Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Brevard Reclassification Of Crimes Against Older Citizens


Florida state laws have changed with many new rulings taking effect on July 1, 2009. Others have already been changed, including one which reclassifies some of the more violent crimes against older citizens. If you are the victim of such a crime, or are being accused of one, you will need to consult a local Brevard attorney for advice.

First of all, to define what is meant by the term “older citizen.” Under Florida law, an older citizen is one who is 65 years old or older. The person being accused of the crime will face the same punishments and penalties regardless of whether they would or could know the person’s age. (There are additional punishments and conditions related to citizens who are deemed to be disabled as well.) For the purposes of this particular article, we will focus on two crimes and their reclassifications: aggravated battery and aggravated assault.

  • The first thing the Brevard attorney will want to establish is the age of the victim. Again, remember it does not matter if the accused knew or should have known the age of this victim. Once the age has been established, the extent of injuries (physical and mental) and the cost of treatment and therapy to recover from them will be established and that amount entered into evidence. (This is important because the court will use it as a basis for setting restitution.)
  • The next thing that the Florida defense attorney will want to discuss is the situation immediately before the commission of the crime. Were you both drinking for instance? Were angry words exchanged? Who started the insults and who threw the first punch? If you are the defendant in the case, you may be able to get a reduced charge or the case thrown out if you can establish that it was a clear cut case of self-defense, but that will probably only fly if you do not go to trial. If you do, you can bet that your geriatric combatant will hobble in and look every bit the kind, old man and your ship will be sunk.
  • Finally, you want to keep the punishments in mind. If you are convicted of a crime against an older citizen you are looking at a minimum of three years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $10,000 in addition to restitution and community service.
Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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