Miami Violent Crime Lawyer
Violent crimes prosecuted under Florida law include a whole host of acts, and the penalties for a violent crime conviction are almost always harsh. But with each charge there may be a number of defenses available, including arguments of self-defense or justification. The Miami violent crime lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo provide sound legal advice and effective representation to clients accused of all types of violent crime in Florida, including:
- Assault: The intentional threat of or actual act of violence upon another, which requires the victim’s genuine belief in its occurrence. It is Aggravated Assault if it was meant to cause a felony, or if the accused used a deadly weapon to frighten the victim.
- Battery: The intentional and unwanted touching of another. If it results in bodily harm, it is called Felony Battery, and if done with a deadly weapon it is called Aggravated Battery.
- Robbery: The intentional stealing of property or money from another to deprive that person of the property while using violence or force upon the victim. Robberies may be different degrees of severity based on whether a weapon was used and what type of weapon was involved.
- Domestic Violence: Violence committed against a family member, someone living in the same house, or someone with whom the attacker has a romantic relationship. These offenses often occur when a couple gets into a heated dispute, or when the attacker is on drugs or drunk. Often the victim will get a court-approved injunction, restraining order or protective order against the abuser.
- Murder: Occurs with the intentional killing of another human being, or the killing of another human being while in the course of committing a different felony, which is called Felony Murder.
Violent Crime Penalties in Florida
Various violent acts carry different penalty guidelines. Typically, basic assault is a 2nd degree misdemeanor in Florida with a sentence of up to 60 days and a fine of up to $500. A domestic abuser in particular may face a 1st degree misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The heightened aggravated assault, battery and felony battery are 3rd degree felonies, and can result in a jail term no more than 5 years and fines up to $5,000. Aggravated battery and basic robbery are 2nd degree felonies that can land the defendant in jail for as many as 15 years and cost $10,000 in fines. A 1st degree felony is charged for robbery with a deadly weapon, and can result in a life sentence and up to $10,000 in fines. If the weapon is not considered deadly, the jail term can be up to 30 years. Domestic abusers may face all of these types of misdemeanors and felonies depending on the severity of their threatened or actual violent acts.
Premeditated murder and felony murder are 1st degree offenses, and in Florida carry the death penalty or life in prison without parole. 2nd degree murder is one committed as an accomplice to a felony murder or in killing someone with a depraved mind. Prison sentences can range from 16 ¾ years to life and $10,000 in fines. The unintentional killing of another during a non-violent felony is a 3rd degree felony offense, and can result in 10 ¾ to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Possible Violent Crime Defenses in Miami
No two situations are identical, and you may have many different defense options when challenging your prosecution. Some of the most common include:
- Intent is always a necessary element to prove the commission of a violent crime. If prosecutors cannot prove the requisite intent by the accused, the charges will not stand.
- Defendants may be able to argue that the violent act was indeed committed but in the context of an emergency situation to prevent injury to or death of the accused or of another person. In these circumstances, a violent act may in fact be justified.
- One can also argue self-defense if they can demonstrate they reasonably believed that someone was attacking them and likely to seriously injure or kill them, leaving the defendant with no choice but to respond with force of their own, either deadly or non-deadly.
- In some circumstances, the accused may have a justification for using violence to defend their own home or vehicle from an attacker.
Experienced Miami Violent Crime Lawyers
If you have been accused of a violent crime, you need to know your options and you need a vigorous defense. Contact Fatzan & Faccidomo LLC to determine what options you have and speak to an experienced Miami criminal lawyer who can help you.