Over 100 Not Guilty Verdicts At Trial | Over 2,000 Dismissals

* Statistics Verified by County Clerk of Court Documents

Read More
Client Testimonials
  • "Don Pumphrey is a very respectable and trustworthy person" by Alejandro M.
  • "Don Pumphrey is amazing and gets the job done right!! I would highly recommend him to anyone. " by Amanda, Past Client
  • ""He’s who you want to talk to."" by Austin (2020), Past Client
  • "Would recommend if looking for a law firm that is committed to every case and personal circumstance" by Cameron J., Past Client
  • "I would trust him with my case 10/10 times, A+ lawyer!" by D. Hoffman, Past Client
  • "Best criminal attorney in Florida" by Elizabeth R., Past Client
  • "I would recommend them to anyone that is in need of the best legal care available!!! " by J. Martinez, Past Client
  • "Without question, the best criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee." by J.P.M., Past Client
  • "I highly recommend them for your legal needs." by Jane S., Past Client
  • "I will definitely be recommending his firm to anyone I come across that needs legal counsel. Thank you Don! You put our anxiety at ease and established a relationship and referrals for a lifetime!" by Kim S., Past Client
  • "Highly recommended if you need the best representation" by L.L., Past Client
  • " He's a great person and cares very much about his clients." by M.G., Past Client
  • " I would gladly recommend his law firm to represent you or anyone else. They are the real deal." by M.H., Past Client
  • "His dedication to his clients and office is remarkable." by Matt D., Past Client
  • "Look no further and trust you child's case to Don Pumphrey. Please don't allow your child to settle for less. Kids will grow and learn but a bad legal decision will impact your child forever." by Rosanna O., Former Client

Forcible Felonies

Understanding the legal system in Florida can be confusing to the average person. The State differentiates between misdemeanor and felony charges when breaking down criminal offenses. From there, felonies are further separated into non-violent and forcible felonies.

Forcible felonies can be difficult to understand, in the sense that they encompass a category of crimes, as well as being used as a defense for justifiable use of force. Florida law offers the affirmative defense of self-defense for people to avoid criminal prosecution for a violent act that occurred. For a criminal defendant to qualify for using self-defense as an affirmative defense, it requires them either facing imminent fear of death or harm, or to prevent the occurrence of a forcible felony.

As you can see, navigating cases that involve forcible felonies can be perplexing; but you don’t have to go it alone. The Panama City criminal defense lawyers with Pumphrey Law Firm understand the gravity of forcible felony charges and the potential consequences a conviction can carry. We can help prove that your actions were conducted out of self-defense or help strategize another form of defense. Our goal is to fight to get you the best possible outcome for your criminal case.

Forcible Felony Lawyers in Panama City, Florida

Were you or a loved one recently arrested for committing a forcible felony? There may be defense strategies available to you, especially if your actions were committed out of fear for yourself or others. Contacting a forcible felony attorney in Panama City can positively impact your case. If you have questions about the charges against you or whether you have grounds for a Stand Your Ground case, contact Pumphrey Law Firm today.

We provide free consultations when you call (850) 681-7777 or send us a message online. We represent those in need of criminal defense in Leon County, Liberty County, Wakulla County, and Jefferson County.

What is a Forcible Felony?

A felony is defined as any criminal offense in Florida that is punishable by imprisonment in a state penitentiary or by death. A felony differs from a misdemeanor due to its incarceration sentencing requirements that exceed more than one year.

Florida law further breaks down felony offenses into two categories: non-violent felonies and forcible felonies. Criminal acts that do not involve any use of violence are considered non-violent felonies. On the other hand, forcible felonies encompass criminal acts that are violent in nature.

Under Florida Statute Section 776.08, a forcible felony includes any of the following:

If you or someone you love has been accused of a forcible felony, consider hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent your case.

What Criminal Cases Involve Forcible Felonies?

It is important to establish the types of criminal cases that surround forcible felonies.

First, a person can face criminal prosecution for committing, or attempting to commit a forcible felony. In other words, any criminal act that involves the use or threat of physical force can result in a person’s arrest and charge for the appropriate forcible felony. Depending on the specific crime and its surrounding circumstances, the resulting penalties can range in severity.

