From assault and battery to kidnapping, carjacking, robbery, and homicide… “violent crime” as a category covers a wide variety of charges that can be more complicated to defend in court due to specialized statutes, different defenses, and, many times, significantly more serious penalties. For all of these reasons, it is absolutely vital that you hire an attorney who has substantial experience with this class of crimes.
One way that state and federal laws impose harsh punishments is through sentencing enhancements, which increase the minimum and/or maximum sentences for a crime, even for first-time offenders. A defendant can face increased penalties for things like wearing a mask, involvement in gang activity, or carrying a weapon during the commission of a crime.
In addition to potentially enhanced penalties, defendants may also unique defenses when facing allegations of violent crime. For example, depending upon the facts of a case, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law may be important, as it offers immunity to those who exercise their lawful right to defend themselves under certain circumstances (defined in Florida Statute s. 776.032). This defense is raised prior to trial, in the form of a Motion to Dismiss. Even if unsuccessful at arguing immunity under this law, a defendant still can claim self-defense as an affirmative defense at trial, by arguing to the jury that actions were justifiable under the law (more broadly governed by Chapter 776 of Florida Statutes).
Defense strategies may also involve analysis of common investigative techniques, such as photo line-ups or show-up identifications, interrogations, cell phone/computer searches, and forensic evidence, such as fingerprint or DNA analysis. It is important that your attorney is familiar with all possible defenses, including the possible use of expert witnesses, cross-examination of State forensic witnesses, and suppression issues related to issues such as Miranda violations, unconstitutional searches and improper/suggestive photo line-ups.
Proper representation in these cases requires knowledge, experience, and a thorough approach to your defense. There are many special laws, procedures, and of options available in these types of cases and it is important to hire an attorney with the specialized experience needed to achieve your desired results. Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney Benjamin Wurtzel has handled all kinds of violent crime cases, from misdemeanor batteries to homicide cases. Mr. Wurtzel has been able to use his experience and legal knowledge to effectively defend clients facing these serious charges. If you or someone you know is facing these charges, call Wurtzel Law today for a free consultation to learn how we might be able to help.