If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault in Fort Lauderdale, the best thing you can do is call our offices at Smith & Eulo right away. Our criminal defense attorneys have over two decades of experience defending cases like aggravated assault throughout Florida. We understand that facing criminal charges can be a threatening experience. We make it our goal to help you navigate your legal situation as smoothly as possible. Contact us now for a free consultation.
What is Considered “Assault”?
Florida Statutes state that assault involves threatening someone in a violent manner. The threat does not need to involve physical contact to be considered assault. Assault can be considered simply making a viable, violent threat toward another person. If you’re charged and found guilty, you will face a second-degree misdemeanor charge and can face the following punishments:
- Maximum six months in jail
- Maximum $500 in fines
What is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is defined as assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill, or with the intent to commit a felony. An aggravated assault crime carries a third-degree felony charge and the following penalties:
- Maximum five years in prison
- Maximum $5,000 fine
An example of aggravated assault would be robbing someone at gunpoint even without the intent to kill them. Once you make the threat, you can be charged with aggravated assault.
Other Types of Assault
Domestic assault occurs when assault is carried out by a family member or someone you live with. Domestic assault carries assault charges that can be simple or aggravated assault. For this domestic violence charge, you may face additional mandatory penalties such as counseling or injunctions.
Sexual assault is defined as threatened, attempted, or actual sexual acts against someone while they’re against their will. While it seems like a version of assault, it is a sex crime and is treated as a separate crime and comes with different punishments.
What’s the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are often used interchangeably, however, they are in fact, not the same thing.
Battery occurs when your threat of violence from the assault is carried out and is treated as a third-degree felony charge.
Assault and battery are sometimes charged together as they are related crimes.
In our example from before, if you discharged the firearm, you robbed the victim with, you would be facing battery charges. In this scenario, though, you may be facing additional, more serious charges.
Defending Yourself Against Assault Charges
There are several ways you can go about defending yourself against assault charges. Here are some potential defenses:
Disproving intent – intent is required in an assault charge. If you can prove that your threat was not intentional, you may be able to avoid assault charges.
Imminence – assault can only occur when there is an imminent threat. If you say you might do something eventually, the threat is not imminent.
Well-founded fear – assault charges must require that the threat create a well-founded fear in the other person. This defense is difficult to argue because it’s hard to prove how the other party felt. Ultimately, you need a solid argument for this defense to work. This defense is best left to a seasoned defense attorney.
In the end, the defense you deploy will depend on the details of your case. The best strategy is to contact an experienced aggravated assault lawyer who understand the ins and outs of the legal system and can get you the best possible outcome for your situation.
What Should You Do if You’re Charged with Aggravated Assault?
The first step to take if you’re charged with aggravated assault charges is to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Your legal team will help you craft the best defense possible that suits your case. They will help you navigate the entire process including booking, bail, arraignment, and everything else.
In a civil case, you’ll have 30 days to deny or accept the charges against you. We strongly recommend you consult an attorney before making any decisions.
Why You Should Hire an Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyer
When you’re facing criminal charges, you should really understand the entire criminal justice system. The legal system is confusing and best left to the professionals. Choosing to hire an aggravated assault lawyer in Fort Lauderdale is your best bet when facing these charges. Our lawyers fight on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome. Contact us now for a free consultation.
In addition to our Fort Lauderdale location, we also have offices in:
Here are additional legal resources in the Fort Lauderdale area.