Violent Crimes

Defense Attorney Serving Miami and Surrounding Areas

Florida and federal charges involving violent crimes are very serious. A conviction may carry harsh penalties. If you have been accused of a violent crime, your freedom and future are on the line. Miami violent crime lawyer Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich represents people facing state and federal criminal charges throughout South Florida. Even if you have not been arrested or charged, she can get involved during the investigation process and aim to resolve the matter efficiently on optimal terms.

Violent Crimes in Florida

Violent crimes are crimes that are perpetrated with the intent of inflicting a physical injury on a victim, or crimes in which a physical injury is caused by the actions of the perpetrator. Violent crimes can include assault, battery, homicide, kidnapping, certain sex crimes, and more. The elements that must be established for a conviction depend on the code section under which the crime is charged.

Under Florida Statutes Section 784.021, for example, a prosecutor can prove aggravated assault by establishing simple assault along with aggravating factors. The prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally threatened through your words or acts to commit violence against a victim, you seemed to be able to carry out your threat, the threat caused a reasonable concern in the victim’s mind that violence would occur, and the assault was committed with a deadly weapon or with a fully formed and conscious intent to commit a felony. A violent crime attorney in Miami may be able to help a defendant attack the evidence supporting one or more of these elements.

Under Florida Statutes Section 784.045, meanwhile, a prosecutor can establish aggravated battery, a second-degree felony, if the defendant intentionally or knowingly caused permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or great bodily harm, or used a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery is also committed if the victim was pregnant at the time of the battery, and the offender knew or should have known of the pregnancy.

In some cases, firearms or destructive devices are used as a show of force or to inflict violence as part of a crime. Under Florida Statutes Section 775.087, a court must impose a sentence of 10 years or more for specific felony convictions that involve firearm or destructive device use, on top of and consecutive to the sentence for the underlying felony. Crimes that can result in this increased mandatory minimum sentence because a firearm or destructive device was used include murder, sexual battery, burglary, and robbery. The law also provides for the upward reclassification of certain felonies. You do not need to have had the intent to harm or kill someone to face harsher penalties under this law. Miami violent crime attorney Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich has handled many cases in which mandatory minimum sentences are at issue.


There are three excuses for homicide in Florida. One, if you kill by accident while performing another lawful act. Two, upon sudden and sufficient provocation and in the heat of passion, or three, by accident resulting from sudden combat but without use of a dangerous weapon.

The only justification for homicide is self-defense. If you are attempting to defend yourself or your property and the level of defense is justified by the situation, and you kill your attacker, you can use self-defense as a justification for your use of force against them. Florida has a Stand Your Ground law. You are not required to retreat before using self-defense, even if you are attacked off your own property. You have the right to stand your ground and use force, even deadly force, if necessary, to defend yourself against an attacker. However, you must reasonably believe your use of force is necessary to prevent death or bodily harm, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

If you find yourself or your loved one facing murder charges, do not hesitate to call the Petkovich Law Firm. Having tried murder cases on both sides of the courtroom, our firm provides a perspective on how best to defend these cases so that the prosecutor’s thunder is constantly stolen.

Violent Crimes Under Federal Law

Under 18 U.S.C. Section 16, a crime of violence is a crime involving the use, threatened use, or attempted use of physical force against someone else’s person or property, or any other felony that by its nature involves a substantial risk of this physical force in the course of perpetrating the crime. Under federal law, a serious violent felony is a federal or state crime that consists of murder, manslaughter other than involuntary manslaughter, assault with intent to perpetrate murder, assault with intent to perpetrate rape, abusive sexual contact, sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse, kidnapping, robbery, aircraft piracy, carjacking, arson, extortion, firearms use, firearms possession, or attempts to commit these crimes and certain other crimes. You may face mandatory life imprisonment if you are convicted in federal court of a serious violent felony, and you have two or more prior convictions in federal and state court, at least one of which is a serious violent felony.

Retain an Experienced Criminal Attorney

If you are accused of or charged with a violent crime, you should call the Petkovich Law Firm. As a former prosecutor who now defends clients in state and federal courts in Miami and surrounding cities, violent crime lawyer Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich can provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation. Born and raised in Miami, she represents people throughout South Florida. Call us at (305) 358-8003 or contact us via our online form.


My experience with attorney Ivette Petkovich has been excellent. She has been extremely helpful with my cases, resourceful & reliable. I would strongly recommend her for anyone who is looking for an attorney. She will always make the time and effort for a client no matter how difficult the...


I endorse this lawyer. Ivette and I have been co-counsels on several matters over the years. She has a unique approach to problem solving and is always available to bounce ideas off of. Ivette is a true advocate for her clients.

Sasha B.

Ivette was always available and did a great job. I would use her services again if needed and I will recommend her to anyone who needs an attorney.


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