with contacting the clerk of the court at the Volusia County Branch Jail to determine if the emergency injunction criteria apply. Once the injunction has been ordered, the Port Orange Police Department can serve it.
Can I get financial help?
The Florida Bureau of Victim Compensation, operated by the Office of the Attorney General, may provide financial assistance for eligible persons, but only after all other sources of payment have been exhausted. Payments accepted by in-state providers on behalf of victims are payment-in-full per Florida Statute. Claimants who are determined eligible for the Victim Compensation Program are exempt from the insurance deductible and co-payment provisions of their insurance policy(ies). Total victim compensation benefits cannot exceed the maximum award amount of $25,000 ($30,000 for catastrophic injury); limitations include:
$5,000 for funeral burial expenses
$2,500 mental health counseling for adult victims
$2,500 mental health counseling for minor victims present at the crime scene who were not physically injured as result of the crime
$7,500 mental health counseling for injured minor victims
$10,000 for treatment expenses
$25,000 for lost wages, lost support or disability ($30,000 for catastrophic injury)
Victim or claimant must cooperate fully with law enforcement officials, state attorney's office, and the Attorney General's Office.
Crime incident must be reported to law enforcement within three days after it happened, unless there is good reason for reporting it later.
Claim must be filed within one year after the date of the crime, but the filing time can be extended to two years when there is a good reason for not filing within one year. Exceptions are made for minor victims.
Victim must not have contributed to the circumstances that caused the crime, injury or death.
Victim Compensation: Victim must have suffered a physical, psychiatric or psychological injury or death as a result of the crime. (Exceptions may apply.)
Property Loss: Victim who is an elderly person 60 years of age or older or a disabled adult who suffers a loss of tangible personal property as a result of a criminal or delinquent act may receive up to $500 property loss reimbursement.
Domestic Violence Relocation Assistance: Victims who need immediate assistance to escape from a domestic violence environment may receive up to $1,500 on any one claim; requires certification by a certified domestic violence center.
Criminal history record check will be performed through the Florida Crime Information Center for all victims and claimants. The claimant cannot be a convicted felon.
Please contact the Port Orange Police Department Victim Advocate Office for assistance with the Victim Compensation Claim Form.
1. Dress neatly and appropriately. Dress as if you were going to church.
2. Please do not chew gum or smoke while testifying, and avoid distracting mannerisms. Always be polite.
3. When taking the oath, stand upright, pay attention, and say "I do" clearly.
4. Be serious, attentive and courteous in court or anywhere else in the courthouse where jurors may observe you. Always remember that the person riding on the elevator with you might be a juror on your case.
5. Speak clearly and loudly enough so that the juror farthest from you can hear you easily.
6. Before you testify, try to picture the crime scene, the objects at the scene, the distances involved and just what happened, so that you can recall more accurately when asked.
7. Tell the truth. You are sworn to do so. Do not stop to figure out whether your answer will help or hurt the prosecution. Just answer the questions truthfully to the best of your memory. Do not exaggerate and do not make up answers. Never guess at and answer. The form response, "I don't recall" is perfectly permissible if you do not remember some details.
8. Listen carefully to each question asked of you. Understand the question and have it repeated, if necessary. If you do not understand the question, tell the judge you do not understand it. Do not give a snap answer without thinking. Do not rush to answer, but do not delay in answering simple questions if you are sure you know the answer.
9. Answer only the questions asked you, do not volunteer information. Explain your answer only if asked. Give the answer in your own words, and if a question cannot be truthfully answered with a "yes" or "no," you have a right to explain the answer.
10. If your answer was not correctly stated, correct it immediately. If your answer was not clear, clarify it immediately.
11. If you do not want to answer a question, don't ask the judge whether you must answer it. If it is an improper question, the prosecutor will rise and state an objection. Otherwise, you should answer the question as you would any other.
12. Do not shake your head indicating a "yes" or "no" answer. Answer every question with words. Speak so that the court reporter (or recording service) can hear the answer.
13. Give positive, definite answers when possible. Avoid saying, "I think" or "I believe," if you can be positive. However, if your answer is only an estimate about distances or time or other such factors, be sure to state that it is only an estimate. If asked about details you do not remember, simply say, "I don't remember" or "I don't recall."
14. Unless certain, do not say, "That's all the conversation" or "Nothing else happened." Instead, say, "That's all I recall" or "That's all I remember happening." It may be that after more thought or another question, you will remember something important.
15. The court is interested in only the facts. Please do not give your conclusions and opinions unless asked.
16. Do not let the defense attorney make you mad. Some attorneys will try to wear you out on cross-examination or say things that will make you lose your temper. If this happens, you will not be a good witness. Do not argue with the defense attorney. Keep calm no matter what the defense attorney does.
17. Do not let the defense attorney lure you into thinking he is your friend who is trying to help you. Follow his line of questions carefully.
18. Give the prosecutor time to object to any questions the defense attorney asks you and stop immediately if the judge interrupts or any attorney objects.
