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Violent Crimes

A violent crime conviction in the Florida Panhandle can result in severe consequences. Although most criminal offenses generally result in steep fines, jail or prison time, and/or a criminal record, a conviction for a violent crime can result in even greater penalties and greater social stigma.

For example, after serving a prison sentence and paying fines an individual convicted of a violent crime may find they are unable to pursue certain professional occupations or educational opportunities, ineligible to own or possess a firearm, and/or unable to receive certain types of governmental assistance.

If you have been charged with a violent crime throughout Destin and South Walton it is important to know you do not necessarily have to be convicted of this offense. The prosecution must prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

This can be a very difficult burden to satisfy and doubt in the mind of the jurors or judge can lead to a dismissal or reduction of your criminal charges. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Florida Panhandle to help you develop the best legal defense for your particular situation.

DeFuniak Springs Violent Crimes Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your alleged violent crime offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City.

The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s violent crime laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with a violent crime throughout Destin and South Walton.


Destin Violent Crimes Information Center


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Violent Crime Offenses in Destin

As defined in the Florida Statutes, some of the most commonly charged violent crimes in the Florida Panhandle can include:

Assault, Fla. Stat. § 784.011 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally:

  • Cause violence or threaten violence against another person,
  • Cause a person to be afraid the threatened violence will occur, and
  • The alleged offender must be capable of committing the threatened violence.

This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree.

Aggravated Assault, Fla. Stat. § 784.021 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit an assault offense against another person with the intent to commit a felony against that person. Additionally, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they use a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. This offense is also known as assault with a deadly weapon. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree.

Battery, Fla. Stat. § 784.03 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally touch another person and harm them or touch them against their will. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree.

Aggravated Battery, Fla. Stat. § 784.045 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit a battery offense and intentionally or knowingly cause serious bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or permanent disability to another person. An individual can also be charged with this offense if they use a deadly weapon during the commission of a battery offense. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.

Kidnapping, Fla. Stat. § 787.01 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they confine, abduct or imprison another person against their will and without lawful authority to do so through force or threat of force with the intent to:

  • Hold the victim for ransom or reward,
  • Commit any felony,
  • Inflict bodily harm or to terrorize the victim or another person, or
  • Interfere with the performance of any government or political function.

This offense is punishable as a life felony or a felony of the first degree.

Murder, Fla. Stat. § 782.04 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they unlawfully kill another human being through:

  • Premeditation,
  • During the commission of certain felony offenses, and
  • Through unlawful distribution of certain controlled substances.

This offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree, felony of the first degree or capital felony.

Manslaughter, Fla. Stat. § 782.07 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they cause the death of another person without any lawful justification or defense in a negligent manner. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.


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Serious Bodily Harm in South Walton

As defined in section 316.1933(1)(b) of the Florida Statutes, serious bodily harm is any injury to a person that:

  • Creates a substantial risk of death;
  • Causes serious disfigurement; or
  • Permanently impairs or causes the loss of any limb or bodily organ.

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Destin Violent Crime Defenses

Defenses may be available to certain violent crime offenses in the Florida Panhandle that will reduce the criminal charges or result in a complete dismissal of the charges. However, these defenses are not available in every situation, so it is best to first consult with a criminal defense to determine your best legal strategy. Some of the most commonly used defenses to violent crimes are:  

  • Defense of Others This defense may be applicable if the alleged offender used force against a person they believed was causing or about to cause harm, death, or serious bodily injury to another person.
  • Defense of Property This defense may be applicable if the alleged offender reasonably believed their property was about to be or was being damaged by another person, or they used force to protect their home, residence or occupied vehicle from an intruder.
  • Justification This defense may be applicable if the alleged offender committed an act that would otherwise be a criminal offense, but was committed to prevent public or private injury in an emergency situation.
  • Lack of Intent This defense may be applicable if the alleged offender did not have the statutorily required intent to commit a violent crime that required intent as an element to the offense.
  • Self Defense This defense may be applicable if the alleged offender reasonably believed another person’s conduct was about to cause them serious bodily injury or death.

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South Walton Violent Crime Penalties

The penalties for violent crime convictions are defined in sections 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084 of the Florida Statutes. The basic penalties for violent crimes can vary, depending on whether the alleged offender used a weapon during the commission of the offense, the type of violent crime, the alleged offender’s state of mind, the age and classification of the alleged victim and/or whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history. Statutory penalties for violent crimes in the Florida Panhandle are as follows:

  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the second degree violent crime can face a jail sentence up to 60 days and/or a fine up to $500.
  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree violent crime can receive a jail sentence jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the third degree violent crime can face a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the second degree violent crime can receive a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the first degree violent crime can face a prison sentence up to 30 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a life felony violent crime can receive life imprisonment or a term of imprisonment not to exceed life and/or a fine up to $15,000.
  • An individual convicted of a capital felony violent crime can face life imprisonment or be sentenced to death.

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Destin Violent Crime Resources

Florida Statutes Online - Chapter 784 of the Florida Statutes defines many violent crime offenses and penalties in Florida, including assault, aggravated assault, battery and aggravated battery.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement – Crime Rates – This link provides information on violent crime statistics throughout Okaloosa County, as provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE is a state law enforcement agency that aims to prevent violent crimes throughout the state and enforces the state’s violent crime laws.

Victim Assistance Office – Florida Department of Corrections – The Florida Department of Corrections Victims Assistance department provides notice violent crime victims before the alleged offender that harmed the victim is release and gives assistance to individuals injured by a crime committed by an offender or inmate released on community supervision or parole.


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Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Violent Crime Attorney

If you have been accused of a violent crime offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today. Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorney who will make every to fight the criminal charges against you and help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your alleged violent crime offense today.