According to Florida Penal Code § 784.011, the term “assault” refers to any intentional, unlawful threat of violence against another person, coupled with the apparent ability to carry out that threat. The other person must also be in reasonable fear that violence is imminent. This means that you could be arrested for assault without actually touching another person – as long as it can be established that you intended to cause them harm. This differs from the crime of battery, which involves actual physical contact. If you have been arrested for a violent crime, it is highly recommended that you secure the representation of a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
In Florida, it is possible to be charged with varying degrees of assault. Depending on the nature of the offense, you could either be charged with simple assault or aggravated assault. Simple assault is broadly defined as any threat of violence that puts another person in fear of imminent harm, coupled with the apparent ability to carry out that threat. Under state law, this crime is classified as a second degree misdemeanor.
On the other hand, aggravated assault is described as any assault that is carried out through the use of a deadly weapon (but without the intent to kill) or with the intent to commit a felony. This is a third degree felony offense in Florida, which could result in prison time and hefty fines. If you have been charged with either of these offenses, you should waste no time in contacting the team at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A.
Penalties for simple assault may include:
Penalties for aggravated assault include:
In order to convict you of assault, the prosecution must be able to establish three important factors: you made a credible threat against another person, you had the ability to carry out this threat and the other person was in reasonable fear that violence was imminent. If any one of these factors does not exist, you cannot be found guilty of assault. As a result, a number of different legal defenses may be available to you.
Common defenses to assault charges include the following:
If you have been arrested for assault in Fort Lauderdale, FL, your future is on the line. Not only could you be facing time behind bars and costly fines, but a criminal conviction would also leave a permanent mark on your record. Fortunately, help is just a phone call away! The criminal attorneys at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. have helped thousands of clients throughout Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
As former public defenders, our lawyers know the Florida criminal justice system inside and out. We also make ourselves available to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can count on us to be there when you need us most. Don’t wait – contact the team at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. today to schedule your free case evaluation. The sooner you act, the better it could be for your case!