Assault and Aggravated Assault
In Florida, there is a legal difference between assault and aggravated assault; and it can mean a difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.
What Is Assault?
Commonly in Florida, assault is charged as a misdemeanor if a person intentionally threatens someone (by word or action) with physical harm. Notice that it does not make a difference whether the person actually follows through on the threat to do physical harm. However, in order to file assault charges, there must be a reasonable possibility that the threat could be carried out and the intended victim must be in fear that violence may result. If some level of physical contact or injury results following the verbal or written threat, the charges may be increased to various levels of misdemeanor assault, or possibly a felony charge.
When Does It Become Aggravated Assault?
An assault can be charged as felony aggravated assault when the threat is committed with a deadly weapon. Felony aggravated assault also has various degrees, each resulting in a harsher punishment, including a mandatory prison sentence. Battery or aggravated battery may be charged if the victim suffers any physical harm in an attack.
O’Brien Hatfield Reese, PA, Attorneys Will Fight To Protect Your Rights
If you are under investigation or have already been charged with assault or aggravated assault, it is critical to your future to have the right criminal defense lawyer fighting for your future. Our founding attorney, Mark O’Brien, is a former prosecutor who has been involved in thousands of assault charges, both as prosecutor and defense lawyer.
Our track record includes achieving a reduction in charges, from aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and trespass to misdemeanor assault. This helped our client avoid the possibility of a five-year prison sentence.
Domestic Assault And Aggravated Assault
Police are often quick to arrest a person for assault when called to the scene of a domestic disturbance, even when no criminal intent is evident. We investigate the circumstances behind the assault charges and determine whether there are underlying motivations for pressing charges, which there often are in the case of pending divorce or a child custody dispute.