Although they have been reduced significantly over the last two decades, violent crime rates are high in Florida, according to data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Often, prosecutors hurry to close these cases due to public outcry over the violence. However, this can make wrongful convictions more common. Violent crimes are punished very harshly, so it is important to retain a skillful Bradenton violent crime lawyer if you have been accused of a crime such as rape, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, manslaughter, homicide, or a crime involving guns. The potential prison sentence and stigma if you are convicted could alter the course of your life permanently. Sometimes there are consequences of a conviction for child custody and other family matters. At Hanlon Law, we provide a knowledgeable and aggressive defense to people accused of violent crimes. A conviction is not assured, and there may be a strong defense strategy that we can raise on your behalf.Types of Violent Crimes in Florida
Violent crimes are usually those that are perpetrated with the intent of causing bodily injury to the victim or those in which a physical injury is actually the result of the defendant’s actions. What must be proven for a conviction of a violent crime depends on the specific charge that is being asserted. Assault and battery are two different violent crimes that are commonly charged. Assault occurs when somebody uses force or threats to trigger fear in the victim and has the apparent ability to inflict that harm, and the victim reasonably feels a fear of imminent violence based on the threats made. This is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. Battery occurs when somebody touches somebody else in a threatening or harmful way, such as wielding a weapon against them, striking them, or throwing an object at them and inflicting injuries. A violent crime attorney in Bradenton can explain the differences in more detail and advise you on which charge you are likely to face. More serious charges are aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
Aggravated assault is defined under Florida Statutes section 784.021. It is simple assault that is committed with one or two aggravating factors. To establish this charge, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally threatened through your acts or words to perpetrate violence against the alleged victim, you seemed to have the capacity to carry out your threat at the time, your threat created in the mind of the victim a well-founded worry that the violence was going to transpire, and you made the assault with a deadly weapon or a fully formed, conscious intent to perpetrate a felony. Depending on the circumstances, a Bradenton violent crime attorney can help a defendant attack one or more of these elements.
Between simple assault and aggravated battery is felony battery. Felony battery involves a battery that unintentionally causes great bodily harm. For example, if you push someone and they fall against a stone wall, hitting their head and causing a skull fracture, this could be charged as felony battery. Felony battery is charged as a third-degree felony, whereas aggravated battery is a second-degree felony. Florida Statutes section 784.045 provides that aggravated battery occurs when somebody perpetrates a simple battery and also: (1) knowingly or intentionally causes permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or great bodily harm or (2) uses a deadly weapon in committing the battery. You can also be charged with aggravated battery if the victim was pregnant at the time of the battery, and you knew or should have known of the pregnancy, whether or not there was a permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or great bodily harm that resulted. For example, if you beat a woman who was visibly pregnant, you could be charged with second-degree felony aggravated battery.Hire a Knowledgeable Violent Crime Lawyer in Bradenton or Surrounding Areas
Violent crime charges in Florida should be taken seriously. Depending on what the charge is, you may face prison time, hefty fines, and the stigma of a criminal record. If the crime is sexual in nature, you may need to register as a sex offender, a requirement that can haunt you for the rest of your life and affect your ability to secure housing, get a professional license, get a job, or obtain higher education. If you are being investigated in connection with assault, battery, or a similar crime, you should retain an experienced lawyer. Will Hanlon has aggressively represented defendants since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 941.462.1789 or complete our online form.