Violent Crimes

These are crimes are against individuals. The nature of these crimes is on the principles of privacy and personal space. However, consent mainly between adults is the major defense to violent crimes.

Resisting Officer with Violence

Under Florida Statute 843.01, is a third-degree felony to knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer, including a law enforcement officer engaged in the lawful execution of any legal duty, by offering or doing violence to such legally authorized person.

The statute also applies to an alleged victim that is legally authorized to execute process while engaged in the execution of legal process. Below is a list of the elements of resisting with violence:

  1. knowingly resisting, obstructing, or opposing a law enforcement officer;
  2. in the lawful execution of any legal duty;
  3. by offering to do violence to his or her person; and
  4. the defendant has knowledge of the officer’s status as an officer.

Thus, the charge becomes a third-degree felony under Florida Statute 843.01, when it is alleged that the person did all of the elements of the resisting without violence and also offering to do the officer violence or by actually doing violence to him or her. The term “offering to do violence” means threatening to do violence.

Kidnapping

Kidnapping is a serious crime that is prohibited by both federal and state laws. It is commonly defined as the taking of a person against his or her will, or restricting that person to a confined space.

Elements of Kidnapping

Kidnapping can occur in two circumstances. First, it may arise when an individual is removed, against his or her will, from a location and taken to another location. This makes the transportation of the individual an essential element of the crime, and the movement must be more than something slight or inconsequential. However, kidnapping may also occur when an individual is not transported to a new location, but is instead confined against his or her will in a certain space. If the victim is restrained in a manner that restricts his or her freedom of movement, this is enough to constitute kidnapping. Courts have even recognized the crime when a person is confined to his or her own home, without the ability to leave.

Some states add an additional requirement that the perpetrator of the kidnapping must have had an unlawful motive for the crime, such as for extortion or ransom, to facilitate a crime, or to avoid an ongoing legal issue, such as in the case of a custody dispute. The statute in Florida is FS 787.01, which requires “forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining.”

In many states, parental kidnapping is an issue of special statutory concern, since parents in ongoing divorce proceedings or child custody issues may attempt to take their child to another state without the permission of all parties involved. In order to diminish this problem and avoid conflicting custody laws, most states have now enacted statutes that adopt the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), which provide guidance on determining which states have jurisdiction over custodial disputes, and when the child custody decisions of one state must be respected by others.

Assault and Battery

These two crimes are often times interchanged and are very related. The information below stems from the Florida Statute 784.011

Assault and battery are often related crimes and discussed together, but the two are actually distinct offenses. Florida state laws define the two crimes separately. Assault generally refers to the threat of imminent force and battery refers to the unwanted touching of another, typically that which causes bodily injury (but also may include offenses of a sexual nature).

Florida Criminal Assault Law

Assault refers to a threat of harm that leads to the victim’s fear of imminent harm. The offense does not include physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim. First a prosecutor must show that the defendant intended to threaten the victim, cause the victim to feel fear, or carry out a violent act. A defendant may want try to show a lack of criminal intent claiming the act was an accident or a joke. 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.

Florida statutes establish specific offenses for simple assault, aggravated assault, and felony assault. The severity of the offense and the potential punishment depends on the type of assault charged by the state prosecutor.

Florida Criminal Battery Law

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. The physical contact must have been against the victim’s will and done without the victim’s consent.

As with assault, Florida law establishes several types of battery. Simple battery only requires an intentional, unwanted physical contact between the defendant and the victim. 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. 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.

Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon or Serious Injury

For a defendant to be convicted of aggravated battery under Florida Statute 784.045, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant committed a battery (intentional touching without consent); and
  2. The defendant intentionally and knowingly committed either:
    1. A battery using a deadly weapon; or
    2. A battery which caused great physical injury, permanent disability, or permanent mutilation to the victim.