19. If you are asked by the defense attorney whether you have talked with the prosecutor or anyone else about the case, as in every other situation, tell the truth. It is perfectly alright to talk to the prosecutor.
20. When coming from the witness stand or after testifying, wear a confident expression, but do not smile or appear downcast.
21. Avoid laughing and talking about the case anywhere outside the courtroom that the jurors or the defendant's family or representatives may overhear you.
22. Remember, your testimony in the courtroom is for the benefit of the jury, not the prosecutor or the judge, so do not be afraid to have eye contact with the jury as you testify.
Care of Children: Unfortunately, there are no facilities to care for children at the courthouse. Since court proceedings may take some time, please try to find someone to care for your children while you attend court.
Important Referral Service Names and Phone Numbers
Port Orange Police Department Victim Advocates
We respond to the needs and questions of victims, their friends and families, and those who require special services.
Community Legal Services
904-255-6573 Provides limited services in certain civil matters (i.e. foreclosures, eviction proceedings, etc.). They will provide support at injunction hearings, with no fees or sliding scale.
Children's Medical Services HRS
386-254-3793 Provides services to chronically ill children.
Children's Advocacy Center
386-238-3830 Provides services to criminal investigators regarding the interviewing of sexual abuse victims. Provides an abuse treatment program, and at times, pays for counseling that other support services may provide. Provides prenatal support services to some qualifying parents through pregnancy and the first few months of birth. Teaches parenting classes.
Citizens Information & Referral
386-253-0564 The United Way provides information about the elderly, housing, education, child care, alcoholism, handicapped, mental health, financial aid, legal assistance, personal problems, crisis intervention, family assist program, and deaf services. Other services available.
Domestic Abuse Council
386-255-2102 Provides counseling to domestic abuse victims, confidential shelter, emotional support, and help regarding self support.
Elderly Abuse Hotline
If you feel you are being abused, neglected, exploited, or the victim of violence, first call the Port Orange Police Department at 756-5333 (or 911 in case of an emergency), then the toll free number.
Hot Line Abuse Registry
800-962-2873 Investigates reports of abuse to children. At the conclusion of their investigations, they render recommendations regarding action to be taken.
Other Important Numbers ACT: 800-539-4228 City Prosecutor Fred Jaeger: 904-255-4586 Crimes Compensation: 800-226-6667 Department of Children and Families: 386-238-4910 Lawyer Referral Service: 800-342-8011 Probation and Parole Services: 386-756-7433 Rape: 386-258-7273 Rape Victim Advocate: 386-239-7720 State Attorney's Office: 386-239-7710
As a crime victim or witness you have rights!
1. To be informed, present and heard, when relevant, at all crucial stages of the criminal proceedings;
2. If incarcerated, the right to be informed and submit written statements at all crucial stages of the proceedings and parole hearings;
3. The right to a prompt and timely disposition of the case;
4. To seek protection from intimidation and harm;
5. To prepare and submit a victim impact statement to the court that will explain how the crime has affected you and/or your family;
6. To request and receive restitution from the offender;
7. The right to be informed about the availability of victim compensation;
8. The right to have your property returned as quickly as possible;
9. To review portions of the pre-sentence investigation report completed prior to the sentencing hearing by contacting the State Attorney or the court;
10. The victim of a crime and the State Attorney, with the consent of the victim, have standing to assert the rights of a crime victim which are provided by law or s. 16(b), Art. 1 of the State Constitution;
11. To have an advocate assist you in explaining to your employer and creditors about time lost from work, and financial, physical or emotional strain you have incurred as a direct result of the crime;
12. The right to be consulted by the State Attorney's Office in felony cases involving physical or emotional injury or trauma, or in cases in which the victim is a minor child or in a homicide, the guardian or family of the victim will be consulted;
13. The right to have an advocate with you during deposition;
14. The right to be provided assistance with transportation, parking, separate waiting areas and translator services while attending court; and
15. The right to be notified of scheduling changes.
Victim Impact Statement: As a victim of a crime, you will receive a Victim Impact Statement. This statement allows you to provide us with information about your losses from the crime, how the crime has affected you, and your recommendation on the disposition of the case. Please complete the statement and return it to the Assistant State Attorney handling your case. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT, PLEASE CONTACT THE WITNESS COORDINATOR.
Florida Crimes Compensation: If you are the victim of a crime, you may be eligible for Crimes Compensation. The Florida Crimes Compensation Act, Florida Statutes Chapter 960, provides compensation for financial expenses, medical expenses, professional counseling and loss of wages when eligible. Crimes Compensation does not cover property loss.
For information, please contact: Bureau of Crimes Compensation at (850)488-0848 or the Port Orange Victim Advocate Office at 386-756-582 to leave a message. Additional information on benefits and eligibility requirements can also be found in the Domestic Violence section of our website.
Freedom from Intimidation: Florida Statute 914.22 makes it a felony to tamper with or threaten a victim/witness. If you are a victim/witness in a criminal case and you are offered a bribe, threatened, or harassed, call the Port Orange Police Department at 386-756-7400.
