Assault / Aggravated Assault
An alleged offender does not need to physically harm another person in order to be charged with assault in Florida. Rather, this crime involves an alleged threat to commit an act of violence and the ability to do so.
Cases of assault that involve deadly weapons or intent to commit felonies can be subject to enhanced penalties. A conviction for an assault offense can result in possible imprisonment, but the severity of the punishments may be greater in cases involving special classes of victims or other aggravating factors.
Fort Lauderdale Assault Lawyer
If you have been arrested for an assault offense in Florida, you should immediately seek dedicated and capable legal representation. Meltzer & Bell fights for people facing these types of criminal charges all over Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, Tamarac, Hallandale Beach, Plantation, Coral Springs, Margate, Deerfield Beach, and Davie.
Our Broward County aggravated assault attorneys have more than two decades of combined legal experience handling cases involving these charges. We will provide a complete evaluation of your case during when you call (954) 228-2789 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Broward County Aggravated Assault Information Center
- What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?
- How might an alleged offender be punished if he or she is convicted?
- Are there any defenses available in these cases?
Florida Assault Charges
In the Sunshine State, there are specific statutes for the offenses of simple assault (or misdemeanor assault) and aggravated assault (or felony assault):
- Assault, Florida Statute § 784.011 — The intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent is a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Aggravated assault, Florida Statute § 784.021 — An assault with either a deadly weapon without intent to kill or with an intent to commit a felony is a third-degree felony.
There are several other specific assault offenses in Chapter 784 of the Florida Statutes that reclassify assault offense such that cases of assault are first-degree misdemeanors and aggravated assault offenses are second-degree felonies. This reclassification applies to the following crimes:
- Assault of Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Care Providers, Public Transit Employees or Agents, or Other Specified Officers —Florida Statute § 784.07
- Assault on Sexually Violent Predators Detention or Commitment Facility Staff —Florida Statute §784.074
- Assault on Persons 65 Years of Age or Older —Florida Statute §784.08
- Assault on Specified Officials or Employees — Florida Statute § 784.081
- Assault by a Person Who is Being Detained in a Prison, Jail, or Other Detention Facility Upon Visitor or Other Detainee — Florida Statute § 784.082
- Assault on Code Inspectors — Florida Statute § 784.083
Broward County Assault Penalties
The possible consequences of a conviction for any assault offense can be extremely serious. In addition to having a very damaging charge reflected on a person’s criminal record, people can also face the following punishments depending on the specific classification of the alleged criminal offense:
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor —Maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and $500 maximum fine
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of one year in jail and $1,000 maximum fine
- Third-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of five years in prison and $5,000 maximum fine
- Second-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and $10,000 maximum fine
Assault Defenses in Fort Lauderdale
Because a person can be charged with assault even when there are no signs of physical injuries, these cases may involve disputes about what actually occurred. Thus, it may be possible to have such charges reduced or dismissed by using defenses that may include, but are not limited to:
- Defense of property or other people
- Absence of intent to threaten the alleged victim
- No intent or ability to commit violence
- No well-founded fear in alleged victim
- False allegations
Find an Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Broward County
Have you been charged with an assault crime in Florida? You should seek legal counsel as soon as possible for help obtaining the most favorable outcome possible to your case.
Meltzer & Bell aggressively defends clients in Wilton Manors, Weston, Coconut Creek, Sunrise, Pompano Beach, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, and the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Call (954) 228-2789 today to have our assault attorneys review your case during a free legal consultation.