Aggravated assault is a serious criminal offense in Florida, and in some cases, a conviction could mean prison time. Defending against an aggravated assault charge may help you avoid harsh penalties and prevent a violent felony conviction on your record. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg assault defense lawyers have significant experience handling aggravated assault cases and many other violent crimes. We can protect your rights after an arrest and consider all available options in your case. Our dedicated lawyers understand that your case is important and can provide the assistance you need throughout the proceedings.Assault Crimes in Florida
In Florida, an assault occurs when a person makes a credible threat of physical violence against another person, by word or by act, under circumstances that create a well-founded fear of imminent violence in the other person. Assault does not require actual injury, or even physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim. When certain factors are alleged to be involved in the assault, however, the offense may be charged as the more serious crime of aggravated assault.Aggravated Assault
Florida aggravated assault is an assault coupled with one of two additional elements provided by the statute. The first is aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is an assault carried out with the use of a deadly weapon, without an intent to kill another person. It is important to note that neither an assault nor an aggravated assault require that the defendant intended to physically harm the victim; the only intent needed is the intent to threaten violence.
For purposes of an aggravated assault offense, “deadly weapon” is broadly defined. A deadly weapon may be any object that is used, or threatened to be used, in a way that is likely to produce death or substantial bodily injury. As such, a deadly weapon may be a gun, knife, or other instrument commonly used in combat, but may also include a motor vehicle, cane or walking stick, baseball bat, and any other item that is likely to cause harm. To commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the defendant must have actually used the weapon to carry out the assault. If the defendant had a gun in his coat, for example, but did not use or threaten anyone with the gun or any other weapon to commit the alleged assault, the circumstances are not covered under the offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony is the second situation for an aggravated assault charge in Florida. When an assault is committed during a robbery, sexual battery, or with the intent to commit any other felony offense, the crime is considered an aggravated assault. Aggravated assault, either with a deadly weapon or with intent to commit a felony, is a third degree felony offense in Florida. A conviction may result in a maximum prison sentence of five years, up to five years of probation, and/or a fine up to $5,000. In aggravated assault cases involving firearms, the circumstances may give rise to additional or increased penalties. An aggravated assault conviction generally cannot be expunged, leaving you with a permanent criminal record. There may be defenses to an aggravated assault charge, such as self-defense or lack of intent. For more information regarding a specific aggravated assault case, discuss the details with a defense attorney.Retain a St. Petersburg Lawyer After an Arrest for Aggravated Assault If you are facing a criminal charge for aggravated assault, you can defend against the allegations with assistance from a qualified
attorney. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg lawyers have represented people in assault and battery cases, theft offenses, as well as many other federal and Florida state crimes. We can help individuals who have been arrested in Tampa Bay, Clearwater, and areas throughout Pinellas County. To arrange a free consultation, contact Blake & Dorsten, P.A. by phone at 727-286-6141 or online.