Tampa Violent Crimes Lawyer

If you have been charged with a violent crime, your future is on the line. Even if you were only charged with a misdemeanor, a conviction on your record could mean that you will lose your gun rights, have difficulty finding a job or housing, and other serious consequences. If you are charged with a serious violent crime like a first-degree battery, you are facing years in state prison and a large fine. Speak to a violent crime attorney at Hillsborough Defense by calling (813) 258-4800.

Avvo top contributor logo Avvo client's choice award logo National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 Avvo perfect 10 rating logo Avvo 5 star review logo

Why You Should Choose Us to Defend Your Violent Crime Charge

A violent crime will look worse on your record than many other types of offenses. The best thing you can do if you are accused of a violent crime is to contact an experienced defense attorney right away. We will aggressively defend your charge at all stages of the proceedings.

Steps Our Firm Takes in the Legal Process

Initial Consultation

The first consultation is your opportunity to explain the charges and find out more about your defense attorney’s experience. We are confident that we can provide a top-notch defense for all types of violent crime cases.


Your arraignment is your first court appearance where you are formally charged with a crime, read the charges against you, and your attorney will enter a not guilty plea on your behalf. Our firm will enter a not guilty plea in writing before your arraignment, saving you a trip to the courthouse.

Demand for Discovery

Your attorney will file a demand for discovery with the court clerk and send a copy to the prosecuting attorney’s office. The state must provide all evidence they intend to use against you and any evidence that is exculpatory, or anything that could help your case.


Depositions are our opportunity to question the prosecution’s witnesses, under oath. Do not underestimate the importance of this process. Our firm will strategically plan our questioning to develop sworn testimony helpful to your defense.


We will file any necessary pre-trial motions on your behalf, such as motions to suppress to exclude evidence. We will also negotiate with the prosecution. In many cases, you can obtain a good outcome by agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge.


If you do not wish to plead guilty, we will aggressively defend your rights at a jury trial. We try cases often. Many lawyers don’t. Use our trial experience and skill to your advantage.


If you are convicted of a crime, you have a right to file an appeal to challenge your conviction. You must file an appeal within the time required to do so.

What Is a Violent Crime?

A violent crime in Florida is one that involves intentional use unlawful force or a threat or attempt to use unlawful force against another individual. A person must have the intent to use unlawful force or cause an injury. For most violent crimes, this must be done “knowingly.” You must understand that your actions will cause an injury or fear of injury. Some violent offenses involve reckless disregard that your conduct can cause an injury.

Types of Violent Crimes

Our law firm handles all types of violent crime defense including:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Domestic Violence
  • Aggravated assault or battery
  • Aggravated Robbery
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Carjacking
  • Resisting arrest
  • Robbery
  • Abuse of a Child
  • Abuse of an elderly adult
  • Manslaughter
  • Homicide
What Our Clients Are Saying

Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need.
Pink Taylor

Google reviews logo


“James Falls did an amazing job helping my son get some charges dismissed. He communicated with us and explained situations where we would’ve otherwise been clueless to maneuver the justice system. Highly recommend their service!”

5 Stars Review 5

Sherri Albert

Read More Reviews


“This firm is the real deal … James does not mess around when it comes to his clients. Very professional.”

5 Stars Review 5

Adrian Reyes

Read More Reviews


“Brett Metcalf is the best lawyer in the Tampa Bay area. He puts 100% into his work and goes far and beyond what you would expect out of a lawyer. If it wasn’t for Brett and Sam, my husband and…

5 Stars Review 5

Janice Luke

Read More Reviews


“This guy treated me like I was a paying customer. He didn’t give me his opinion, he got on the phone to two separate places and got answers. Very impressed. Great free consultation. Telicia Rose went above and beyond in…

5 Stars Review 5

Lee Yates

Read More Reviews


5 Stars Review 5


Read More Reviews


“Brett is an awesome professional attorney! I highly recommend him. Great responsive time and needed information.I will be calling Brett anytime legal advice is needed!!!! GREAT JOB BRETT”

5 Stars Review 5

Heidi Taylor

Read More Reviews


5 Stars Review 5

Latisha Walker

Read More Reviews


“Mr.Metcalf was very quick to call me back for a consultation, even though it was just a consultation. I give him 5 stars for being quick to call me back, was very professional and informative he talked to me as…

5 Stars Review 5

Anthony Garcia

Read More Reviews


“Great attorney.”

5 Stars Review 5

Jesse P. (Big J)

Read More Reviews


“Excellent lawyer.”

