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Tampa Violent Crime Lawyer

Criminal charges of any kind are a serious matter. But when you have been arrested and charged with committing a violent crime, the stakes are significantly higher. Attempted murder, assault and battery, robbery, or any crime involving the use of a firearm will incur the full wrath of the state’s prosecutorial power. That is why you need an experienced Tampa violent crime lawyer on your side.

For more than 40 years, The Matassini Law Firm, P.A., has helped people just like you who are facing criminal charges in state and federal courts throughout the Tampa area. As former prosecutors, lawyers Nicholas G. Matassini and Christina C. Pappas Matassini know the criminal justice system inside and out. Our team knows more than the law. We know how prosecutors think.

It is not uncommon in violent crimes cases for prosecutors to overcharge, or bring an indictment with weak evidence, in the hopes of securing a quick guilty plea from a nervous and overwhelmed defendant. Our experienced trial lawyers will not let the prosecution steamroll you. While a negotiated plea may be the best option for all parties, if necessary we are prepared to go to court and give you the zealous defense you are entitled to under the Constitution.

Put Our Florida Criminal Trial Experience to Work For You

Some of the more common violent crimes we deal with at The Matassini Law Firm, P.A., include:

  • Assault and battery – These are actually separate offenses. “Assault” is an act or threat of intentional violence against another person. “Battery” refers to touching or striking another person against their will, or intentionally causing them “bodily harm.”
  • Aggravated Assault – This is an assault committed “with a deadly weapon without intent to kill” or with the intent to commit another felony, such as robbery.
  • Felony Battery – If touching or striking another person causes “great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement,” that is classified as felony battery.
  • Aggravated Battery – Similar to aggravated assault, this is battery committed with a deadly weapon.
  • Robbery – Taking money or property from another, with the intent to “permanently or temporarily deprive” the owner of its use, is robbery when there is the “use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” A robbery charge may be elevated if a firearm or other dangerous weapon was involved.
  • Murder & Attempted Murder – Murder can involve the intentional killing of another person, or an unlawful killing that resulted from the commission of another felony, including burglary or arson. The latter is known as “felony murder.” Even if not successful, attempted murder is still a felony and punishable the same as murder.

Nicholas G. Matassini has successfully defended dozens of violent crime cases over the years and has achieved outstanding results in tough, complex criminal investigations like murder, manslaughter, arson, and capital sexual battery. Many of his cases have been featured on NBC, FOX, CNN and other major news outlets. Violent crimes cases often are punishable by life in prison and tough mandatory minimum sentences. Our AV Rated legal team works with the most experienced investigators and experts to defend against the most complex violent crime accusations. Nicholas is a Board Certified Expert in Criminal Trial Law and litigates violent crime cases at both the trial and appellate stages. Nicholas can be emailed directly at ngm@matassinilaw.com.

State v. W.Z.

Charge: Capital Sexual Battery of a Victim less than 12 years, Defendant over 18 years

Maximum Penalty: Mandatory Life Sentence, no discretion at sentencing

Result: NOT GUILTY verdict at a jury trial

Case Summary:

W.Z. was accused of the worst crime a father could be accused of – molesting his own daughter. She was only 5 years old at the time of the alleged incident. W.Z. vigorously protested his innocence and denied the allegations vehemently. The plea offer was 20 years Florida State Prison with a lifetime designation as a sexual predator. W.Z. was resolute and demanded a jury trial from day one.

Nicholas G. Matassini was able to uncover serious wrongdoing by the lead detective and thoroughly explored his internal affairs history. Matassini litigated several pre-trial hearings to admit into evidence past instances of misconduct on behalf of the lead detective. Matassini further put on key defense witnesses who were able to establish that the crime could not have occurred the way the prosecution said. W.Z then took the stand in his own defense and gave riveting testimony pleading his innocence. The jury agreed and found him NOT GUILTY. Had he lost the trial, W.Z. would have spent the rest of his life in prison.

State v B.W.

Charge: Aggravated Manslaughter of an Elderly or Disabled Person

Maximum Penalty: 30 years Florida State Prison

Result: Withhold of Adjudication (No Felony Conviction) with supervision, community service hours, and counseling.

Case Summary:

In one of the most difficult felony cases Nicholas G. Matassini has handled, B.W. along with her sister, brother, and father were accused of letting their mother rot to death in her bed at their family home. Detectives arrested the whole family and claimed they should have called 911 or sent the mother to the hospital. What the detectives and prosecutors refused to accept was that the mother had made a knowing, conscious decision to end her life at home and not be transported to a nursing home. The case pitted the will and desires of a sick person to exercise her constitutional right to refuse medical treatment regardless of her medical condition.

The case was prepared for trial as all of the plea offers mandated a prison sentence. Nicholas G. Matassini was able to convince the trial judge regrading the merits of his client’s potential defense and the case was resolved with an open plea to the Court a week before jury trial selection.

State v D.M. (Attempted Murder)

Charge: Attempted Murder with a Firearm, Aggravated Battery with a Firearm

Maximum Penalty: Life in Prison

Result: Dismissal of the attempted murder charge and youthful offender sanctions on the remaining counts

Case Summary: D.M. was facing life in prison for shooting another young male three times. Although there was no apparent motive for the shooting, law enforcement did not initially believe that D.M. was justified in pulling the trigger and therefore acting in self-defense. D.M. was arrested and thrown in jail. Through extensive investigation Nicholas G. Matassini was able to raise the likelihood that D.M. was in fact acting in self-defense and successfully argued for a dismissal of the attempted murder charge. Matassini uncovered substantial impeachment material on the alleged victim and was able to convince the prosecution that the detectives on the street got it wrong. D.M. is now a free man.

Former prosecutors representing Floridians accused of violent crimes

Remember, no matter what you are accused of, as a matter of law you are always innocent until proven guilty. The Tampa violent crime lawyers and staff at The Matassini Law Firm, P.A., will work to fight to ensure that the courts respect this presumption of innocence. Call us today at 813.379.2007 or contact us online if you are in legal trouble and need to speak with a lawyer right away.

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