If you were arrested or are facing charges for a violent crime, you could end up paying thousands in fines and spending decades in jail. Do not take these charges lying down. The violent crimes lawyers in Tampa at Goldman Wetzel can help. We will protect your rights while working to reduce your sentence or defend you against false or inflated charges.
Give us a call at 727-828-3900 today. We are ready to go to work immediately to present you in the best light possible.
What Types of Cases Does Goldman Wetzel Handle?
While we represent clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges, some of the most common violent crimes police accuse our clients of include:
Many people confuse assault and battery. In Florida, committing assault requires no physical contact. Instead, it is any intentional threat to cause harm to another person, making that person believe violence and injury is imminent (e.g., threatening to punch someone in the face while raising a fist).
Aggravated assault, a related but more serious charge, requires a threat with a deadly weapon, but without the intent to kill the victim.
Battery occurs when the perpetrator actually commits a physical act. Any intentional and violent contact that causes injury to another person may fall into this category (e.g., punching someone in the face). If battery results in permanent disability, disfigurement, serious injury, or utilizes a deadly weapon, the perpetrator may face aggravated battery charges.
Sexual battery includes almost any unwanted sexual act, including oral, anal, or vaginal penetration.
Robbery occurs when one person takes money, property, or other assets from another using force, violence, or threats. This charge frequently occurs in addition to other charges, such as assault or battery.
Carjacking is robbery of a motor vehicle. In a carjacking, the perpetrator uses force, violence, or threats of violence to take control of the car.
Murder occurs when one person kills another person. Like other felonies, there are degrees of murder charges, and varying sentences that accompany these degrees. For example, a person who commits a premeditated murder or a murder that occurs during a robbery or carjacking will likely face stiffer consequences than someone who kills another person during a heated argument (known as manslaughter).
Attempted murder is another common charge, used when the perpetrator failed to kill the victim or when the victim sustained life-threatening injuries.
Manslaughter is a charge used most frequently when one person’s negligent, reckless, or careless actions cause the death of another. The incident might be an accident, but if he acted carelessly and this behavior led to the death of another, he may face charges. Vehicular manslaughter, for example, occurs when a careless or reckless driver causes a deadly crash. Manslaughter can be voluntary or involuntary.
Kidnapping occurs when one person abducts, confines, or imprisons another using force or threat. In some cases, kidnapping can be a federal crime with enhanced sentencing.
Child abuse occurs when someone inflicts intentional harm on a child under the age of 18. This harm could be physical injuries or mental or emotional scarring. Encouraging someone else to commit child abuse could also result in these charges. Aggravated child abuse may result in additional time in prison or other consequences.
Depending on the type of charge you face, if you get us involved early enough, we can get involved before the prosecution files charges and strive for lower charges. For example, if you or a loved one is facing murder charges, we can attempt to convince the prosecution to charge you with manslaughter instead.
What Penalties Might I Face If Convicted of a Violent Crime in Tampa?
Violent crimes are felonies under Florida law. If you face a felony charge, it is either a first-, second-, or third-degree felony. Each of these degrees comes with its own maximum sentence. The least serious is a third-degree felony, while first-degree felonies are the most serious. Consider these possible maximum sentences:
- Third Degree: Five years in prison and a fine of $5,000
- Second Degree: 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000
- First Degree: 30 years to life in prison, and a fine of $10,000
First-degree felonies that involve violent acts are the most serious criminal charges a person can face. Known as capital felonies, these offenses can result in life in prison or even death.
How Can a Violent Crimes Lawyer in Tampa Help Me Win My Case?
If police have arrested you or want you for questioning for a violent crime, you need to get a seasoned defense team on your side as soon as possible. You do not want to go into an interrogation alone with the possibility of such a serious charge.
When clients involve us early enough, we try to persuade the prosecutor to drop or reduce the charges. We also make sure the prosecutor knows who you are so the court does not see you as “just another criminal.” If we cannot persuade the prosecutor to drop the charges, we get started on your defense immediately.
Our attorneys, Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel, work together on every case. This means you get two unique backgrounds working on your defense. While the defense we use will be specific to your circumstances, we might base your case off any of the following defense strategies:
- Mistaken Identity: We can argue that the police have the wrong person. If your loved one, friend, employer, etc. can provide a solid alibi, this can be very effective.
- Self-defense: This can apply if you only committed a violent act to protect yourself or someone else.
- False Accusations: This can occur in messy divorces or breakups. We will investigate the accusing party to determine if she would have any reason to make a false accusation (e.g., to get custody of a child, to get revenge, etc.).
If you or a loved one needs the guidance and legal advice of a knowledgeable, skilled defense team, call us today.
How Can I Talk to a Tampa Violent Crimes Attorney for Free Today?
At Goldman Wetzel, we offer free case evaluations that can help you understand your legal options based on the details of your individual situation. Call our office today at 727-828-3900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a time to meet with one of our Tampa violent crime defense lawyers.