Nearly Two Decades Years Of Criminal Defense Experience In Clearwater

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Defending Your Future From Violent Crimes Charges

Violent crimes are offenses committed in a violent manner that may or may not involve a weapon. The state of Florida has very tough penalties for individuals accused of violent crimes. Oftentimes, the goal of the crime is to obtain something such as money that belongs to someone else. Violent crimes are becoming increasingly common, given the state of our economy and the uncontrollable need to support drug and alcohol habits.

Regardless of the details behind your charges, I am here to defend you at the Finkelstein Firm, P.A. My name is Jenna Finkelstein. I proudly represent clients throughout the Clearwater area against all manner of criminal charges, and I am ready to represent you in your case.

Understanding What Is At Stake In Your Violent Crime Case

Violent crimes usually involve the use of a deadly weapon. However, this is not always the case. Additionally, other crimes, such as arson, do not always involve a victim. Setting fire to one’s own home, also known as arson, is considered a violent crime even if no one is injured. Some examples of violent crimes that my office handles are explained below.


Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being. There are different levels of murder. First-degree murder may be charged if a human being was killed while the defendant was in the process of committing a forcible felony. A person may be indicted with first-degree murder if it is determined that the killing was of a premeditated design. First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. Some common affirmative defenses include justifiable use of deadly force or self-defense, defense of others, insanity and the “stand your ground” defense, which is typically argued in the form pretrial motions.

Manslaughter/Aggravated Manslaughter

Manslaughter is considered a lesser included offense of murder. Manslaughter typically involves an act of negligence that results in the death of another human being. Manslaughter may be voluntary or involuntary. If the victim is a police officer, an elderly person or a child who is under the age of 18, then the charge is considered aggravated manslaughter and thus carries more serious penalties.

Armed Burglary

Armed burglary may be charged in a case if someone enters a home, a structure or a vehicle with the intent to commit an offense therein and does so with a weapon or becomes armed once inside the prohibited place or structure. If a firearm is used, certain minimum mandatory sentences may come into play under Florida’s 10-20-Life law.

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery is a theft with the use or threat of force. An armed robbery may take place in a bank or on the streets. Anytime force is used and the threat or use of a weapon is alleged, whether the incident occurs in a home, a public place or the streets, one may be charged with armed robbery. Florida’s penalty laws are very strict and specific when it comes to these types of convictions.

Sex Crimes

Sexual battery, also known as rape, is the oral, anal or vaginal penetration by one person to a nonconsenting individual by use of force. Penetration may be done with an object or a body part. It is important to know that consent is not a defense when the victim is below a certain age. Unlawful sexual activity with a certain minor is a consensual or nonconsensual sexual act with a minor. The offense is driven by the age of the offender and the age of the victim. Other factors that may contribute to the degree of the offense and the range of possible penalties are whether the victim is mentally or physically handicapped, whether the victim was injured, whether the act was completed and whether there was actual penetration. A capital sexual battery is punishable by mandatory life in prison if the individual is convicted as charged.

Another category of sex crimes is lewd and lascivious activity. This category involves children who are under the age of 16. The charge may be filed as lewd and lascivious molestation, exhibition, battery or conduct.

The effects that this type of charge can have on you extend way beyond the possibility of losing your freedom. Your job, your reputation and your livelihood are on the line. There are numerous defenses, and it is important to consult an experienced sex crimes attorney so that you can become aware of all of your options. I have been handling these and other violent crime cases for years.

Armed Trafficking

Drug trafficking carries minimum mandatory sentences in the state of Florida. The mandatory sentence is determined by the amount of drugs involved. Drug trafficking may be the simple possession of a certain amount of illegal drugs, the sale of a specified amount of the illegal substance and/or the delivery of the illegal drug. Florida’s stiff penalties on drug trafficking charges have resulted in hundreds of first-time offenders serving sentences in the Florida Department of Corrections. It is important to contact a lawyer early on to discover your pretrial options.


Kidnapping is the unlawful taking, restraining or confining of another individual against their will. In addition to the above, the kidnapper must have the specific intent to hold the victim for ransom, harm the victim, commit a felony or interfere with a government function. The age of the victim will determine the degree of the offense and the range of possible penalties, along with the intent behind the taking or holding. If a firearm is used, Florida’s 10-20-Life law will undoubtedly drive the sentence. The use of a weapon in the process of a kidnapping enhances the charge to aggravated kidnapping.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is a crime against a child. It may involve an act of neglect, harm, abandonment and/or abuse. Abuse may be physical or mental. A child abuse charge is aggravated if a weapon is used, the child is injured, a child is sexually abused or the child is exploited.


Arson is the damaging of structure or property by fire or explosion. If someone is injured during the commission of this crime, then penalties and degrees are enhanced.

Protecting Your Future And Rights

If you or someone you know has been charged with any degree of the above-discussed violent crimes or any other violent crime that is not described above, then it is imperative that you hire an attorney who is willing to fight for your innocence. You need a strong, highly skilled and experienced lawyer who will use every resource available during the course of your defense. Having a passionate and dedicated attorney on your side will eliminate unnecessary stress in a situation that is already chaotic.

I am a violent crime criminal defense attorney with offices in Largo. I accept cases from Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Belleair, Clearwater and other cities in Pinellas County. If you retain my firm, then you will be given my cellphone number to have in case of an emergency. I routinely take cases in neighboring counties such as Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota and Hillsborough. Call 727-202-4418 or email me here to schedule your free initial consultation today.