TAMPA VIOLENT CRIMES LAWYERS
Work with an Experienced Former Prosecutor
Violent crimes are harshly prosecuted in Florida. The media coverage on the news can pressure prosecutors to “lock them up.” When you’re facing prosecution for a violent crime, your future and liberty are on the line, which means you need one of the best Tampa criminal defense attorneys on your side. Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer can make a huge difference when you’re dealing with a violent crime conviction.
If you’re facing violent crime charges in the Tampa area, you’ll need the experience and dedication of the criminal defense lawyers at Buda Law. Call us at 813-352-2217 to schedule your free consultation regarding your case.
What is Considered a Violent Crime?
A violent crime occurs when there is the use of unlawful force, threat or use of force, a weapon, or physical injury resulting from an intentional act of another. There are many crimes that are considered violent by their nature.
Types of Violent Crime Charges
Violent crimes occur when the alleged offender threatens to inflict or actually inflict physical harm upon another person. There are several different types of violent crime cases that our Tampa criminal defense attorneys handle, including the following:
Homicide is the criminal act of killing another being. Homicide in Florida is viewed as one of the most severe crimes and involves the harshest legal consequences. Not only can homicide be the result of a fight, dispute, or violent conflict, but it can also occur in the process of other crimes being committed, such as gang or hate crimes.
Aggravated assault is the more severe form of assault. Simple assault becomes aggravated when the offender uses a deadly weapon without intent to kill or assault a person but with the intent of committing a felony in Florida.
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon doesn’t necessarily mean the use of a firearm, contrary to what most people believe. A deadly weapon is any object or instrument that can be used as a weapon to cause great bodily harm to another person. A deadly weapon can include knives, rocks, baseball bats, vehicles, broken bottles, etc.
Rape/Sexual Assault/Sexual Battery
The terms “rape” and “sexual battery” are used synonymously in Florida. Rape is defined as non-consensual physical penetration (oral, vaginal, or anal) or union with the sexual organ of another person, or non-consensual penetration of another person with an object.
When people hear the term “kidnapping,” many think of the abduction of a child or holding a person at ransom. Florida’s kidnapping statute is worded more broadly.
Under Florida’s statute, the term “kidnapping” is defined as using force, a threat of force, or acting secretly to imprison, abduct, or confine another person against their will. Surprisingly, most kidnapping offenses happen between people that know each other well, oftentimes during an act of domestic violence.
Robbery is the taking of another person’s property with the use of violence or fear. Armed robbery is taking it a step further with the use of a weapon or firearm when committing robbery. Armed robbery in Florida comes with even more severe penalties.
In Florida, there are two types of armed robbery depending on the type of weapon that the suspect is armed with. First, there is armed robbery with a deadly weapon or a firearm, for example, a knife or gun. The second type is armed robbery without a deadly weapon or firearm. Any robbery committed with a baseball bat or a tool, for example, would fall under this classification.
Arson crimes happen when a person willingly and unlawfully damages any structure or dwelling by setting it on fire or causing an explosion. In simpler terms, arson crimes in Florida take place when a person sets a property on fire intentionally and without having a legitimate reason to do so.
Arson is not limited to damaging dwellings and their contents but any structure. A structure could be any building, an enclosed area with a roof over it, or any property and its dependencies, based on Florida’s legislation.
Charges can be more severe if the damaged property is occupied or is a place where people typically are. This include structures such as:
- Detention centers
- Healthcare facilities
- Department stores
- Portable buildings
- Any type of vehicle
- Office buildings
While the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, some states, including Florida, have passed laws regulating firearm and other weapon possession.
There are two types of gun and weapon crimes in Florida; gun or weapon offenses and weapon enhancements. A weapon offense is solely based on the fact that the person improperly possessed, purchased, or used a weapon. A weapon enhancement increases the penalties of a crime or requires a mandatory minimum prison sentence and occurs when a weapon is used when committing a violent crime, including aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery.
The most common weapon charges in Florida include the concealment of a firearm without a concealed carry permit, improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon, possession or discharging a weapon at a school-sponsored event, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and allowing a minor to access a loaded firearm.
Penalties for Violent Crime Convictions in Florida
Penalties for violent crimes vary depending on the crime committed. First-degree murder is the only conviction that is eligible for the death penalty. The second most severe sentences are lifetime prison terms of 30 years or more.
If a violent crime involves a firearm or explosive device, or if a minor is involved in any way, the penalties for conviction will be even greater, or what the law would call “enhanced.”
If an act of violence is found to be a hate crime, the penalties for conviction will also be enhanced. A hate crime is a crime motivated by the victim’s gender, race, or ethnicity.
Defenses Against Violent Crime Charges
Legal defense against a violent crime depends on the incident and the charge against you. If you’re innocent, you could’ve been misidentified or even framed for a crime you didn’t commit. You might have acted in self-defense or in defense of someone else.
However, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that violent crime defendants that claim self-defense have to assume the burden of proof and have evidence that they were acting in self-defense.
Each violent crime case in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas must be reviewed and investigated by an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney. Violent crimes oftentimes present difficult defense challenges. For example, juries are more likely to convict a defendant when the victim is physically injured.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Violent Crime Charge in Florida
If you are facing criminal charges for a violent crime in Florida, it is crucial to understand the significance of hiring a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in Tampa violent crime cases. Criminal law can be complex, and navigating the legal system without the help of a skilled attorney can be overwhelming and lead to unfavorable outcomes. A Tampa violent crime lawyer like Andrew Buda can help protect your rights and defend you against the charges you are facing. He has a deep understanding of Florida law and the criminal justice system, which will enable him to provide you with the best possible defense.
For instance, in violent crime cases, the alleged victim’s testimony often plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of the case. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can cross-examine the alleged victim and challenge their testimony, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case against you. Criminal lawyers also have experience negotiating with prosecutors, which can lead to reduced charges or plea bargains that may lessen the severity of the punishment you face. In some cases, they may be able to get the charges against you dropped entirely.
If you are facing criminal charges for a violent crime in Florida, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling cases like yours. At Buda Law, our legal team will work tirelessly to protect your rights, challenge the prosecution’s case against you, aggressively defend your innocence, and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Facing Violent Crime Charges? Call the Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyers at Buda Law Today
When you are charged with a violent crime, there is so much at stake – your liberty, your family’s security, your future, and more. As soon as you learn that you are the suspect in an investigation or you’ve been arrested and charged with a violent crime, you need to secure an experienced criminal defense attorney. An aggressive criminal defense attorney will find and present exculpatory evidence to suppress evidence gathered illegally, challenge unreliable witnesses, and provide effective defense representation. Every criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and those charged with a violent crime deserve advisement and defense from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
If you believe you are under investigation or if you’ve been charged with a violent crime in Tampa, contact Buda Law today at 813-352-2217 for a free case evaluation from a Tampa violent crimes lawyer. With a background as a former prosecutor, criminal lawyer Andrew Buda knows how violent crimes can be prosecuted in Florida and how serious a charge for a violent crime can be. He knows how to protect your rights and secure the most favorable outcome for your individual case.