Victim/Witness Notification: Florida law provides for the notification of victims, witnesses, relatives of those victims and witnesses who are minors and relatives of homicide victims about judicial proceedings related to their case. In order to receive prompt notification, we must have a current address and telephone number. Please let your Assistant State Attorney and Victim Coordinator know as soon as possible if you have a change of address or telephone number. If you do not let us know, we will be unable to advise you about your case.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in conjunction with the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, and local law enforcement agencies, is placing Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC) "Hot Files" on the Internet in an effort to solicit public support in locating stolen property, wanted persons and missing persons.
Initially, only records of stolen guns, vehicles, vehicle parts, license plates, boats, and boat parts were made available to the public. However, records containing stolen appliances, televisions, stereos and other articles with serial numbers were placed on the FDLE website in November. Wanted and missing person files were added in December.
The losses suffered by Floridians who are victims of crimes exceeded $745 million in the first half of 2000 alone. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of law enforcement officers, less than a third of this property is recovered. The FCIC Public Access System will allow the public to become more actively involved in these recovery efforts. In the system, a citizen can query the Internet to determine whether an item has been listed as stolen. By serving as a mechanism for citizens to provide tips to law enforcement, the Public Access System will assist in combating the sale and distribution of stolen property and promote the arrest of criminals.
Persons looking to buy used guns, vehicles or other property now will have a tool to check whether the item is stolen. If an Internet inquiry results in a "hit", we ask the inquirer to send tips to the local law enforcement agency that entered the stolen item's information. Citizens should not attempt to take the law into their own hands, but rather become more active partners with local law enforcement. It is anticipated that tips from the public will result in stolen items being recovered and returned to their rightful owners and will assist in the arrest of the offenders.
Collectively, all law enforcement agencies in Florida have agreed to allow FDLE to provide these records to the public via the Internet. These are not FDLE records; however FDLE acts as a central repository for FCIC records. Currently, FCIC contains more than 150,000 records of stolen guns, and approximately 74,000 records of stolen vehicles. These property types represent a significant portion of the property reported stolen in Florida. In the first half of 2000, nearly 10% of reported crimes involved the theft of a motor vehicle, while stolen firearms accounted for losses in excess of $2.5 million. These stolen guns are then often used to further victimize the citizens of this state.
Florida is the first state in the country to offer this type of information on a statewide basis over the Internet.
Identity theft is the criminal use of an individual's personal identification information. Identity thieves steal information such as your name, social security number, driver's license information, or bank and credit card accounts and use the information to establish credit, make purchases, apply for loans or even seek employment.
The statistics are staggering. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida was ranked sixth in the nation for identity theft in 2002, with over 10,000 reported victims. Victims of identity theft can come from any lifestyle regardless of race, gender, age or socioeconomic status. The Florida Attorney General's Office has developed a centralized "one-stop" resource center for victims of identity theft in Florida. Individuals in other states who had their personal information fraudulently used in the state of Florida will also find this resource useful.
Included on the web site is an Identity Theft Victim Kit, which is designed to help you through the process of resolving your identity theft case and clearing your name. While there are many general identity theft resource guides available, this kit was specifically developed to provide assistance to Floridians who are identity theft victims, as well as individuals in other states who had their personal information fraudulently used in the state of Florida.
A related web site is the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). IFCC's mission is to address fraud committed over the Internet. For victims of Internet fraud, IFCC provides a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of a suspected criminal or civil violation. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at all levels, IFCC offers a central repository for complaints related to Internet fraud, works to quantify fraud patterns, and provides timely statistical data of current fraud trends.
Victim Assistance Resources:
ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name
The comprehensive guide from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for victims of identity crime that provides concrete steps for what to do when you are a victim. Every victim you encounter should be given this guide or the information on where to obtain it (from the FTC at 1-877-ID-THEFT or www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
ID Theft Affidavit
This tool from the FTC for victims is also included in the "ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to your Good Name." The Affidavit is a standard form accepted by most financial institutions as notification that fraud has occurred. Victims fill out the Affidavit, make copies of it, and send to all businesses and institutions where fraud has occurred in their name.
Enhancing ID Theft Victim/Investigator Communications
This guide from the Identity Theft Resource Center helps victims understand how law enforcement conducts identity crime investigations and manages victim expectations of law enforcement. The document also helps victims communicate better with law enforcement.
Organizing Your Identity Theft Case
This guide from the Identity Theft Resource Center gives victims concrete steps they can take to begin organizing the information they collect in the course of clearing up their financial records. Tools recommended by the guide include an Official Case Log, a Personal Journal, and Notebook Items.
Identity Crimes Incident Detail Form (for victims)
A form for victims to fill out and give back to law enforcement investigators. This is a structured questionnaire designed to help victims provide the necessary and important information to law enforcement.
668.6076. Public records status of e-mail addresses; agency website notice: Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.