Being convicted of a violent crime such as murder or aggravated assault is life-changing. Depending on the severity of the crime, excessive fines and serious jail time could be just the beginning. Even after you have served your sentence, it is quite possible that you will be a social pariah in your community, meaning that you may have to move or suffer the judging eyes of your neighbors. Fortunately, while some may have you believe that violent crime is rampant or out of control in our state, numbers indicate that this is not the case.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been keeping records of violent crime since the early 1990s, and with a slight exception in the mid-2000s, the rate of violent crime has been steadily dropping. Since 1993, the number of violent crime offenses has gone down more than 40 percent, despite a population increase of 41.5 percent. When taking the population increase into account, violent crime rates per 100,000 people have dropped by an impressive 60 percent in the last two decades.
This is wonderful news for Florida residents, who should feel a bit safer in the knowledge that violent crime is less likely to occur in this day and age. However, these numbers do little to comfort those who are accused of violent crimes, because a conviction could mean that they become just another statistic. This is why those who are accused of committing violent crimes need strong legal representation to defend against the charges.
The advantages of hiring an attorney may not seem obvious at first, but in-depth knowledge of the law could easily be the difference between conviction and acquittal. For example, depending on the circumstances by which evidence has been obtained, that evidence could be thrown out or not allowed in court.