5 Stars Review 5

Shell 4evr

Read More Reviews


“Extremely professional and clearly the sharpest tool in any toolbox. Set the tone in the courtroom. This has to be one of the best law offices in Tampa. Thanks, Brett.”

5 Stars Review 5

Daniel Turner

Read More Reviews


“Brett made the process as easy as possible for me on my end, letting me know all options and possible outcomes based on my choices. He was also very attentive and quick to respond to my questions.”

5 Stars Review 5


Read More Reviews


“I could not be any happier with my experience with Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. I would advise anyone who needs legal action to choose wisely and choose him for multiple reasons.”

5 Stars Review 5

Marty McPhly

Read More Reviews


“In late 2015, I was in need of a lawyer who could help me. Looking on the internet and asking friends if they knew any great ones was looking pretty bad. Then my younger brother told me about a lawyer…

5 Stars Review 5

Elijah Turner

Read More Reviews


“He did an amazing job for me in Polk County! When I got involved in a situation that needed a criminal lawyer, I was terrified. Having only lived in Florida a few years, I was not prepared for the complexity…

5 Stars Review 5

Lisa Welsh

Read More Reviews


“Brett Metcalf is a top-notch attorney. He also understands that preparation and hard work are keys to success. He possesses the knowledge, the insights, and the advocacy skills to put your legal woes in the past. Equally important, he follows…

5 Stars Review 5

Charles Goddard

Read More Reviews


“Brett Metcalf provides forward-thinking and effective legal counsel. I highly recommend Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.”

5 Stars Review 5

Annie Shipherd

Read More Reviews


“Very knowledgeable and compassionate. I always felt like I could contact him with questions at any time. He was extremely thorough with information – I can’t stress that enough! I would definitely hire him again and recommend him to anyone,…

5 Stars Review 5

Christa Murray

Read More Reviews


“Brett Metcalf was the best experience that I’ve ever had with any legal professional! He was understanding, honest, and worked diligently throughout my entire DUI case I had several years back. Even with the odds stacked against me, he was…

5 Stars Review 5

Nathan Hester

Read More Reviews


“Brett helped me win full custody of my kids. Any and every question I had, he was right there to answer and explain the process. He was open and honest about the whole process. Extremely good price… and even better…

5 Stars Review 5

James Woodson

Read More Reviews


“I have consulted with Brett on various issues and have found him to be excellent. He is very practical in potential outcomes on legal issues and very reasonable.”

5 Stars Review 5

Albert Piccolo

Read More Reviews


“Wonderful experience with Brett Metcalf. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing. It’s a good feeling when you know you’re in good hands and your attorney is genuinely concerned about the outcome of your…

5 Stars Review 5


Read More Reviews


“Brett Metcalf is the best lawyer in the Tampa Bay area. He puts 100% into his work and goes far and beyond what you would expect out of a lawyer. If it wasn’t for Brett, my husband and I would…

5 Stars Review 5

Janice Luke

Read More Reviews


“Mr. Metcalf was there for me at the most difficult and life-changing time in my life. I was treated respectfully the whole entire process, despite my embarrassing and shameful mistake. He extended honesty and professional courtesy throughout my case, guiding…

5 Stars Review 5

Sharley Lanigan

Read More Reviews


“If you’ve decided to scroll past all the other positive reviews and find yourself reading mine, I’ll start out by saying Brett’s the man. He handles business efficiently and professionally, with the clients’ best interests in mind at all times….

5 Stars Review 5

Evin O

Read More Reviews


“Brett went far out of his way for my multiple cases and managed to keep me a free man even with all the charges that were put on me. 100% behind him from Plant City.”

5 Stars Review 5

Issac Thomas

Read More Reviews


“Brett is an extremely knowledgeable attorney who is a straight shooter, hard worker, and always willing to go the extra mile to fight for his clients. I’ve had to use him two separate times and was more than pleased with…

5 Stars Review 5

Ryan Belden

Read More Reviews


“Mr. Metcalf is very knowledgeable, friendly, and on top of things. In the midst of my confusion and thoughts of the worst possible outcome, Mr. Metcalf took charge and handled the situation with professionalism and tact. I am very pleased…

5 Stars Review 5

Sherry Violet

Read More Reviews


“Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need. Most lawyers just want the money, ignore your calls, and settle for deals. Not Brett! He answered and returned every call! Every penny…

5 Stars Review 5

Pink Taylor

Read More Reviews
Average 5 out of 5 rating based on 44 Reviews

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence involves a violent crime committed against a family member, spouse, or person you are dating. When police are called to the scene of an alleged domestic battery, they will usually arrest someone. Sometimes police arrest the wrong person.

