Miami Firefighter Dies after Drive by Shooting
On Saturday, September 24, 2016, two individuals who had just attended the wake of another friend were shot and killed in Miami-Dade County. The incident appears to have been a drive by shooting. Recently, we discussed how criminal activity, when associated with gang crime, can lead to heightened prosecutorial guidelines, but this is not the only instance where the Florida law mandates stronger punishment for a crime.
In many jurisdictions, Florida included, if a person commits a violent criminal act against a certain class of citizen, then the suspect could be facing more time behind bars if convicted. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is always the best decision you can make if you are facing charges.
Suspects May Face Heightened Charges if Victim Belongs to Special Class
Under Florida homicide statutes, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being if the act is premeditated and intended to kill another person or if it is committed while someone is carrying out certain other violent crimes such as arson, sexual battery and kidnapping to name just a few. The most serious murder charges can result in the death penalty for the accused.
Section 782.07 of Florida law provides that where someone kills another person without premeditation, but rather due to culpable negligence without justification then that person has committed the act of manslaughter. Generally, manslaughter is not punished to the degree that murder is; however, if the suspect causes the death of a police officer, firefighter or paramedic, then they can be charged with aggravated manslaughter, which is considered a first-degree felony.
In addition, Section 782.065 states a defendant will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility parole if the suspect is found guilty of attempted murder or attempted felony murder if the would-be victim was:
- A law enforcement officer;
- A part time law enforcement officer;
- An auxiliary law enforcement officer;
- A part time correctional officer;
- An auxiliary correctional officer;
- A correctional probation officer;
- A part-time correctional probation officer; or
- An auxiliary correctional probation office.
Accordingly, under the Florida penal code, if you commit an act that could be construed as attempted felony murder and the potential victim is any of the above listed authorities, then you could spend the rest of your life behind bars.
Hiring a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney is Vital to your Case
The protected class of citizen, whether it be firefighter or police authority, must have been acting in his or her professional capacity at the time the crime was committed in order for many of these laws to apply. Hiring a competent criminal defense attorney will be your best bet in providing your strongest defense.
Miami attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner and his dedicated team have decades of experience defending criminal cases, including murder and homicide, under Florida laws. Just because you are being investigated for a serious crime does not mean you don’t deserve an excellent defense. Please call our office today for a free consultation and let’s see how we can help you.