Violent Crimes

St. Petersburg Attorney for Defendants Facing Major Criminal Charges

Violent crimes include murder, forcible sexual offenses like rape, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and robbery. These are crimes that prosecutors take very seriously. Often, they try to hasten an investigation, even when the penalties upon a conviction are extremely harsh. If you are charged with a violent crime, you should consult experienced St. Petersburg violent crime lawyer Will Hanlon, who is dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. It is crucial to involve an attorney on your side at the earliest possible stage, even during the investigation if possible.

Violent Crimes Under Florida Law

Specific penalties for violent crimes vary depending on what the crime is, but in most cases, the penalties are very severe and can be life-altering. They may include many years of incarceration and, in the case of capital offenses, possibly the death penalty.

For example, aggravated assault is a third-degree felony for which you can face up to five years’ incarceration or probation and a $5,000 fine. Even first-time offenders can face the possibility of going to prison. To establish aggravated assault under section 784.021, a prosecutor will need to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intentionally and unlawfully threatened by word or act to do violence to the alleged victim, the accused seemed to have the ability to carry out the threat at the time, the threat instigated a well-founded fear that violence was about to occur, and the assault was made with the fully developed intent to perpetrate a felony. A violent crime attorney in St. Petersburg can help you determine whether you may be able to attack any of these elements.

For another example, the crime of aggravated sexual battery against someone 18 or older is a first-degree felony. If there is no basis to impose a downward departure sentence, a judge is supposed to sentence someone convicted of aggravated sexual battery on someone over 18 to a minimum prison sentence of 94.5 months and can also impose up to 30 years of incarceration or 30 years of sex offender probation, as well as a maximum of $10,000 in fines.

To establish aggravated sexual battery, the prosecutor will need to show that the defendant had vaginal, anal, or oral contact with someone else using an object or sexual organ, and an aggravating circumstance was present. Aggravating circumstances include physical helplessness, coercion into submission through threats of force or violence likely to create serious injuries, or coercion into submission through threats of retaliation against the victim or someone else, when the victim reasonably believed that the offender had the ability to follow through on the threat. Also, an aggravating circumstance can apply when a victim was non-consensually and unknowingly drugged into incapacitation, the victim was assaulted because of a known mental defect, the victim was physically incapacitated, or the perpetrator was a law enforcement officer, correctional probation officer, correctional officer, or someone who was in a position of control or authority or reasonably believed to be in a position of authority or control as a governmental agent or employee.

It can be overwhelming to be accused of a violent crime, but a St. Petersburg violent crime attorney often can raise a strong defense to fight a charge of committing a crime like rape, felony battery, or murder. Sometimes, it is appropriate to focus on procedural defenses to get evidence suppressed when possible. In other cases, more substantive defenses like Stand Your Ground may be available. If a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney gets involved early, it may be possible to persuade the prosecutor based on the circumstances that a lesser charge is appropriate, or a plea deal should be struck that involves a lighter sentence.

Consult a Resourceful Violent Crime Lawyer in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is considered more dangerous than many nearby cities in Florida and many other cities of a similar size in the U.S. If you are seeking a tough and skillful lawyer to fight serious criminal charges, Hanlon Law may be able to represent you. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing dedicated representation since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at (727) 897-5413 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
★★★★★
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
★★★★★
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
★★★★★
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
★★★★★
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse