Tampa Violent Crimes Lawyer

Your future is on the line when you face a violent crime conviction in Tampa. You could spend years in prison, pay a steep fine, and lose everything you worked to achieve. Even a misdemeanor conviction on your record could mean the loss of your gun rights, difficulty finding a job or housing, and other serious consequences.

Are you facing violent crime charges? Contact experienced the Tampa violent crime attorneys at Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A. Call (813) 258-4800 for a free consultation.

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Why Choose Our Tampa Violent Crime Lawyers?

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.

Our Process for Beating Violent Crime Charges in Tampa

Initial Consultation

The first consultation is your opportunity to ask questions, understand the charges and potential sentences, and learn about your defense attorney’s experience. There is no charge or commitment for your initial consultation.

Should you hire our firm, a Tampa violent crime lawyer is with you throughout the process, beginning with your arraignment.


Your arraignment is your first court appearance in which you are formally charged. The court reads the charge against you during this proceeding, and your attorney enters a plea on your behalf.

You may plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. We strongly urge our clients to plead not guilty. Our firm can enter a not guilty plea in writing before your arraignment, saving you a trip to the courthouse.
Evidence form being used in a Tampa violent crime case

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 allow us 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.

Pre-Trial Motions

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. You can obtain a good outcome by agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in many cases.


If you do not wish to plead guilty, we will aggressively defend your rights at a jury trial. We are skilled trial lawyers who are comfortable in court. Our courtroom experience is a significant advantage for our clients.

Post-Conviction Appeal

If convicted of a crime, you have a right to file an appeal to challenge the ruling. You must file an appeal within the deadline.

What Is a Violent Crime?

In Florida, a violent crime involves using unlawful force, threat, or attempt to use illegal force against another individual. A person must intend to use force or cause an injury, and in most violent crimes, to use this force knowingly. You must understand that your actions will cause harm or fear of injury. Some violent offenses involve reckless disregard.

Types of Violent Crime Charges We Handle in Tampa

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

What Our Clients Are Saying

Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need.
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“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!”

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

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“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…

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“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…

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“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”

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“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…

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“Great attorney.”

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“Excellent lawyer.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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

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“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…

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“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…

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Lisa Welsh

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“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…

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

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“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,…

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“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…

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“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…

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“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.”

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“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…

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“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…

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Janice Luke

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“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…

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“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….

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“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.”

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“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…

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Ryan Belden

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“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…

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Sherry Violet

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“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…

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Penalties for a Violent Crime Conviction in Tampa

Penalties for violent crimes include prison, fines, community service, and more. Violent crime offenders in Florida pay restitution, or compensation, to victims for losses related to the crime. Florida also has a three strikes law which can impose mandatory minimums for some violent crime convictions.

Punishments for violent crimes depend on several factors, including:

  • Severity of inflicted injuries
  • Use of a weapon
  • Prior criminal history
  • Age and status of the victim (police officer, firefighter, or first responder)

Reclassification of Violent Crimes

Violent crimes against a firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical provider result in 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. However, you might not know that the victim is a police officer if they are undercover. The state must prove that you were unaware of the officer’s true identity.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Violent Crimes

A misdemeanor charge is less severe than a felony. Depending on the type of crime and the charge level, you could still have a criminal record. Additional penalties might include registering as a sexual predator if convicted of a sex crime.

Aggravated Crimes

An aggravated violent charge involves more serious conduct because the crime involved a deadly weapon or occurred during the commission of another felony. For example, a robbery committed with a deadly weapon rather than a verbal threat is an aggravated charge.

Collateral Consequences of Violent Crime Convictions

Violent crime convictions usually include prison, fines, probation, community service, or a combination. However, there are additional consequences that could follow you throughout your life.

Expungement – removing your criminal record from public searches – is possible for some crimes. A Tampa violent crime lawyer can determine if you are eligible for expungement.

Employment Issues

Violent crimes appear on an employer’s background check. You might find it tough to get specific jobs or retain your professional licenses.

