Florida Criminal Statutes
Laws Pertaining to Your Charges
Florida’s criminal laws are outlined in Title XLVI of the Florida Statutes. Within this section, there are numerous subsections that refer to specific types of offenses, various deviations in these offenses, and the penalties associated with them.
For example, Florida crime statutes include the following:
- Chapter 790 – Weapons Offenses
- Chapter 812 – Theft-Related Crimes
- Chapter 815 – Internet Crimes
- Chapter 817 – Fraud Offenses
- Chapter 893 – Drug Crimes
There are numerous offenses outlined in the Florida statutes, and they all contain information regarding the elements prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person of a crime. Our defense attorneys – who are also former prosecutors – refer to these statutes and the legal definitions within to challenge the government’s case and to work toward case dismissals or reductions in charges and penalties.
Below are examples of specific Florida Statues that can help you can understand how charges and legal definitions are laid out. If you have been arrested and charged with any of these crimes, it is crucial that you contact an attorney.
Sections 784.011& 784.021. Assault is usually the charge when there is an intentional unlawful threat by word or acts to do violence to another person or scares the person so that they believe that the violence is going to occur. This is a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail. If a weapon is used to do violence to another person or to threaten in such a way that that are scared enough to believe that the violent act is imminent, the charge is likely going to be aggravated assault, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Sections 784.03 & 784.045. Battery is usually the charge when you touch a person without their consent or intentionally cause physical harm to another individual. If you are convicted of this crime, the punishment may include up to 1 year in jail. If the touching without consent of the other person results in great bodily harm, permanent disability and/or disfigurement, the charge will usually be felony battery, a third-degree felony which includes penalties of up to 5 years in prison.
If the touching without consent is on a law enforcement officer, firefighter, security guard, or other law enforcement personnel, the charge is usually battery on a law enforcement officer, a third-degree felony which may be punished by up to 5 years in prison. If the battery results in great bodily harm, permanent disability, and/or disfigurement, and a weapon was used in the commission of the battery, the charge will usually be aggravated battery, a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If a pregnant woman is touched without her consent, regardless of the extent of injury, if the individual committing the offense knew the woman was pregnant, the charge will also likely be aggravated battery.
Section 810.02. Burglary is entering a dwelling or a structure or vehicle with the intent to commit a criminal offense inside. If the dwelling, structure or vehicle is open to the public, and the individual is invited in, it is not a burglary unless the person refuses to leave and then commits a crime (i.e., theft). If the individual enters a home (dwelling) and commits a crime, the criminal offense they will usually be charged with is burglary of a dwelling, which is a second-degree felony, and the penalty can be up to 15 years in prison. The same offense is charged if the accused enters the yard of the person and commits theft.
If the individual enters a vehicle or other structure than a dwelling, including a vehicle, the charge will likely be burglary of a structure/conveyance, which is a third-degree felony, with penalties up to 5 years in prison. If there is a threat of violence in commission of the crime, the charges will likely be burglary with assault/battery or armed burglary. First degree felonies are punishable by up to life in prison. You cannot be released on bond on burglary with assault/battery charges.
Sections 790.01 & 790.052. Carrying concealed firearms or weapons is when an individual has a weapon that is not in plain view. If arrested, the individual may be charged with carrying a concealed weapon which is a first-degree misdemeanor and may be punished by up to 1 year in jail. If the concealed weapon is a firearm, the individual may be charged with carrying a concealed firearm, a third degree felony, with penalties including up to 5 years in prison. Those who have a license to carry a concealed weapon will not be charged with this offense.
Section 784.048. Harassing is the charge when another person deliberately and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks an individual. This is a first degree misdemeanor and has penalties of up to 1 year in jail. If the person following, harassing, or cyberstalking the other individual makes a credible threat that places the victim in a reasonable fear of death or bodily injury, or the person doing the stalking is in violation of restraining order or stay away order, the charge will likely be aggravated stalking, a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Arrested? Call Our Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys!
If you or someone you know has been arrested for any crime in Fort Lauderdale or Broward County, our criminal defense lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. are available 24/7 to help. Time is of the essence in criminal cases, and taking quick action could make the difference in your case. We encourage you to reach out to our team as soon as possible for a free consultation about your rights and what we can do to fight your charges.