West Palm Beach Violent Crimes Lawyer
There are many different reasons you might have been charged with a violent crime; it may be a false accusation, you may have acted in self-defense, or the event might simply be an unexpected accident. Whatever the case, an experienced attorney will be an important asset to you. West Palm Beach violent crimes lawyer Nellie L. King will take a personalized approach to your situation and craft a simultaneously aggressive and compassionate defense around your story. As a former public defender and avid social warrior, she seeks to understand every client’s side of the story and protect your rights in and out of the courtroom.
A violent crime charge can refer to many different events. So, it is important to know what is at the basis of this kind of charge. Note that an offense is considered a violent crime when any form of violence has occurred or been attempted.
Violent crimes can apply to a broad category of offenses, including:
- Child Abuse
- Conspiracy to Commit a Violent Crime
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Assault
To better understand why these crimes might be charged as violent, it will be useful to examine two types of violence that may be grounds for the charge – assault and battery.
Assault refers to a threat of harm that leads to the alleged victim's fear of imminent harm. Note that the offense does not include physical contact between the defendant and the victim.
The prosecutor must show that the defendant:
- Intended to threaten the victim
- Caused the victim to feel fear
- Carried out a violent act
Additionally, the prosecutor must also show that the defendant demonstrated the threat through words, a gesture, or an intimidating act. The defendant must have shown an ability to carry out the threat and the victim must have feared imminent harm in that situation.
Penalties for assault depend on the type of assault you have been charged with. Simple assault, which is when a person has clear intent to commit an assault against another person, is considered a second-degree misdemeanor carrying up to 60 days of jail time and a fine not exceeding $500. A case of aggravated assault is when a person has attempted to inflict serious injury without regard for the life or well-being of the victim and is considered a third-degree felony. Sentencing can result in up to 5 years of jail time and up to $5,000 in fines.
When the defendant makes physical contact with the victim, Florida state laws allow for prosecution of the act as a battery. To prove a battery case, the prosecutor must show that the defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim. This physical contact must have been against the victim's will and done without the victim's consent.
Florida law establishes several types of battery, with varying consequences for each. Simple battery only requires an intentional, unwanted physical contact between the defendant and the victim. Simple battery is convicted as a first-degree misdemeanor with up to 1 year of prison time and a fine no more than $1,000. If the defendant has a previous conviction for battery, state laws permit the prosecutor to charge the defendant with felony battery for a subsequent offense. Felony battery is treated as a third-degree felony, carrying up to 5 years of jail time and a fine of up to $5,000. To prove aggravated battery, the prosecutor must show that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury to the victim or that the defendant used a deadly weapon, such as a firearm. The state considers this a second-degree felony, and the defendant might receive a sentence of imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Potential defense strategies to employ, depending on your situation, are:
- Consent given for physical contact
- Defense of another person
- Defense against harm to property
- Lack of intent
The success of these defense tactics depends on how much evidence you have to prove your claim and how the state of Florida treats those circumstances. Having an experienced violent crimes lawyer like Nellie L. King will be useful for developing a strong defense, as she can better assess the facts of your case and determine strongest option for defense. For example, does your situation prove a threat of unlawful force or harm against you to argue for self-defense? Did you use reasonable force in defense of your own home under attack? Was the result an accident carrying no malicious intent?
Defend Against Violent Crime Charges in West Palm Beach
Whether you have been falsely accused of violence or had a justified reason to engage, you will need good legal representation to effectively present your case. Experienced violent crimes defense lawyer Nellie L. King will work personally with you to understand the facts of your situation and frame a tenacious and compelling defense around your circumstances.
Award-Winning Trial Lawyer
Nearly 25 Years of Legal Experience
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Well-Respected in the Legal Community
The Government zealously in State & Federal Courts with a reputation for fierce advocacy, unwavering attention to detail, aggressive defense tactics, & award-winning oratory skills.Attorney Profile
For criminal justice reform & Constitutional protections for ALL citizens accused, becoming a nationwide change-maker known for her passionate advocacy, commitment to volunteerism, & dedication.View Awards
The criminal defense bar on the National, State, & Local levels, earning the status among her peers as a true defender: committed to the ideals of a just society one client, one project, one conversation at a time.Leadership Roles
In the media as a seriousIn The News
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Attorney King was my voice in the courtroom.- V.C., Former Client
Top-notch, caring, and highly respected.- Brenda Benson
Ms. King truly cares about her clients and the outcome of their cases.- W.G.
Nellie brings power and grace. She is the velvet hammer.- Leigh D. Hagan (Ph.D. Board-Certified Forensic Psychologist)
She is a true leader and one of the fiercest advocates in the legal profession.- Jessica Yeary (Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer & Public Defender Elect, Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit)
Nellie is a DEFENDER!- Joe Guastaferro (Nationally Recognized Trial Consultant and Jury Selection Specialist)
A top-notch fighter who will protect their legal rights.- Charles Mittelstadt (Criminal Defense Investigator)