Crime victims must often cope with physical pain, mental stress, financial loss, psychological trauma and a criminal justice system that can be confusing and even intimidating. The State Attorney’s Office and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recognize that the way to ensure that the needs of victims are met is through a combined effort. We are committed to meeting these needs through our Victim Assistance Program, an agency dedicated to assisting victims of crime.
The Victim Assistance Program is available to any citizen of Hillsborough County, or any victim of a crime that is committed in the county, including visitors and seasonal residents. There are no fees for our services.
Please take a moment to review the list of services below and do not hesitate to contact our office directly if you have any questions or concerns.
As a victim of a crime, you do have rights. The Victim Assistance Program wants to ensure that you are aware of these rights and will assist you along the way. You have a right to be informed of the court process and to have input into the outcome of the case, through a Victim Impact Statement.
Victim counselors help victims with any issues associated with the crime and the court process. Counselors can advocate on your behalf with employers, creditors and landlords about any problems associated with your victimization. They will serve as a liaison between you and law enforcement, the Assistant State Attorney assigned to your case and other agencies as needed. The program also has a food pantry and clothes closet to assist with immediate needs, as well as cell phones for 911 emergency calls.
Information and Referral:
If we cannot assist you directly with a problem, we will provide you with referrals to other community agencies that may be able to assist you.
Provide escorts to hearings and depositions when requested and for seeking property return when it is no longer needed as evidence.
Trained counselors help victims deal with typical feelings of anger, frustration, guilt, loss, fear and understanding the common reactions and effects of the victimization.
We can provide information and assistance about the Crime Victim Compensation Fund, offered through the Attorney General’s Office. If you are eligible, this fund may provide financial assistance to you for such things as funeral expenses, relocation expenses (domestic violence cases), medical expenses and wages lost as a direct result of the crime. If you have further questions, please contact us at Victim Assistance, or go to www.myfloridalegal.com
to check the eligibility requirements and to obtain a form.
Notification of Hearings:
The Victim Assistance Program will explain the criminal justice process and will notify you in advance, whenever possible, of all crucial court dates. Victims will be notified at the address and phone number that is listed for you on the law enforcement report number. If you move or change your phone #, it is imperative that you contact this office immediately to ensure that you will be notified promptly.
An e-mail address is the most efficient way for notifications, so we encourage you to provide us with your personal email address. You can complete and return this Victim Update Contact Information form
to notify us of the best way to reach you.
DV Counselors can provide additional services to victims of domestic violence such as safety planning, relocation options and assistance with an Injunction for Protection. The Injunction for Protection Petitions are available on the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court website, under Online Forms: www.hillsclerk.com
Our Worthless Check unit provides assistance to victims of bad checks. They can answer any questions and assist with the process. For further information regarding the steps necessary and to obtain forms, please click here
Once your case has been completed and the defendant has been sentenced, you continue to have the right to be informed. The agencies that can assist you will depend on the defendant’s sentence. It is important that you contact these agencies directly and keep your contact information up to date. For Juvenile cases, please contact the Victim Assistance Program directly at 813-272-6472. For further information about the agencies that can assist you in all other cases, please click here.