Immigration Issues

A violent crime conviction could affect your immigration status and lead to deportation. If you are not a naturalized citizen or entered the country illegally, tell your attorney. You could retain or earn citizenship despite being a former offender.

Child Custody and Divorce

Being convicted 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 a parent makes false allegations of abuse or violence 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. Florida law prohibits a felon from possessing a firearm. A violent misdemeanor conviction could mean losing your concealed carry permit and your ineligibility to apply for such a license.


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.

Defending Against Tampa Violent Crime Charges

We will carefully review the evidence in your case and develop the best defense under the circumstances based on all the facts. You have the right to a jury trial and a vigorous defense.

What Defenses Can Be Used for Violent Crime Charges?

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.
Young woman being followed by a man about to commit a violent crime in Tampa

Self Defense

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

Misconceptions About Self-Defense

A common misconception about self-defense is that you may use whatever force necessary to defend yourself if a person hits you first. 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.

Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

In some states, you must retreat if you can do so without using force to defend yourself safely. Florida’s “stand your ground” law 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.

However, using “stand your ground” as a defense 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 Crime Conviction in Tampa?

If the prosecution cannot prove all the elements of your case, you may be found not guilty. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. A Tampa violent crime lawyer looks for weaknesses and inconsistencies to raise reasonable doubt.

One of the most effective ways to avoid a violent crime conviction is hiring a lawyer with a deep understanding of these cases. Our attorneys have secured many legal victories for clients accused of violent crimes.

Tampa Violent Crime FAQ

Being charged with a violent crime is a serious offense. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about violent crimes and their charges in Florida.

Please contact our office if you have more questions or schedule a consultation about your case.

What Should I Do if Accused of a Violent Crime?

The very first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Once you have legal representation, you can take steps to work on your defense strategy. This might mean gathering any evidence helpful to your case and analyzing the evidence the state claims to have against you. The consequences of a violent crime conviction are harsh. The worst thing you can do after being accused of a violent crime is to do nothing.

Should I Talk to the Police?

Please don’t say anything to law enforcement or answer their questions without an attorney present. Anything that you say can be used against you at trial. As soon as you know that you’re a suspect in a violent crime, get an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Once you’ve retained legal representation, we can further discuss handling the charges against you, whether a plea agreement with the state or aggressively defending your innocence at trial.
Man on the phone with a criminal defense lawyer after being charged with a violent crime in Tampa

What Happens If I’m Falsely Accused of a Violent Crime?

Law enforcement will investigate allegations even if they turn out to be false. Talk to a Tampa violent crimes lawyer instead of repeating that you are innocent or trying to get the alleged victim to retract their statement. Our legal team can analyze the charges against you and work toward clearing your name.

Will I Go to Prison If I’m Found Guilty of a Violent Crime?

Violent crimes carry severe penalties. You could be facing decades or even life in prison. You may or may not be eligible for parole. It all depends on the type of violent crime you have been charged with, whether you have a history of violent crime convictions, and other factors.

You must have a plausible and compelling defense ready to explain to the judge and jury so you can avoid these devastating penalties.

Can I Get a Violent Crime Conviction Expunged in Florida?

Although many different crimes are eligible for expungement in Florida, most violent crimes are considered felonies, which do not qualify for expungement. Suppose you have a previous conviction for a misdemeanor violent crime that isn’t domestic violence. In that case, you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged.

You can contact our office to learn more about whether you qualify and what you have to do to get your petition granted.
Tampa violent crime attorney Brett Metcalf in front of his office

Call A Violent Crime Lawyer in Tampa Today

If you are accused of a violent crime, speak to a Tampa violent crime attorney right away. Even if you are innocent, you need a skilled skilled defense attorney to protect your rights. Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A., has handled many different types of violent offenses successfully.

Don’t ever plead guilty without consulting a lawyer – we may find a way to clear your name of the charges against you.

Call today at (813) 258-4800 to schedule a free consultation. Or fill out our quick contact form, and we will contact you.