Your Defense to Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Florida
What is commonly referred to as “assault with a deadly weapon” in other states and on the big screen is, in Florida, legally referred to as aggravated assault. Under Florida Statute 784.021, aggravated assault is an assault:
- With a deadly weapon without the intent to kill; or
- With an intent to commit a felony.
Assault with a deadly weapon is a felony of the third degree, and is punished as provided:
- Up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine;
- A mandatory sentence of at least three years if the deadly weapon was enhanced; and
- A permanent criminal record. Unlike many other crimes, if you plea to aggravated assault – even as a first time offender – you will be unable to wipe your record clean through expungement or sealing.
The charge may be reclassified as a felony of the second degree if the person assaulted was a public safety officer.
Your Defenses to Aggravated Assault in Florida
Fortunately, there are a few viable defenses to charges of aggravated assault in Florida. Some defenses that we commonly use for our clients who are charged with aggravated assault in Miami include:
- Conditional Threat: If you make a conditional threat to commit assault with a deadly weapon at some point in the future based upon a possible occurrence, you have not committed aggravated assault by Florida’s definition.
- Idle Threat: If you threatened an individual, but the threat was unaccompanied by any other acts that would lead a reasonable individual to assume that you would make good on your threat, you are not guilty of aggravated assault.
- Unreasonable Fear: If the threatened individual taunted you, or “egged you on,” so to speak, after you made your threat, then any later claims of assault by that individual will be deemed “unreasonable,” or their claim “petty,” as they did not show fear at the time of the instigating threat.
- Self Defense: One of the most successful defenses to assault and battery is self defense. If you committed aggravated assault against an individual who was trying to harm you, the charges will likely be dropped. However, you must be able to prove that the person you assaulted was, in fact, trying to harm you.
Consult a Miami Assault and Battery Lawyer
At The Baez Law Firm, our Miami assault and battery lawyers can help build a viable defense against charges of aggravated assault brought against you. If you feel that you have been wrongly charged with assault and battery, do not hesitate, and contact our Miami assault and battery lawyers right away. Schedule your free consultation at 800-588-BAEZ today.