Understanding Aggravated Assault in Florida

Aggravated assault in Florida is a very serious crime. If convicted, individuals can face severe penalties in the short term and long-term consequences. There are often mandatory minimums for these types of crimes, so it is critical to have a criminal defense attorney be your legal advocate.

Did you know that people can get convicted for aggravated assault even if no one was harmed?

Yes. Whether a gun is involved or another type of deadly weapon, such as a knife or a pipe bomb, it is possible that you could end up in jail and face stiff fines even if physical injuries did not occur in the incident.

Many of the terms utilized when people speak about aggravated assault in Florida may sound like they mean the same or similar thing — but it is important to know the difference.

What is Simple Assault?

Simple assault is an incident where a person threatens to harm another person. It is an intentional act by someone who appears capable of harming them, causing the other person to fear for their safety. They are typically considered misdemeanors. Simple assault and battery can be charged when no physical harm occurs.

What Is Aggravated Assault in Florida?

Aggravated assault in Florida is much more serious than simple assault. According to Florida Statute 784.021, an aggravated assault is an assault:

  1. With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
  2. With an intent to commit a felony.

For more clarification, The Florida Uniform Crime Reports Program at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement provides more detail in their official definition of aggravated assault:

“An unlawful attack by one person upon another where either the offender displays a weapon or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.”

Many individuals facing this type of offense get charged with aggravated assault with a firearm in Florida. But firearms are not the only types of deadly weapons that would qualify for this type of charge, as mentioned above. Different types of objects can be considered deadly weapons for aggravated assault charges in Florida.

Aggravated Assault Charges and Penalties in Florida

Multiple types of situations can occur that would qualify for aggravated assault charges in Florida. Even if individuals feel like what they did was an act of self-defense, law enforcement will often place individuals under arrest.

Here are answers to common questions for people facing aggravated assault charges:

What Is Aggravated Assault with a Firearm?

Florida Statute 784.021 defines aggravated assault with a firearm. State prosecutors have to prove both threatened violence by word or act and that you had the ability to carry out that act. They must also prove that your actions and/or words made the victim fear that the act you threatened was about to occur – and that the assault was made with a firearm.

What Is Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon covers a very wide range of situations, which could include assaults with various kinds of objects that, when used, are likely to cause great bodily harm or even death, such as:

  • guns,
  • knives,
  • pocket knives,
  • fireworks,
  • cars,
  • other vehicles,
  • rocks,
  • steel-toed boots,
  • solid objects that can be used as a club (such as a baseball bat),
  • glass bottles, and
  • substances that are used as poisons.

What Is Aggravated Assault without Intent to Kill?

Aggravated assault with the intent to kill is one of the parameters listed in Florida Statute 784.021. During the assault, an individual may have threatened to harm someone without the intention to kill them. Such as when someone gets in a barfight and smashes a glass on the victim’s arm to stop the fight – not to try to kill the person.

The other parameter, “With an intent to commit a felony,” could include the intention of the offender to kill the victim.

Is Aggravated Assault A Felony in Florida?

One of the most common questions people have when facing these charges is, “Is aggravated assault a felony in Florida?”

Yes. Florida Statute 784.021 defines aggravated assault in Florida as a third-degree felony.

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault Charges in Florida?

Aggravated assault is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Depending on the victim, the penalties can increase in severity, including people over 65 years old, police officers, firefighters, or paramedics, with up to 15 years in prison upon a conviction.

If you have been accused of firing a gun during the assault, you could face up to 20 years in prison.

Retaining legal counsel as soon as possible after your arrest is recommended. Your attorney may be able to get the charges reduced.

Can Aggravated Assault Charges Be Expunged in Florida?

Under the State of Florida laws, aggravated assault can not be expunged from your record.

How to Beat an Aggravated Assault Charge in Florida

There are many defenses utilized by attorneys when an individual is facing an aggravated assault charge. Depending on the details of what happened, your attorney will develop the most suitable strategy to overcome the charges. Here are examples of defenses that may be used:

  • You acted in self-defense.
  • The victim falsely accused you.
  • The object utilized in the incident was not considered a deadly weapon.
  • The actions that occurred are covered by Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
  • You were not capable of carrying out the threat of violence.
  • You were justifiably defending your property or another person.

The burden of proof is on the prosecutor, which includes proving the actual threat of violence was made.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is facing aggravated assault charges, Golden Key Law Group, PLLC is here to help. We advocate for your rights and work diligently to build your defense and strategize a resolution to your criminal case.

With the severity of the penalties for aggravated assault in Florida, it is critical to have a criminal defense attorney. You should not go through this alone.

Contact us today at 727-317-4738 to schedule a consultation.