Violent Crime Penalties in Florida

Seek Help From a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Violent crimes are some of the most heavily prosecuted and penalized offenses in the entire Florida criminal code. Because of their particularly egregious and offensive nature, it’s not uncommon for prosecutors to seek the harshest possible penalties for offenders who are convicted. When you’re arrested and charged with a violent crime, it’s pivotal that you don’t hesitate to act quickly and start assembling your defense as soon as possible.

Here at Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we know how intimidating and stressful being caught up in the criminal justice system can be, especially for first-time offenders. We are powerful and experienced allies who have years of experience putting the law to work for our clients, fighting to defend them using a strategy of careful preparation and aggressive, unwavering support through every step of the process. We truly want to see you succeed in your case and our number-one goal is to help you obtain a successful outcome so you can put your charges behind you and get on with your life normally.

To speak with a member of our team, request a case evaluation by calling Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today at (954) 840-8713!

Assault

Florida statute §784.011 makes the crime of “assault” illegal. What is assault? To put it extremely simple, assault is threatening to commit violence against someone, or intimidating them to the point where they believe violence will be committed against them. What often surprises people is that assault does not require any sort of physical contact or harm done to a victim: the mere threat of violence or danger of physical harm is enough to warrant a charge.

Simple assault, which is assault with no aggravating or mitigating factors, is a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Aggravated Assault

As the name implies, aggravated assault is a simple assault crime that includes the presence of an aggravating factor. The most common aggravating factor is the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime, such as a gun, knife, or blunt instrument. However, aggravated assault does not include intent to kill.

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony, which means those convicted face up to five years in prison or five years’ probation plus a fine of up to $5,000. Because of the serious nature of this crime, even first-time offenders will very likely receive jail time as a part of their sentence if convicted.

Battery

You may have heard the term “assault and battery” used before, often because these offenses often coincide with one another and are thus charged together. However, there’s an important difference—whereas assault is merely the threat of committing violence against someone, battery is actually making unwanted contact with them. However, it’s important to note that this does not include “mutual combat” instances, or instances where two people commit battery against each other while willingly engaging in an altercation.

Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in prison. However, aggravated battery, which is battery using a deadly weapon or battery against someone who the accused knew or should have reasonably known was pregnant, is a second-degree felony. This carries up to 15 years in prison or on probation, plus up to $10,000 in fines.

Murder

Murder is often called “unjustifiable homicide,” which essentially means the taking of someone else’s life in circumstances that cannot be justified (such as self-defense or the defense of another who was at risk of substantial harm).

Murder comes in three degrees with varying degrees of severity.

  • Third degree murder carries up to 15 years in prison with a maximum of 30 years if a firearm is used
  • Second degree murder carries a maximum of life in prison with a minimum of 25 years if a firearm is used
  • First degree murder carries either the death penalty or life without parole.

If you’re facing violent crime charges, don’t hesitate to contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. online now to start building your defense!

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