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The Florida Senate

2010 Florida Statutes

Trial; counsel and experts; indigent persons; jury.
F.S. 394.916

Trial; counsel and experts; indigent persons; jury.


Within 30 days after the determination of probable cause, the court shall conduct a trial to determine whether the person is a sexually violent predator.


The trial may be continued once upon the request of either party for not more than 120 days upon a showing of good cause, or by the court on its own motion in the interests of justice, when the person will not be substantially prejudiced. No additional continuances may be granted unless the court finds that a manifest injustice would otherwise occur.


At all adversarial proceedings under this act, the person subject to this act is entitled to the assistance of counsel, and, if the person is indigent, the court shall appoint the public defender or, if a conflict exists, other counsel to assist the person.


If the person is subjected to a mental health examination under this part, the person also may retain experts or mental health professionals to perform an examination. If the person wishes to be examined by a professional of the person’s own choice, the examiner must be provided reasonable access to the person, as well as to all relevant medical and mental health records and reports. In the case of a person who is indigent, the court, upon the person’s request, shall determine whether such an examination is necessary. If the court determines that an examination is necessary, the court shall appoint a mental health professional and determine the reasonable compensation for the professional’s services, which shall be paid by the state.


The person or the state attorney has the right to demand that the trial be before a jury of six members. A demand for a jury trial must be filed, in writing, at least 5 days before the trial. If no demand is made, the trial shall be to the court.


s. 8, ch. 98-64; s. 11, ch. 99-222; s. 1, ch. 2006-33.


Former s. 916.36.