There are a range of potential consequences if you are convicted on an assault or aggravated assault charge. It is essential that you talk with The Law Offices of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher about your specific charges and case to understand the penalties you are facing, which for misdemeanor assault include six months to one year in jail and/or possible community service, participation in criminal education programs, and/or house arrest.
In Florida, there are two categories of criminal assault:
- Misdemeanor assault, also called simple criminal assault, occurs when a person makes an unlawful threat against another person coupled with the apparent ability to carry out the threat and the defendant creates a genuine and reasonable fear in the victim that violence or harm is imminent.
- Aggravated assault occurs when a simple assault is made using a deadly weapon (i.e. brandishing a weapon) or while committing a felony offense, the assault constitutes an aggravated assault and is, by default, prosecuted as a felony.
If you are charged with a second assault or battery offense in Florida, the second offense will automatically be charged as a felony. If you break into someone’s home or car and commit assault and battery, you can be charged with a life felony, punishable by life in prison.
What is the Difference Between Simple Criminal Assault and Attempted Battery?
Assault is not the same as an attempted battery. Assault is a threat to commit a violent act. Attempted battery is the actual commission of the violent act, which concludes unsuccessfully.
Public Safety Reclassification
Enhanced penalties for the crime of assault exist in Florida when the victim is a member of law enforcement or public safety such as police, firefighters, emergency medical providers and others. Reclassification alters assault from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.
Elderly Person Reclassification
Under Florida Statute 784.08 there are enhanced penalties for the crime of assault when the victim is a person 65 years of age or older. Reclassification, regardless of knowledge of victim’s age, enhances the degree of the charge. Assault goes from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor. Aggravated assault, a third degree felony, upgrades to a second degree felony.
Criminal Assault Defense in Florida
Assault is a very defensible criminal charge. You should never plead guilty to charges of simple assault or aggravated assault without first speaking with your Florida criminal defense lawyer.
Early Negotiation is Critical in a Possession of Weapon Defense in Florida
Early contact in the criminal process communicates competence and resolve — and establishes a rapport that may be needed during future negotiations. Call The Law Offices of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher even before you are charged if possible. We may be able to avoid charges being filed, and will will make early contact with the prosecutor to present factual defenses, legal issues, and mitigating circumstances that may have a dramatic impact on the State’s decision to move forward against you.
Southwest Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
We are a Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples criminal defense firm. We represent clients charged with carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a concealed firearm, improper exhibition of a firearm or weapon, discharging a firearm in public and shooting or throwing deadly missiles charges. We represent clients facing shooting or throwing a missile charges or other weapon in Lee or Collier counties. Our Florida criminal defense lawyers serve clients charged with shooting or throwing a missile or other weapon in Florida in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, Naples, and most other Florida cities and counties.
Contact A Fort Myers Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher is here to defend you. We represent people who have been charged with assault in Fort Myers and other communities in Southwest Florida. To schedule a free case review contact us online or call (239) 677-7685.