Violent Crime Penalties in Florida
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Violent crimes are some of the most heavily prosecuted offenses under Florida’s criminal codes, carrying some of the heaviest penalties for those who are convicted. Because of the particularly egregious nature of these offenses, prosecutors will often push for maximum penalties and the highest possible classification of the offense. If you’re accused of one of these crimes, time is not on your side. If you’ve been arrested and are charged with a violent crime, you need to speak with a Daytona Beach criminal attorney about your case as soon as possible in order to start constructing your defense!
Hager & Schwartz, P.A. has assisted those accused of violent crimes in standing up to their prosecution for many years. We understand how harsh and intimidating the criminal justice system can be, but we’re not afraid to take action and come to your defense by putting the law on your side. We believe that a meticulous strategy and aggressive defense bolstered by thorough preparation can help you pursue a successful outcome to your case, and we make reaching this goal our number one priority. Let us help you put your charges behind you so you can get back to your life as normal once again.
Our team may be able to help you! If you’ve been arrested and charged with a violent crime, call Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today at (386) 693-1637 for more information!
To put it in simple terms, assault is threatening to harm someone else. Found in Florida statute §784.011, simple assault is threatening to commit violence against someone, or intimidating them to the point where they reasonably suspect or believe that you might harm them. This means that no physical contact is actually necessary to warrant a conviction—the mere threat alone is enough.
Under Florida law, simple assault is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, which means those convicted face up to 60 days in jail plus a fine of up to $500. However, this is subject to modification if any aggravating factors are present.
As its name implies, aggravated assault is an assault charge where aggravating factors are present. The most common aggravating factor in an assault charge is the use of a deadly weapon like a firearm, bladed instrument, or blunt instrument. However, aggravated assault does not include an intent to kill, only to threaten. Using a firearm to threaten a victim in an armed robbery is a good example.
Aggravated assault is considered a third-degree felony, which means those convicted face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for a conviction. It’s also not uncommon for first-time offenders to receive jail time as a part of their sentence.
You’ve probably heard of the term “assault and battery” before, usually because the two crimes are committed alongside each other. Whereas assault is threatening harm against someone, battery is actually following through on the threat. Or to be more specific, battery is any unwanted touching or physical contact against someone, often with an intent to cause physical injury. This does not include fistfights or instances of “mutual combat” where both parties engage in battery willingly as a part of an altercation.
Simple battery, or battery without any aggravating factors, is a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to a year in prison. However, battery with a deadly weapon or against someone who the offender knew or should have reasonably known was pregnant is a second-degree felony, which carries up to 15 years in prison.
Murder is the act of taking the life of another individual in unjustified circumstances. Whereas taking someone’s life in self-defense or in the defense of another could be argued as justifiable, murder is unjustified homicide and is one of the most heavily penalized crimes in Florida law.
Murder comes in three degrees of severity in Florida:
- 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 up to life in prison, and requires a mandatory minimum of 25 years if a firearm is used
- First degree murder carries either the death penalty or life without parole
Get help assembling your defense from the skilled team at Hager & Schwartz, P.A.! Contact us online now to start reviewing your options.