Violent crimes—intentional, threatening, and destructive acts against people and property—are harshly prosecuted in Florida. This is due in part to the sensational media coverage afforded crimes on the evening news. Because of the pressure on prosecutors to “lock ‘em up” when facing a prosecution for a violent offense, your liberty and future require a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney with a reputation in South Florida for aggressively and courageously representing clients facing the most severe penalties.
Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can make a difference. Here’s why Sando Law, P.A., servicing South Florida, including Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, or Monroe counties, should be your Florida defense lawyers.
Drew Sando is an experienced criminal defense attorney who intimately knows how the criminal system operates. He was a prosecutor, twice named “Best Prosecutor.” What that means to you is that Sando Law, P.A. understands the criminal justice process as well as all of the players—police and investigators, prosecutors, judges, and probation officers. Unlike other criminal defense offices, Sando Law, P.A. is a low-volume firm, affording each client our full attention and resources. The advice you get at Sando Law, P.A. is accurate, realistic, and trustworthy. We care about our clients and understand how important your case is to you and your family.
What Are the Types of Violent Crimes in Florida?
Violent crimes are usually charged as felonies, which bring sentences of prison, not jail, and heavy fines. In some instances, restitution will be ordered to compensate the victims of violent crimes such as the following:
- Arson: inflicting damage on a dwelling or building with fire or explosion
- Assault: the intentional threat to inflict violence on another person with the obvious ability to actually inflict the harm. Aggravated assault includes use of a deadly weapon.
- Battery: the intentional and actual touching or striking of another person against their will or the intentional infliction of bodily harm
- Child Abuse: any actions or failures to act by a parent, guardian, or professional that result in a child’s injury or trauma
- Conspiracy to Commit Violent Crime: the planning of a violent crime with others, whether or not the criminal violence actually occurs
- Dangerous Weapons Enhancements: use of a firearm when committing a crime—sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, burglary—can result in additional charges and penalties
- Homicide, manslaughter, and negligent homicide: the unlawful killing of another human being can be charged in the first or second degrees, or by act, procurement, or negligence. Helping another person commit suicide is charged as manslaughter in Florida.
- Kidnapping: forcibly, secretly, or by threat abducting, imprisoning, or confining another person against their will and without legal authority
- Rape or Sexual Assault: non-consensual sexual conduct with force or the threat of force
- Robbery: the use of force, assault, or evoking fear while taking money or other property, permanently or temporarily, from its rightful owner or the owner’s immediate surroundings
What Are the Penalties for Violent Crimes in Florida?
The death penalty is reserved in Florida for first-degree murder. However, a conviction for a violent crime, finding intent, and malice can mean prison terms of life, 30 years or more. Under Florida’s sentencing laws—10-20-Life—there are minimum mandatory sentences when a firearm or destructive device is used during the commission of a crime.
Sentencing depends on a variety of factors—the severity of the crime, the criminal history of the defendant, whether deadly force or firearms were actually used or threatened, gang affiliation, and the strength of the evidence. Sentencing can also include fines and penalties, as well as restitution to the victim.
A conviction for any crime, especially a violent crime, means a permanent criminal record that will make future employment harder, impact your ability to find housing whether rental or purchase, secure a loan, obtain a professional license, and even vote.
What Should You Do if You are Charged with a Violent Crime in Florida?
With so much at stake—your liberty, your family’s security, your future—once you learn that you are the target of an investigation or have been arrested and charged with a violent crime, you should secure the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Never speak with the police without your attorney present!
Police are constitutionally permitted to lie about who has come forward and what evidence they might possess. Consequently, many times during interrogations, defendants are tricked into revealing material information or even confessing (sometimes when they aren’t even guilty). These mistakes, which can cost you your freedom, cannot occur if you remember this essential rule: The Fifth Amendment offers you the right to remain silent. Don’t speak with the police until you have retained a criminal defense attorney and unless your attorney is present.
What Defense(s) Can Be Mounted Against Violent Crime Charges?
The criminal justice system requires that the prosecution prove any charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest evidentiary standard in American law. An experienced and savvy violent crimes defense attorney knows how to look at the evidence and police reports with a skeptical eye.
It’s the role of the defense attorney to ensure that all of the rules of proper policing and prosecution are being observed. Therefore, how evidence was obtained, how witness statements were received, and how warrants were issued are all open to examination. The consequences of improperly obtaining evidence, securing witness statements, and issuing warrants can often be suppression of evidence.
Beyond procedural challenges, capable and experienced defense attorneys know how to examine the context of any crime. There are defenses: self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, lack of intent, and justification. And we know that eye witness identifications are often suspect, so violent crimes defense attorneys know how to cross-examine witnesses, including the police, to reveal bias, lack of information, or lack of opportunity, transforming damning testimony harmless.
Contact Sando Law for a Free Case File Review
If you believe you are under investigation or charged with a violent crime in South Florida, including Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, or Monroe counties, contact Sando Law, P.A. for a free case file review. We will focus our experience, talent, and knowledge to provide you with a realistic evaluation of the state’s case against you, possible defenses, and options. Call 561-296-1665 or toll-free 833-SANDO-4U.