Criminal Defense Lawyer in Key West, FL

Violent crimes in the Florida Keys include various forms of homicide, assault, domestic violence, and robbery. A conviction for one of these violent offenses may result in serious penalties, including monetary fines and jail time, along with collateral consequences that affect every aspect of your overall life and well-being. If you are currently pending one of these criminal charges, you must have skilled legal counsel in your corner every step of the way.

The experienced Key West criminal defense lawyers at Reed Palacios Law understand the seriousness of a violent crime charge and can guide you through the criminal justice process. Our law firm can determine your eligibility for raising one or more legal defenses at your criminal court trial and may be able to pursue a complete dismissal and the charges dropped. Alternatively, we could negotiate with the state prosecutor for a favorable plea deal if one is available in your criminal case. Our skilled and compassionate lawyers will do everything possible to help you achieve a favorable result in your criminal legal matter.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate criminal defense lawyer in the Florida Keys, please call us at 305-563-7281 or contact us online today for more information.

Types of Violent Crimes in Key West, FL:

Violent crimes in Florida are offenses that involve at least one allegation of physical violence. Our experienced attorneys defend individuals who are pending serious crimes like the following criminal charges:

Aggravated Assault

Where the accused individual uses a weapon to abuse a victim or injure another person


Where a person maliciously and deliberately touches or hits another individual – and does so against that person’s will – bringing about one or more bodily injuries

Domestic Violence

Where a person physically abuses – or threatens to abuse – a person with whom they currently live under the same roof or with whom they previously lived


Where one individual kills another person


Where one person kills another person as part of a premeditated act – or while committing a serious felony (i.e., felony murder)


Where an individual commits manslaughter by culpable negligence (involuntary manslaughter), manslaughter by procurement, or manslaughter by act


Where a person steals or attempts to steal someone else’s private property to prevent the actual owner from either temporarily or permanently claiming ownership of the property in question through actual force, threats of force, or with a deadly weapon

Sexual assault

Where an individual uses force or threats of force to commit a sexual act against another person


Where an individual repeatedly, maliciously, and intentionally harasses or follows another person – or “cyberstalks” them via the internet

Weapons charges

Where an individual illegally possesses a firearm or uses a firearm to commit another criminal offense

If you are currently pending criminal charges for one or more of these offenses, it is important that you seek out the legal help that you need right away. This is because a conviction can lead to extremely serious penalties and collateral consequences that may affect your freedom and other important aspects of your life.

A knowledgeable violent crimes attorney at Reed Palacios Law could investigate the circumstances of your criminal charge and help you determine your available legal options. We could then help you select the option that best suits the needs of your criminal case.

Penalties for Violent Crimes

A conviction for a violent crime can lead to extremely serious penalties and consequences – both legal and collateral. For a judge to impose legal penalties against you for committing a violent crime, the state prosecutor must ordinarily satisfy their burden “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a very high burden for the prosecutor to meet, and we may be able to raise one or more legal defenses on your behalf at your criminal court trial. If a particular legal defense is successful, it might prevent the state prosecutor from establishing their legal burden of proof and obtaining a conviction against you. In that instance, your criminal charge may be dismissed by the court.

If the prosecutor is able to successfully demonstrate their burden, then it will be left to a criminal court judge to impose various penalties in your case. The penalties that a sentencing judge sets will depend upon the mandatory maximum and minimum penalties imposed by state statute, as well as the specific criminal charge(s) you are facing. In general, a felony criminal conviction incurs higher penalties than a misdemeanor conviction. Some examples follow.

First-degree Felony

When a person commits a robbery with a deadly weapon, a state prosecutor may charge them with committing a first-degree felony. Upon conviction, they could receive 30 years in jail, a maximum monetary fine of $15,000, or both. However, if the accused individual did not use a weapon to commit the robbery, they could be looking at second-degree felony charges.

Second-degree Felony

Prosecutors typically charge those accused of murder with second-degree murder, along with a life felony. However, if the court finds that the individual did not specifically intend to commit a murder, then the accused may incur a third-degree murder charge – which is a second-degree felony. Upon conviction, the accused may face 15 years in jail, a top monetary fine of $10,000, or both.

Second-degree Misdemeanor/Third-degree Felony

In the case of assault, an individual is usually charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Upon conviction, they could be looking at 60 days of incarceration, a top monetary fine of $500, or both. However, if they ultimately incur a conviction for aggravated assault, they could be looking at third-degree felony penalties, including five years in jail, a maximum monetary fine of $5,000, or both.

In addition to incurring potential monetary fines and jail time upon conviction for a violent crime, offenders might also be looking at one or more of the following:

  • Supervised or unsupervised probation
  • Community service
  • Required payment of restitution to the alleged victim
  • Prohibition against possessing firearms

Convicted individuals might also experience several collateral consequences in their lives, including:

  • Difficulty finding or keeping a job
  • Difficulty finding a place to live
  • Denial of admission to a college or university
  • Loss of financial aid or scholarships
  • Reputational harm in the community (both personal and professional)

Our legal team could represent you at your criminal sentencing hearing and argue for a fair penalty on your behalf.

Criminal Defense in the Florida Keys

If you are currently pending one or more violent criminal charges, it is imperative that you have a skilled team of criminal defense lawyers advocating for you every step of the way. At Reed Palacios Law, our team can take all of the necessary measures to protect your legal and constitutional rights at every stage of the proceedings. For example, we could be by your side during a police custodial interrogation, enter an appearance in the pending criminal case on your behalf, and start formulating potential legal defenses to your pending criminal charge.

The legal defenses that we might be able to raise on your behalf at trial will depend upon the particular criminal charge that you are facing, along with the facts and circumstances of your case. For example, in a homicide, battery, or assault charge, we may be able to argue that you acted in self-defense – or that you did not have the specific intent necessary to commit the alleged crime. We could also argue that you were someplace else at the time of the alleged incident or that the alleged victim mistakenly identified you as the perpetrator.

Finally, we might be able to argue that the police violated your Fourth Amendment constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures, such as if they found a weapon following an unlawful traffic stop.

Our legal team can review the facts and circumstances of your individual criminal charge and arrest with you and determine which of these defenses we might be able to raise in court on your behalf. We could then help you pursue a complete dismissal of your pending criminal case.

Finding the Right Violent Crimes Attorney 

If you are currently pending a violent crime charge, you want the best possible legal team to advocate for you throughout your case. Ideally, you want a team of attorneys on your side with an impeccable reputation who regularly defends clients against violent criminal charges. You also want a lawyer or legal team that has significant experience taking criminal cases to bench and jury trials – and achieving favorable results for clients – on a regular basis. Finally, you want a lawyer on your side who regularly communicates with clients and keeps them abreast of new developments and changes in their cases.

At Reed Palacios Law, our team could assist you with all of your legal needs and help you pursue a favorable result in your criminal case. We also offer prospective clients a free initial consultation. When you come to this consultation, you should bring copies of all charging documents, citations from police officers, and any other documentation pertaining to your case. We can sit down and thoroughly review all of this information with you, along with your potential legal options.

Protect Your Rights and Consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney 

Retaining skilled legal counsel to represent you in your case is extremely important. Otherwise, you may be seriously jeopardizing your freedoms and other legal rights. At Reed Palacios Law, our team has all of the knowledge and experience necessary to help you assert a strong legal defense to your pending criminal charge and achieve the result you deserve in your case.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call us at 305-563-7281 or contact us online to learn more.