Definition of "Violent Offender"
There are hundreds of criminal offenses in Florida statutes. There are any number of ways one can define what a "violent" crime is and categorize all the crimes accordingly. No one way of determining what specific crimes should be considered violent is correct. The Florida Department of Corrections has developed the following definition of violent crimes to guide the way in which it categorizes crimes as violent or non-violent.
A crime is defined as violent if the crime involves actual or the threat of physical harm to a person or the crime has a reasonable probability of causing unintended physical harm or physical threat of harm to a person.
One of the following conditions must occur for a crime to be defined as violent under this definition:
Note: Crimes are defined as violent from the statutory reference only. Therefore, a judgment has to be made based on this sometimes limited information whether any of these four conditions existed in the actual crime. For example, if the crime is "shooting into a vehicle," it is not known if actual or the threat of physical harm occurred. However, in this case, we assume there is a reasonable probability that violence could have resulted. "Burglary of a dwelling" is not defined as violent under this definition because, while actual or the threat of physical harm could have occurred, it is assumed there is not a reasonable probability that it occurred.