While many assault cases will likely go unreported, there are still thousands of reports of assault and battery incidents each year in the state of Florida.
In fact, there were a total number of 55,491 aggravated assault cases in 2018, and they resulted in 25,739 arrests. Over a thousand juvenile assault cases occur each and every year. It may be important to invest in a professional attorney that has experience with such assault and battery cases because you do not want to be on the wrong end of a criminal assault case without proper representation.
If you are caught in a legal battle over a suspected count of assault, you may have a court opponent that is seeking justice for the verbal or physical violence that has occurred to them by filing a claim or lawsuit. When looking for the right attorney to represent you in this situation, you will want to find someone who has a long track record in advocating for your rights in court and provide for you the best legal upstanding after the trial is over.
In the state of Florida, penalties can be quite severe if you are successfully tried for aggravated assault and found guilty. In fact, the range of punishment increases severely depending on the graphic nature of the case, and you can be looking at mandatory imprisonment of 20 years if a firearm is discharged during the assault attack.
Elements ofAggravated Assault
Many different scenarios may prompt an assault case to be filed by the victim, so you will want to hire an attorney that knows the law well enough to stand up for your honor. Some of the circumstances that can be represented in court are intentional and unlawful threats to do violent acts toward the victim and having the ability to carry out such a threat. If your victim had a reasonable fear that you were about to take violent actions toward them, and if the assault is made with a deadly weapon or malicious intent, you may have a strong case filing up against you.
A case may be filed against your spouse, family members, or even robbers where applicable. Action speaks louder than words, and the court can punish you with an even more firm hand if violent action was perpetrated unjustly towards the victim. Even if you only verbally threaten your victim, if they take action against you, you must make sure that you will have the proper resources and materials in court to provide a good counterargument. This will ensure the best chances of properly litigating your case and give you the best legal standing.
Let us now take a look at what circumstances may lead to an assault claim in Florida.
Actions That Can Result in an Assault Case Order
Simple Assault: This is the most basic, and probably the most common, form of assault. The perpetrator can be found guilty of a misdemeanor of the second-degree. This can be any simple verbal assault that the victim may take seriously and think that you will cause them physical pain. Simple assault may also be filed for small actions, such as accidentally pushing someone down a flight of stairs, or verbally claiming to want to hurt someone. Simple assault has a reasonable penalty of up to 60 days in jail, a possibility of six months of probation, and a fine of up to $500.
Intentional Threat: A conditional threat is may be committed by the perpetrator at some point in the future or based on a certain time frame as dictated by the perpetrator. If your victim feels that you have the ability to carry out a future threat, you will likely be swept into an assault case in court. This type of behavior will be met in court with a fine of up to $500, six months of probation, and up to 60 days in state jail.
Striking Fear into the Victim: If you have been accused by a victim of simple assault for striking fear into the victim, you may be looking at some minor consequences to serve for those actions. An example of striking fear into a victim would be telling a family member or a loved one that you can stab them with a sharp knife from a kitchen that you both use. If the victim feels that you may carry out this threat, you may be looking at a fine of up to $500, up to a 60-day jail sentence, and six months of probation.
Aggravated Assault: Aggravated assault is not taken lightly in the state of Florida, and the consequences for aggravated assault are much more severe than a simple assault accusation. An example of aggravated assault in the state of Florida can occur when the perpetrator is armed, or if the perpetrator is engaged in the act of committing another felony. An aggravated assault case can cost you up to $5000 in court, five years of probation, and five years of imprisonment. You do not want to fight the court against an aggravated assault case alone, for you will want an experienced attorney by your side.
Assault with a Weapon: You may serve harsh penalties if you have an active weapon at the time of your assault. For example, if you threaten a loved one or relative with a knife in your hand, your victim can file for aggravated assault. If you are fighting an aggravated assault case, you may have to spend up to $5,000 for your legal battle and serve five years in state prison. You may also have to serve five years of probation for threatening your victim with an active weapon.
Assault While Committing Another Felony: Another situation that you might want to be aware of is committing assault while committing another felony, for this automatically classifies your assault as an aggravated assault. For example, if you threaten someone’s life while trying to rob a high profile bank, you may be able to be charged for assaulting your victims. Aggravated assault while committing another felony will result in a fine of up to $5000, and five years in state prison. Do not forget the 5 years of probation attached to your aggravated assault.
