Florida law provides for stiff penalties for any crime of violence. Law enforcement agencies are on high alert for incidents of violent crime, and they will not hesitate to make an arrest. Violent crimes often are considered a threat to society, and they are fiercely prosecuted. Violent crimes can include anything from misdemeanor offenses, such as battery or assault, to more serious felony charges involving a firearm or serious bodily injury.
Due to the punitive approach this state takes regarding violent offenses, your best defense requires retaining an experienced violent crime defense lawyer as early as possible during the process. Skilled legal representation can help you invoke your right to remain silent, negotiate the terms of your surrender and bond and fight for you during the period after your arrest.
Attorney for Violent Crimes in Tallahassee, FL
A conviction for a violent crime can have serious repercussions. In addition to jail time and fines, there could be a lifetime of difficulties caused be having a criminal record. If you are facing charges for a violent crime, contact a criminal defense lawyer at Pumphrey Law in Tallahassee.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law understand the difficult situation you are in. The attorneys use their years of experience in the legal field to help you get the best possible results in your case. Violent crime convictions can change your life, but a skilled attorney can help you fight the charges.
Pumphrey Law represents men and women charged with crimes of violence throughout Tallahassee in Leon County, and the surrounding areas, including Gadsden County, Wakulla County, Liberty County and Jefferson County. To schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over the details of your case with the legal team at Pumphrey Law, call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today.
Violent Crimes in Florida Information Center
- Florida’s Crimes of Violence
- Defenses to Violent Crimes
- Penalties for Violent Crimes in Florida
- Violent Crimes Resources
Florida law provides for numerous charges that are frequently considered "crimes of violence." Generally, a crime is considered a violent crime when a threat, use of force or some form of physicality occurs between the victim and the offender when the crime is committed.
In other cases, the threat or use of force is a crime in and of itself, such as assault or battery. Other times it is used as part of another crime like kidnapping. Examples of violent crimes in Florida include:
Misdemeanor assault — A misdemeanor assault is an intentional act or threat, of violence on someone else, according to Florida Statute § 784.011. The person engaging in the assault has to appear able to commit the assault in the near future, and it has to cause fear of danger in the victim of the assault.
This offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree, but penalties can increase if the victim is over 65 years old, the assault is on a public official or law enforcement officer or by a person detained in jail or prison.
Aggravated Assault — According to Florida Statute § 784.021, this offense is similar to misdemeanor assault. However, aggravated assault usually involves a deadly weapon or there is an intent to commit a felony. A conviction of this offense is at least a felony of the third-degree.
Battery — Battery is defined as intentionally touching another person against his or her will, or intentionally causing harm to another person, according to Florida Statute § 784.03. This act is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first-degree. If the offender has a prior conviction, it can be a felony of the third-degree.
Battery also can be considered felony battery, which is defined as intentionally touching another person against his or her will and causing great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement through the touching, according to Florida Statutes § 784.041. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third-degree.
The charge also can be upgraded if a weapon was used. Aggravated battery is form of battery with the use of a deadly weapon that causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person, according to Fla. Stat. § 784.045. It can also be a battery upon a pregnant woman whom the offender knew or should have known was pregnant. This offense, if convicted, is a felony of the second-degree.
Robbery — Robbery is the taking of money or other property from someone with the intent to keep the money or property, either permanently or temporarily, according to Florida Statute § 812.13. Robbery also involves force, violence, assault or somehow putting the other person in fear. This act can be a felony of the first or second-degree, depending on whether the robbery is armed.
Manslaughter — This is defined as the killing of another human being either through the act or culpable negligence of another without and type of justification, according to Florida Statute § 782.07. This is a felony of the second-degree.
Murder / Homicide — This crime is defined as the unlawful killing of another either through premeditation, in the course of another felony, during the distribution of banned controlled substances or by acting indifferently to human life, according to Florida Statute § 782.04. A conviction of murder or homicide can be a capital felony or a felony of the first or second-degree.
In addition, the attorneys at Pumphrey Law also work with many types of domestic violence charges that can be considered violent crimes. For example, any assault, battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any other criminal offense that results in death or physical injury of a family or household member could be considered a domestic violence charge.
In certain situations, there may be defenses to violent crime charges. These defenses could possibly help you avoid a conviction or have the charges reduced to a lesser included offense. Defenses are not available in every instance, but a skilled violent crime defense attorney at Pumphrey Law can help you examine the unique facts of your case and see what the best defense would be. Possible defenses to violent crimes include:
- Self-defense – A person can defend himself or herself with deadly force if he or she has reason to believe the person’s conduct was likely going to cause death or serious bodily injury. A person also can use non-deadly force if believed it was necessary to defend himself or herself against someone’s conduct against them.
- Defense of others – A person accused of committing a violent crime could potentially use this defense if he or she reasonably believed force was necessary to defend someone against the conduct of another person. Deadly force may be permitted if the person reasonably believed death or serious body injury was very likely about to happen to the person they defended.
- Defense of property – A person can use justifiable force if an intruder unlawfully enters the person’s home, residence or occupied vehicle.
The penalties for violent crimes can vary depending on the type of crime committed and the circumstances surrounding the offense. For example, someone can face prison or jail time, fines, a possible death sentence, probation, court ordered counseling or an abuse program and community service.
Violent crimes also can have a long-lasting effect on your personal life and affect potential jobs, financial aid, school admissions, personal relationships and an ability to ever possess a firearm. Although punishments can differ depending on the crime, general punishments for misdemeanors and felonies are:
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and/or fines up to $1,000
- Third-degree felony: Up to five years in prison and/or fines up to $5,000
- Second-degree felony: Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000
- First-degree felony: Up to 30 years or life in prison and/or fines up to $10,000
- Life felony: Up to life in state prison and/or fines up to $15,000
- Capital felony: Life in prison without parole or death
Florida Statutes Online – This website contains all of the Florida Statutes governing Florida violent crimes, possible defenses to such crimes, and the penalties for convictions of violent crimes.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement – This Florida governmental agency promotes public safety by preventing, investigating and solving violent crimes. The Department is located at:Florida Department of Law Enforcement
2331 Phillips Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Phone: (850) 410-7640
Tallahassee Violent Crime Defense Lawyer
If you are under investigation for any violent crime, including felonies or misdemeanors, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Pumphrey Law. The attorneys on our team can help you determine possible defenses to your charge and fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your case and help you avoid serious punishments.
Call (850) 681-7777 to speak with an attorney to find out the necessary steps to protect yourself.
This article was last updated on October 26, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.