A common scenario, particularly in domestic abuse cases, occurs when the victim does not want to press charges. The state can still move forward with the case whether or not the victim wants to testify. However, prosecutors will take how the victim feels into account and often dismiss the charges if the victim does not want to testify.

Assault & Battery

Assault and battery are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinction when it comes to legal terminology. Assault involves placing a victim in fear of bodily harm with threats, while battery involves actual contact and injuries.

Defending Against Violent Charges

We will carefully review the evidence in your case and develop the best defense under the circumstances based on all the facts. Just because you have been accused of a serious crime doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that you will be found guilty.

What Violent Crime Defenses Can Be Used?

The most common defenses to a violent crime charge include lack of evidence, non-cooperation of prosecution witnesses, the impeachment of witness credibility, and self-defense.

Self-defense is a very common defense. A person may use force to defend themselves, another person, or property. Deadly force may only be used when absolutely necessary, such as when the alleged victim has threatened you or another person with deadly force.

A common misconception about self-defense is that if a person hits you first, you may use whatever force necessary to defend yourself. Deadly force may only be used to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another person or to prevent the commission of a serious felony.

In some states, you are required to retreat if you are able to safely do so without using force to defend yourself. Florida has enacted “stand your ground” laws which can bolster a claim of self-defense because you are not required to retreat once a person has threatened to use unlawful force against you. The “stand your ground” law in Florida requires that you are not engaged in criminal activity, did not instigate the altercation, and were in a location where you were lawfully entitled to be.

How Can I Avoid a Violent Conviction?

If the prosecution cannot prove all the elements of your case, you may be found not guilty. If you were falsely accused of a violent crime, the state may be unable to prove that the victim suffered injuries or that you were the person who inflicted injuries.

For example, if you were accused of domestic battery but your spouse only called police because he or she was angry at you (and there was no violence), the state may be unable to prove that you are guilty of abusing your spouse.

Violent Crime Penalties

Penalties for violent crimes include prison, fines, community service, and restitution. Restitution is paid to compensate victims for any losses, such as medical bills.

The punishment for a violent crime will depend on the severity of any injuries inflicted, whether or not a weapon was used, your criminal history, and the age or status of the victim.

Reclassification of Violent Crimes

If you are convicted of a violent crime against a firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical provider, you will face an enhanced sentence. You must “knowingly” commit a violent crime against one of these types of victims to be found guilty of an enhanced crime based on victim status. If you were in an altercation with an undercover officer, for example, you may be found not guilty of the more serious offense if the state cannot prove that you knew the victim was a police officer.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Violent Crimes

A misdemeanor charge is much less serious than a felony. Not only are the penalties more serious for a violent felony, but you will also lose important rights if convicted of a felony such as your right to own or possess a gun or to vote.

Aggravated Crimes

An aggravated violent charge involves conduct that is more serious because the crime was committed with a deadly weapon or during the commission of another felony. For example, simple robbery involves using unlawful force to take another person’s property, while use of a deadly weapon to make a threat to take property is robbery.

Collateral Consequences of Violent Convictions

Don’t ever plead guilty to a violent crime without speaking to an attorney. Doing so can seriously impact your future.

Here are some ways a violent crime conviction could affect you:

Employment Issues

If you are convicted of a violent crime, your future employers will be able to see the conviction on a background check. If you were already convicted of a crime, speak to an attorney about how you may be able to get the conviction sealed or pardoned.

Immigration Issues

If you were not born in the United States, a violent crime conviction could affect your immigration status and lead to deportation. If you think that this could apply to you, let your defense attorney know about your concerns right away.

Child Custody and Divorce

If you are going through a divorce or custody case, a conviction of a violent crime will almost certainly play a role in a child custody determination, especially if any minor children were present during the commission of the crime. Unfortunately, sometimes parents accuse the other parent of abusing themselves or their children to gain an advantage in a custody battle.

Gun Rights

Conviction of a violent crime can affect your right to carry or own a gun, even for home defense.  If you are convicted of a felony, Florida law prohibits you from possessing a firearm. A violent misdemeanor can prevent you from obtaining a concealed carry permit or can result in the revocation of your permit if you already have one.


Your housing situation could be affected since many landlords run background checks as part of their screening process. A violent crime conviction could restrict you from qualifying for government housing assistance and other state benefits.

A Violent Crime Lawyer Can Help You

If you are accused of a violent crime, speak to an attorney with experience handling this type of case right away. Even if you are innocent, you need a skilled defense attorney to protect your rights. Our firm has handled many different types of violent offenses successfully. Don’t ever plead guilty without consulting a violent crime lawyer—we may find a way to beat the charges.

Call Hillsborough Defense at (813) 258-4800 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.