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Seminole & Largo Injury Lawyers > Blog > Criminal > Building A Strong Defense: Blaming Social Ills For Criminal Behavior In Seminole

Building A Strong Defense: Blaming Social Ills For Criminal Behavior In Seminole


Societal problems impact everyone, some of us more severely than others. Unemployment, lack of affordable housing, acts of violence in your neighborhood, and injustice on a national scale are all common factors that can contribute to criminal behavior. However, once you have committed a crime, what role do these factors play in building a strong legal defense? Our Seminole criminal attorney explains a recent case in which a suspect blamed ‘social ills’ for his violent behavior.

Tampa Man Blames ‘Ills of Society’ For Fatal Attack In Clearwater

A Tampa man was recently arrested for a violent and random attack that claimed the life of a local resident. According to an October 22, 2022 WFLA News report, the incident happened shortly after midnight on Mandalay Avenue in Clearwater. The victim, a 49-year-old man who owned an investment company and split his time between Florida and Clearwater Beach, was on a bike ride when he was violently accosted. He was beaten to death with a tire iron and found early the next morning by a passerby in the area.

Based on video surveillance, police arrested a 26-year-old Wesley Chapel man. Almost immediately after being taken into custody, he confessed to the killing. He claimed it was random (though admitted contemplating hurting someone earlier in the day) and blamed the ‘ills of society’ for his actions.

Are Societal Factors A Valid Defense For Criminal Offenders?

An unfortunate upbringing, a lack of opportunity, and social injustices, in general, all play a role in contributing to crimes. For decades, the U.S. Department of Justice has researched how to address these and other factors, such as poverty, racism, gang activity, drug addiction, and abuse.

However, while studies show social issues play a role in increasing crime rates, social ills are not recognized as a criminal defense. Instead, if you are charged with a crime in Seminole, a Pinellas County criminal defense attorney is likely to explore the following:

  • How evidence against you was obtained;
  • Whether the proper procedures were followed during your arrest;
  • Whether you have a strong alibi for the time the crime occurred;
  • Whether it could be a case of mistaken identity;
  • If you committed the crime but acted in self-defense;
  • If you committed the crime but were extremely intoxicated or otherwise not in your right mind at the time.

All of the above can be used to build a strong defense against charges in the Pinellas County Criminal Court. Factors such as the ‘ills of society’ will not help you avoid a conviction, but they may help explain your behavior and could be used to obtain a reduced sentence.

Request A Consultation With Our Seminole Criminal Attorney

If you are facing any type of criminal charges in Pinellas County, you need an experienced criminal attorney on your side to build a strong legal defense. To protect yourself against the penalties associated with a conviction, reach out to The Reep Law Firm today. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation.





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