Threatening another person and having the ability to carry out said threat is known as assault under Florida law. Typically, assault is charged as a misdemeanor unless the offender has a long criminal history. However, if certain factors are proven to be present during the commission of the crime, the judge may reclassify the crime to aggravated assault. This is a more severe type of assault that carries felony-level penalties upon conviction. Aggravated assault is a serious charge and can result in a prison sentence and a hefty fine. If you’ve been arrested for assault or aggravated assault, we urge you to call an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled violent crimes lawyer can file motions, suppress evidence, and do whatever possible to ensure you receive the best possible result for your case.
Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyer in Brooksville, FL
Facing allegations of aggravated assault? If so, you have no time to waste. It’s important you have a defense ready when you step foot in that courtroom. Your freedom and liberty depend on it. For excellent and experienced legal representation, we suggest you look no further than The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A.. Ashley Aulls of The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. has practiced law since 1996. His in-depth knowledge on Florida laws, court procedures, and effective defenses could serve as your advantage in the courtroom. To set up your first consultation with Mr. Aulls, call The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. at (352) 593-4115. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Hernando County, Sumter County, and Citrus County Florida area. Information Center:
- What is Assault in Florida?
- What Makes Assault Aggravated in Florida?
- Aggravated Assault Punishment
- Additional Resources
What is Assault in Florida?
You’ve probably heard the terms “assault” and “battery” on the nightly news or in television dramas. While you may have an idea of what it means, it’s important to understand Florida has a specific legal definition for the term “assault.” Under Florida law, assault is defined in the Florida Statutes section 784.011. According to the statute, a person is guilty of assault if the prosecution can prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Knowingly and intentionally unlawfully threatened another by word or act of violence
- You had the apparent ability to inflict violence upon the victim
- The victim had a well-founded fear of imminent violence because of the threats
It’s important to note no physical touch needs to occur for a person to be charged with assault. In fact, if physical touch occurs the person is no longer guilty of assault. Instead, they may be charged with battery. Battery is the actual commission of a violent act on another person. Assault in Florida is normally charged as a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- A fine of up to $500
What Makes Assault Aggravated in Florida?
Assault is of course a serious offense. However, the penalties may be enhanced even further if the court proves certain factors existed during the commission of the crime. Prosecutors may instead charge you with aggravated assault defined under Florida Statutes section 784.021. According to the statute, you’re guilty of aggravated assault if you committed simple assault and one of the following occurred during the offense.
- You committed assault with the intention to commit a felony offense; or
- You committed assault with a deadly weapon
To fully understand aggravated assault, you must first know the definition for a “deadly weapon.” In Florida, a deadly weapon is any weapon that can produce great bodily harm or death to another person. Some examples of a deadly weapon include:
- Motor vehicles
- Steel-toed boots
- Poisonous substances or chemicals
- Clubs or bludgeons
- Glass bottles
Aggravated Assault Florida Punishment
The penalties for aggravated assault will depend on who the threat was directed towards. Aggravated assault without any other factors is a third-degree felony, which can result in the following maximum sentence.
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Probation for up to 5 years
- A fine of up to $5,000
The consequences for aggravated assault may be elevated if the assault was committed against a public servant in the middle of their duties. If you committed aggravated assault against any one actively working in the following occupations, you’ll face a second-degree felony.
- Law enforcement officers
- Correctional officers
- Emergency medical technicians
- Elected officials
- Sports official including referees and umpires
- Employees of the school district (including private schools)
- Employee of the Department of Children and Families
- Employee of the Department of Health
- Code Inspectors
Committing aggravated assault on a person 65 years of age or older is also a second-degree felony. In Florida, a second-degree felony can result in:
- Up to 15 years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Visit the official website for the non-profit organization called the Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence (FCADV) which is dedicated to helping families who struggle with violence. Access the site to learn more information about domestic violence and to give support for domestic violence survivors. Florida Aggravated Assault Laws – Visit the official website for Florida Statutes to read their laws on assault and aggravated assault. Find more information regarding the statutory language for aggravated assault or assault, the penalties for the crime, and admissible defenses.
Hernando County Lawyer for Aggravated Assault in FL
Aggravated assault is a felony offense even though no one is physically harmed from the crime. Even though this seems contradictory, the state of Florida will not hesitate to convict you and leave you susceptible to felony-level penalties. Fight back if you’ve been accused of assault or aggravated assault by calling The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A.. Ashley Aulls understand the ins and outs of violent crime laws in Florida. He can assess your charges and determine what the next best step is. Call The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. today at (352) 593-4115 to set up your first consultation as soon as possible.