Violent Crimes | Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

Violent crimes are the most serious felonies in Florida, and carry major penalties as a result. If you have been charged with a violent crime of any sort, your reputation, finances, and freedom are on the line. It is important to defend yourself with the very best tools available, which is why you will want to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney early on.  

The following is a brief overview of the various violent crimes and their associated penalties. 


  • First Degree Murder (punishable by death in some cases)
  • Second Degree Murder (punishable by up to life in prison)
  • Third Degree Murder (punishable by up to 15 years in prison)
  • Manslaughter (punishable by up to 15 years in prison)
  • Attempted Murder (punishable by up to 30 years in some cases)
  • Felony Murder (punishable by death in the most serious cases)
  • Vehicular homicide (punishable by up to 15 years in prison)


Kidnapping is a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison. Kidnapping is defined as forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against his or her will and without lawful authority with the intent to: 

  • Hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage
  • Commit or facilitate the commission of a felony
  • Inflict bodily harm or terrorize the victim
  • Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.


Burglary is a violent crime depending on whether or not it was done with a weapon, and whether or not a person was actually victimized. Burglary is defined as entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance (car, boat, train, etc.) with the intent to commit another crime therein. People often think burglary means stealing, but its legal definition is actually the act of entering a place with the intent to commit a crime in that place.

Burglary can be a first degree felony punishable by life in prison if during the burglary, there was an assault or battery committed. Burglary is also a life felony if the defendant is armed during the burglary. A burglary of a car or structure that is not a home is not considered a violent crime and is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Aggravated Battery or Assault

Aggravated battery is defined in Florida as: 

  • Intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability
  • Committing a battery using a deadly weapon
  • A battery on a pregnant person

Battery against law enforcement officers, medical staff, and elderly people are also felonies in Florida. Aggravated assault is an assault with a deadly weapon, without an intent to kill.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is a third degree felony in Florida. Child abuse is defined as intentional infliction of physical or mental injury on a child, OR an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to child, OR active encouragement of a person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.

Aggravated Child Abuse

Aggravated child abuse occurs when:

  • A person commits aggravated battery on a child
  • A person willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in doing so causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.


Robbery is the taking of money or other property from the person or custody of another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person of that money or property by force, violence, assault or putting in fear. A few categories fall within this definition:

  • With a firearm, punishable by life in prison 
  • With any other type of weapon, punishable by up to 30 years in prison
  • With no firearm or weapon, punishable by up to 15 years
  • Home Invasion, punishable by life if there was any kind of weapon used.
  • Carjacking, life felony if any sort of weapon was used, and a 1st degree felony punishable by 30 years if no weapon was used 
An experienced criminal defense attorney will look at every piece of evidence and testimony and will file all the appropriate motions so that your case will be defended with the rigor and dedication it deserves from day one. Attorney Antonio Jimenez has been defending clients throughout Miami-Dade County for many years from every level of accusation and prior to defending he was a state prosecutor in Miami-Dade County. Contact him today to review your case and to explain your options.