Aggravated Assault in Florida
Aggravated Assault is a serious crime that needs proper legal counsel. Contact Palm Beach County Attorneys Bottari & Doyle for a consultation at 561-588-2781.
Definition of Aggravated Assault
The State must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant of Aggravated Assault.
- The Defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim.
- At the time, the Defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.
- The act of the Defendant created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place.
- The assault was made with a deadly weapon or the assault was made with a fully-formed, conscious intent to commit the felony upon the victim.
If the jury at trial determines that the State has not proven all four elements of Aggravated Assault beyond a reasonable doubt, the Defendant is not guilty.
Penalties for Assault
Pursuant to Florida Statute 784.021, Aggravated Assault is a third degree felony. The maximum penalty for a third degree felony is 5 years in state prison. However, by negotiating with the prosecutor assigned to the case, we may be able to reach an agreement where the Defendant receives probation without incarceration. We may also be able to get the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor or get the charges dropped completely. A reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor often depends on a Defendant’s prior record, the strength of the State’s case, the cooperation of the alleged victim, and facts of the case. A conviction for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm requires a 3 year mandatory minimum sentence.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
A weapon is a deadly weapon if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Courts have determined that pocket knives, beer bottles and cars are deadly weapons if used with the intent to commit imminent violence on another.
Defenses to Assault
Threat to commit the violent act in the future: Aggravated Assault requires the victim to experience an imminent fear.
Victim’s fear of violence unreasonable: Aggravated Assault requires the victim’s fear of violence to be reasonable. An unreasonable fear does not give rise to an aggravated assault.
If you have been arrested or charged with Aggravated Assault in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County or Dade County contact a
Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Bottari & Doyle at (561)-588-2781 for a free consultation.