Violent crimes are harshly penalized in Florida, typically with severe mandatory minimum sentences. Our experienced Tampa violent crime defense attorneys are former prosecutors with the skill to help.
Former Prosecutors with 40 Years of Experience
Any crime that has been committed either with the use of violence or with the threat of violence is considered a “violent crime.” In some cases, violence is just a means to an end during the commission of the crime; for example, stealing money in an armed robbery. In others, the violence is the crime, as in the case of domestic abuse or attempted murder.
In Florida, such charges are taken extremely seriously and often carry severe penalties. Sometimes, these crimes are prosecuted when the defendant did not hurt another individual but made them feel that their safety was in danger. Even the threat of violence, especially with a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun, can constitute assault, a violent crime.
Protect Your Legal Rights
To decrease instances of violent crimes, law enforcement and legislation have become strict when dealing with violent offenders. People who are convicted can expect to spend time in jail, pay fines, and partake in community service. Violent crimes classified as felonies carry sentences that may include years or decades in prison, plus a “strike” on a defendant's record under Florida's Three Strikes Law, which imposes a life sentence for a third strike.
For these reasons, it is imperative to consult a Tampa criminal lawyer when facing charges involving alleged violence. Your freedom, reputation, and future will be on the line if you're considered a violent offender. A competent lawyer will be your only hope of avoiding prison time and the serious repercussions of having a violent crime conviction on your record.
How Various Factors Can Impact Sentencing
The factors that are considered when determining sentencing for a violent crime charge include:
- Type of violent crime: Florida statutes classify violent crimes differently, leading to a range of minimum and maximum sentences.
- Prior criminal record: Florida utilizes a scoring system that assesses points for various offenses, including past crimes. The higher the score, the more likely a defendant will face a harsher sentence.
- Use of a weapon: The involvement of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime can escalate the charges and penalties faced by a defendant.
- Victim vulnerability: If the victim of the violent crime belongs to a vulnerable group—such as a child, elderly person, or a disabled individual—this can result in increased penalties.
- Aggravating or mitigating circumstances: Aggravating circumstances, such as the cruelty exhibited during the commission of the crime, can lead to a more severe sentence. Conversely, mitigating factors like showing remorse or cooperating with law enforcement could potentially lessen the sentence.
- Plea bargaining: Plea bargaining can sometimes lead to reduced charges and, consequently, less severe penalties. However, this is a complicated process that should not be navigated without the expertise of a skilled attorney.
Our Violent Crime Defense Lawyers Are Here to Help
At Thomas & Paulk, we defend individuals facing violent crime charges throughout Tampa and the surrounding areas across Florida. We have been representing clients for the past 20 years, giving us unparalleled insight into the proceedings and processes that take place both in front of and behind the scenes. Accusations of a violent crime are extremely serious, but they do not have to equal a conviction. There are defenses at your disposal and strategies that can be used to protect your constitutional rights, and we know them.
At our law firm, we can handle violent crime cases involving charges such as:
- Assault and battery
- Capital punishment
- Disorderly conduct
- Domestic violence
- Hate crimes
- Hit and run
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I am arrested for a violent crime?
If you are arrested, it is crucial to exercise your right to remain silent and request an attorney immediately. Do not provide any statements to the police until you have consulted with legal counsel.
How does bail work for violent crimes?
Bail amounts for violent crimes are typically set higher due to the serious nature of these offenses. In some cases, bail may be denied altogether. A skilled attorney can argue for reasonable bail conditions during your initial hearing.
How long will my case take?
The length of a violent crime case varies depending on the complexity of the case, the number of charges, and whether a plea agreement is reached or the case goes to trial. Some cases conclude within a few months, while others may take years.
Why do I need an attorney?
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system, negotiate with prosecutors, and present a compelling case in your defense. Given the severe penalties involved in violent crime cases, professional legal representation is crucial.
Contact Our Team Today
Having handled more than 7,000 criminal cases throughout our legal careers, we have the hands-on experience you need. Get in touch with our criminal defense lawyers today to learn how we can help you. We offer 100% free and completely confidential consultations. If you or someone you love are facing violent crime charges, we're just a phone call away.
Let our team protect your rights. Call us today at (813) 321-7323.
Even informal allegations of a violent crime like robbery or domestic violence can affect your job, your reputation, and your future. You need to put an experienced team in your corner, and our Tampa violent crime defense attorneys have what it takes to defend your interests.
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