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Violent Crimes

Elsea Law Criminal Defense Violent Crimes

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Violent Crimes Attorney in Tampa, FL

The State of Florida takes violent crimes and accusations of such very, very seriously. Violent crimes are often thought of as representing a threat to society and, as a result, are prosecuted very harshly. Violent crimes can include anything from misdemeanors such as assault and battery, all the way to significant felonies such as murder and manslaughter.

Hillsborough County does not take violent charges lightly, and if you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with a violent crime, contact an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers here at The Elsea Law Firm are here to help you navigate the criminal justice system, ensuring your rights are protected and fighting for the best possible outcome for you. Contact one of our experienced defense lawyers in Tampa today for a free consultation. A skilled attorney can help you mitigate the damage of the accusation and fight to have your charges reduced or even dismissed.

Violent Crimes in Florida

Misdemeanor Assault

  • Florida Statute § 784.011
  • Definition: An intentional act or threat of violence on someone else
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor
    • Penalty enhanced if the victim is a senior citizen (over 65 years old), a law enforcement officer, or a person who is incarcerated

Aggravated Assault

  • Florida Statute § 784.021
  • Definition: The same as misdemeanor assault, but involves a weapon or there is an intent to commit a felony.
  • Third-Degree Felony


  • Florida Statute § 784.03
  • Definition: intentionally touching another person against their will or intentionally harming another person
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor
    • Enhanced to Third-Degree Felony if there is a prior assault conviction on the defendant’s record
  • If a weapon is used, this charge can be upgraded to Aggravated Battery, a second-degree felony. The charge can also be upgraded if permanent disability or disfigurement is caused to the victim or if the victim is pregnant.


  • Florida Statute § 812.13
  • Definition: Taking someone’s money or property with the intent to keep through the use of force, violence, or fear.
  • Robbery is a second-degree felony in the state of Florida
  • Armed Robbery is a first-degree felony in the state of Florida



  • Florida Statute § 782.04
  • Definition: the unlawful killing of another person. Can be done through premeditation, during the course of another crime, or simply by a disregard for human life.
  • Can be a first or second-degree felony
    • Can also be a capital charge that carries the death penalty

Violent Crime Defenses

Just as with any criminal case, it is critical to formulate a strategy and thorough defense with your Tampa violent crime attorney. Joel Elsea is experienced in working on violent-crimes, both as a prosecutor and Tampa Bay defense attorney. There are several defenses which may pertain to violent crimes and a skilled violent crime defense lawyer can help you navigate the system in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Self- Defense

The law allows for an individual to use deadly force in defending themselves if they believe the other person’s actions would likely have caused them serious injury or death. Florida also has what is called a Stand Your Ground Law, which allows the use of deadly force to defend one’s self from attack when they have a right to be in that location. Many times, your defense attorney can argue that you took the actions you did in self-defense and to protect your own well-being, which is a valid defense against a violent crime charge.

Defense of Others

Similar to how the law allows for an individual to use deadly force to protect themselves, the same can be said if the defendant was using the force to defend another individual. If you believed another person was likely to get injured or killed by the actions of another person, deadly force may be permitted.

Property Defense

Just as deadly force may be permissible in defending one’s self or another person, the same can be said about property. In the state of Florida, the use of deadly force is permitted if an intruder unlawfully enters your home or vehicle.

Violent Crime Penalties

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor
    • Up to 60 days in jail
    • Fines of up to $500
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor
    • Up to one year in jail
    • Fines of up to $1000
  • Third-Degree Felony
    • Up to five years in Florida Department of Corrections
    • Fines of up to $5000
  • Second-Degree Felony
    • Up to fifteen years in Florida Department of Corrections
    • Fines of up to $10,00
  • First-Degree Felony
    • Up to thirty years in Florida Department of Corrections
    • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Life-Felony
    • Sentence could include life in Florida Department of Corrections
    • Fines of up to $15,000
  • Capital Felony
    • Sentence could include the death penalty or a life-sentence

Violent Crime Resources

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Crime Victim Services

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Tampa Police Department

Tampa Violent Crime Defense Lawyer

Violent crimes are very serious charges and can not only threaten your freedom, but impact your ability to find good housing, employment, and much more in the future, if convicted. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a violent crime in Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County, or the surrounding areas, contact an experienced violent crime lawyer in Tampa today! Please fill out our contact-form to schedule your free consultation.

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