Florida Crime Rate on the Decline
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) recently released the state’s annual crime statistics. Though the numbers look good overall, the rate of occurrence for some serious crimes continues to rise. The FDLA is a state agency falling under the umbrella of the governor and the executive branch. Established in 1967, the department is charged with the task of promoting the safety of Florida residents and visitors, while strengthening the provision of services by state law enforcement agencies. Each year, FDLA compiles a report regarding all reported crimes within the state. The numbers are then compared with past years to determine whether the state’s crime rate is increasing or decreasing.
The 2015 Uniform Crime Report shows an overall drop in crime throughout the state. When compared to 2013, the crime rate reportedly decreased by approximately 3.6%. This represents a 44-year low for Florida. Some of the specific crime rate changes included:
- 07% decrease in violent crimes
- 1% decrease in nonviolent crimes
- 1% decrease in domestic violence offenses
- 9% decrease in robbery crimes
- 8% decrease in burglary offense
- 9% decrease in larceny crimes
While these statistics are good news for the residents of Florida, three specific crime rates continue to rise:
- The murder rate increased by 1.0%
- Sex offenses increased by 3.8%
- Aggravated assault increased by 1.0%
Governor Rick Scott was quoted in the Pensacola News Journal as stating, “I am proud today to stand with our state’s law enforcement community to celebrate Florida’s 44-year low crime rate. This news is made possible by the brave men and women who protect our communities and risk their lives every day to ensure our families are safe. Florida’s low crime rate contributes to the state’s economic growth and momentum.”
Murder in the Florida Statute
Under Florida law, there are several types of homicide charges. The most serious is first degree murder, which generally includes homicides that are premeditated or committed during the commission of a felony. Killings that occur during certain drug-related interactions may also be classified as first degree murders. Since it is a capital felony, the state may ask the courts for the death penalty when prosecuting a first degree felony case. The minimum punishment for a conviction is life imprisonment, without possibility of parole.
Second degree murder charges often lack the level of premeditation seen in first degree cases. However, the defendant still allegedly acted in a manner that demonstrated a lack of respect for human life. A specific intent to kill is generally not necessary to prove second degree murder. The maximum possible penalty for a second degree conviction is life imprisonment.
Accusations of murder are the most serious charges you can face. The assistance of a capable lawyer is vital to defending your innocence and protecting your freedom.
If you or a loved one is facing murder charges within the state of Florida, the skilled lawyers at our office can provide you with an aggressive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.