Additionally, forcible felonies often play a key role in cases related to self-defense and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

How do Forcible Felonies Relate to Self-Defense?

In certain criminal cases, a person who has threatened or conducted violence against another person may be able to claim they did so in self-defense. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, codified under both Florida Statutes Section 776.012 and 776.013, provide that a person is exempt from criminal prosecution if they are considered within the boundaries of self-defense or justifiable homicide.

Specifically, Florida Statute Section 776.012(2) states:

“A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonable believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

Under Florida Statute Section 776.013(1)(b), a person inside a dwelling or home residence has the right to “stand their ground,” meaning not retreating and being able to use or threaten to use deadly force if they reasonably believe that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent the imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

For a defendant to be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of great bodily harm or death that validates the threatening of or use of defensive force that would be expected to cause great bodily harm to another, it requires one of the following two elements:

  1. The person whom the defensive force was used or threatened against was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another person against their will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
  2. The person who used or threatened to use defensive force had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring.

Important: Florida legislators specify that a person who uses or threatens to use deadly force and claims that it is justifiable use of force only has grounds to do so if they are not engaged in criminal activity and are in a place where they have the right to be. For example, a person could not claim to use justifiable use of force if they were also in the commission of a felony offense.

How Can a Defense Lawyer Prove Justifiable Use of Force?

If you’ve been accused of a criminal act that you were certain was in self-defense of preventing a forcible felony, consider consulting a defense attorney. There may be several strategies a defense lawyer with Pumphrey Law can use to establish that your use of force was justifiable due to another person committing a forcible felony, such as:

  • Gathering evidence – One of the benefits of working with an experienced defense lawyer is having a legal expert who can thoroughly investigate the case. This includes collecting all evidence such as surveillance footage, witness statements, forensic evidence, or any other evidence that may be relevant to the case.
  • Analyzing Florida’s Self-defense and Stand Your Ground laws – A seasoned lawyer will have a deep understanding of the Florida Statutes, specifically pertaining to self-defense. The attorneys with Pumphrey Law will analyze and review the laws as they relate to your case.
  • Imminent threat assessment – An important aspect of self-defense cases is whether the alleged threat posed by the other person was considered “imminent.” The legal definition of imminent is that someone is about to happen or occur. Factors that a defense attorney can establish to prove the threat was imminent include the alleged aggressor’s actions, their proximity to the defendant, and the defendant’s perception of the situation.
  • Emphasizing No Duty to Retreat – A defendant has no duty to retreat before using force in Stand Your Ground cases. Pumphrey Law can help prove that the defendant had no obligation to flee or avoid confrontation, and that they reasonably believed their use of force was necessary in preventing a forcible felony.
  • Expert Witness testimony – In some cases, Pumphrey Law may advise using an expert witness. An expert witness who specializes in forensics or self-defense may be called upon during the trial to prove that the defendant’s actions were necessary to prevent imminent harm and any forcible felony.
  • Jury instructions for forcible felony rule – If the case goes to trial, it is important that the entire jury receives proper instructions regarding Florida’s Stand Your Ground rule regarding forcible felonies. Pumphrey Law Firm will ensure that the jury is informed of all relevant laws pertaining to the case.

Still have questions on forcible felonies and how criminal proceedings occur in Leon County, Florida? Consider taking advantage of Pumphrey Law’s free consultation. Our team will review your case details and strategize a plan for defense.

Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers with Pumphrey Law

It’s important to understand that being charged with a forcible felony should not be taken lightly. Given the violent nature that these offenses encompass, the prosecution will be looking to secure a conviction, likely with steep consequences. Luckily, Florida provides some leeway for individuals who were forced to use violence. If your charges arose out of you using self-defense to prevent imminent harm or the imminent act of a forcible felony, you should consider hiring legal representation.

A Florida criminal defense defense attorney with Pumphrey Law Firm can help prove that your actions were justified under self-defense, specifically under the state’s Stand Your Ground law. You should not face criminal prosecution if you were attempting to protect yourself or your home. Contact our office today at (850) 681-7777 or fill out our online form.

Back to Top