Find the Best Legal Representation
Assault has a wide variety of legal repercussions, depending on the severity of the case. The severity of the case can be small, such as a misdemeanor claim or a charge that will result in a third-degree and fourth-degree assault case. These situations can be mitigated easily with a good attorney who knows all the tricky nooks and crannies pertaining to the legislation of assault.
If you are charged with an aggravated assault, in most situations that will be classified as a felony. It will most likely turn into a first-degree or second-degree offense that will likely be on your record for the rest of your life. You may have to face fines of up to $5000, and you may have to serve a couple of years of your time in state prison. You will be best off if you leave your case in the hands of professionals so that you can be sure to be well represented in court and have the best possible legal outcome available. Aggravated assault is a profoundly serious crime. Handling the nuances of this case will be easier if you have a person who is dedicated to giving you the best legal representation possible.
Possible Consequences and Order of Protection in Florida
There are many other consequences to consider if you have an aggravated assault claimed against you other than potential jail time and a simple fine. If you are convicted and charged with aggravated assault, you may lose some license privileges, you may have to adjust the current custody agreement for your children if they are involved, and you may have a felony conviction on your permanent record forever. If a publication announces the details of your case to the public, you may have to suffer public humiliation and ridicule, especially if you live in an area with a small population.
A felony charge may also prevent you from obtaining a firearm legally, bring you financial ruin, or negatively impact your social life and mental well-being. This is why it is enormously beneficial to hire a professional criminal attorney with a lot of experience with handling assault cases, no matter how small the claim seems to be. In some cases, a professional criminal lawyer can help you mitigate terms for your punishment, lessen the financial impact of court expenses on the whole, and save you a lot of mental stress and heartache down the road. Trust a professional.
There may also be certain stipulations involved in your case if you are found guilty that pertain to the order of protection in Florida. This is known more commonly as restraining orders. If you have been accused of criminal assault, you want to be sure to follow all the rules and prevent harsh outcomes, including restraining orders. If you have a criminal attorney at your side, you may be able to ameliorate the dispute and have fewer restrictions if under the order of protection.
How can an Aggravated Assault Attorney Help My Situation?
There are many reasons why finding a professional attorney can help alleviate some of the penalties of your aggravated assault case. Everyone deserves to have a fair and just defender in court that can help you win your fight and will help you navigate through the legal repercussions of your actions. Take a look at some of the reasons to hire a professional attorney for your assault case below:
- Expertise – Unless you are a repeat offender, this may be the first time you ever experience an aggravated assault court case. Criminal attorneys make their living by educating themselves on creating a strong case on your behalf. Attorneys are well-equipped to shuffle through your facts, gather the evidence, and check any stipulations that might legally get you out of a bind.
- Experience – As we have said earlier, you may never see another assault court case again, but chances are, your attorney has seen cases that are very similar to yours, and they want to help. For most situations, the attorney will have already fought a case similar to yours and will have tested knowledge about the intricacies of the laws in place.
- Save money – It may seem odd that you will save money by hiring a professional attorney, but when you are protected against heavy monetary legal penalties, you will not be sorry that you saved up the money to hire a professional attorney.
- Save time – With the time that you will save by not having to fill out lengthy government documents, you will be sure to use that time studying your case yourself, and doing damage control outside of legal lines. You will be able to put your mind at ease knowing a professional will be handling your paperwork.
- Damage control – One of the most obvious benefits of having a professional attorney at your side to help you state your case is the ability of the lawyer to reduce the fines and time that you will have spend to redeem your crime. A professional attorney will have the resources and connections available to connect you to the right people and make sure that you do not have to serve the harshest penalties.
Hire a Defense Attorney Today
If you have an assault allegation against you, do not waste precious time desperately trying to figure out how to litigate your legal situation yourself. Leave it up to a professional.
You want to hire someone that you are confident in, a lawyer that will fight for your case endlessly in court and review your case details day and night. You want to find a devoted and trustworthy law firm, such as Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, time is not on your side. Move quickly, and give us a call at (754) 755-8554, and we will be happy to assist you in any legal matter.