Although many crimes of violence are charged as a misdemeanor, if a weapon is used or anyone is injured, the crime might be charged as a serious felony offense.
When the incident involves people who live in the same household as a family or people who have a child together, the crime can be charged as a form of domestic violence.
In Florida, the most common misdemeanors for domestic violence include assault, battery, or stalking. The aggravated forms of these offenses are charged as felonies punishable with incarceration in Florida State Prison for a term of years.
Attorneys for Violent Crimes in Pasco County, FL
If you were arrested for a violent crime in Pasco County, FL, then contact the criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm. Our attorneys represent clients charged with a variety of violent crimes including battery, domestic violence, domestic violence by strangulation, aggravated assault, or stalking and cyberstalking.
The cases are investigated by deputies with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office or officer with local police departments in New Port Richey, Port Richey, Zephyrhills, and Dade City, FL.
Our offices are conveniently located in New Port Richey, across from the West Pasco Judicial Center. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation to discuss the charges pending against you, the typical penalties imposed for that offense, and the best ways to fight for an outright dismissal.
Call (813) 250-0500 today.
Types of Crimes of Violence Prosecuted in Florida
The types of violent crimes commonly prosecuted in Pasco County, FL, at the courthouse in New Port Richey and Dade City include:
- Assault – an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. s. 784.011(1), F.S.
- Battery – actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. s. 784.03(1)(a), F.S.
- Domestic Violence Battery – When a crime is classified as domestic violence it might include additional mandatory penalties under Chapter 741, Florida Statute;
- Dating Violence – violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature under Section 784.046 F.S.;
- Repeat Violence – two incidents of violence or stalking, one of which must have been within 6 months of filing a petition and must have been directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member under Section 784.046 F.S.;
- Physical Abuse – pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, choking, and beating under Section 741.30 F.S.;
- Emotional/Verbal Abuse – threats, verbal intimidation, following and stalking, or acting out in anger under Section 741.30 F.S.;
- Sexual Abuse/Battery – any unwanted touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his/her will under Section 784.046 F.S.; and
- Sexual battery – oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object under § 794.011(1)(h), Fla. Stat.
- Lewd or Lascivious Offenses – sexual activity committed upon or in the presence of a person less than 16 years of age under Section 800.04 F.S.
Enhanced Penalties for Some Types of Violent Offenders
Florida law provides for enhanced penalties for some types of violent offenders after a conviction.
For example, pursuant to Florida Statute Section 775.084(1)(b), the term “habitual violent felony offender” is defined to include a defendant for whom the court may impose an extended term of imprisonment, if it finds that the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony for:
- Aggravated battery;
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon;
- Aggravated stalking;
- Sexual battery;
- Aggravated child abuse;
- Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult;
- Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
- Armed burglary;
- Aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult;
- Aggravated manslaughter of a child;
Under Florida Statute Section 775.084(1)(c), the term “three-time violent felony offender” is defined to include a defendant for whom the court must impose a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, as provided in paragraph (4)(c), if it finds that the defendant has previously been convicted as an adult two or more times of any felony listed above or for:
- Home invasion/robbery; or
Under Florida Statute Section 775.084(1)(d) the term “violent career criminal” means a defendant for whom the court must impose imprisonment pursuant to paragraph (4)(d), if it finds that the defendant has previously been convicted as an adult three or more times for an offense in this state or other qualified offense that is:
- A felony violation of chapter 790 involving the use or possession of a firearm;
- Any forcible felony, as described in s. 776.08;
- Aggravated stalking, as described in s. 784.048(3) and (4);
- Lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition, as described in s. 800.04 or s. 847.0135(5);
- Aggravated child abuse, as described in s. 827.03(2)(a);
- Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, as described in s. 825.102(2); or
- Escape, as described in s. 944.40.
Statistics on the Crime Rate in Florida and Pasco County
In 2017, for all of Pasco County, FL, the total population was estimated to be 505,709 people. The violent crime rate dropped by 2.3 percent overall.
Pasco County reported 6 murders, 204 rapes, 236 robberies, and 1,202 aggravated assaults. In Pasco County, the violent crime rate per resident of 325.9 while across the state of Florida the violent crime rate per resident is 417.7.
Compared to other states, Florida ranks 18th in the United States for its crime rate measured per 100,000 Inhabitants. The state with the highest violent crime rate is Alaska at 804 and the lowest is Maine at 124. Florida has an overall crime rate of 430 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Assault and Aggravated Assault in Pasco
Assault and aggravated assault are the most commonly prosecuted crimes in Pasco County, FL. These crimes are classified as a crime of violence. Under Florida Statute Section 784.011(1), a simple “assault” is:
- an intentional, unlawful threat;
- by word or act to do violence to the person of another;
- coupled with an apparent ability to do so; and
- the act created a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
When the crime is charged as a felony, an “aggravated assault” requires proof that the crime was committed:
- with a deadly weapon but without intent to kill; or
- with an intent to commit a felony.
Violent Crime Trends in Florida – Visit the website of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to find the trends in Florida’s crime rate from the Florida Statistical Analysis Center using the FBI’s uniform crime report (UCR). The website also shows statistics on property crimes and domestic violence. The statistics include the following violent crimes: aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, robbery, rape, and murder. Although Florida’s population continues to increase each year, Florida has experienced a significant decrease in violent crimes over the last ten years. You can also find the total crime rate statistics by county including the rate change over time.
This article was last updated on Friday, November 8, 2019.