The Different Types of Assault
In Florida, there are two types of assault – simple and aggravated assault. The two charges carry significantly different penalties and are defined as follows:
Simple assault is the lesser form of assault and is often referred to as misdemeanor assault. Simple assault is any intentional and unlawful threat made by someone towards another party in order to create a reasonable fear of possible harm or violence (Florida Statutes Section 784.011).
Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor. Possible penalties include:
- Jail Sentence: Up to 60 days in jail or six months of probation
- Fines: Up to $500
Under Florida Statutes Section 784.021, aggravated assault is any form of assault that involves a deadly weapon or with an intent to commit a felony. An aggravated assault only requires the intent to cause the victim fear of a potential attack or harm. For instance, pointing a gun at someone, even if it is simply to scare the person, could be considered aggravated assault in Florida.
Aggravated assault may be classified as a third-degree felony or second-degree felony, depending on the victim. Possible penalties include:
Third Degree Felony
- Prison Sentence: Up to five years in prison or up to five years of probation
- Fines: Up to $5,000, and restitution to the victim.
Second Degree Felony
(Aggravated Assault Against a Special Victim)
This is an aggravated assault committed against a special victim. Special victims include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, licensed security officers, school employees, and any person older than sixty-five years. Possible penalties include:
- Prison Sentence: Up to fifteen years in prison or up to fifteen years of probation, a minimum sentence of three years if the assault is against a law enforcement officer
- Fines: Up to $10,000, and restitution to the victim
Aggravated Assault With a Firearm Conviction
If a firearm is used during the commission of an assault, the penalties can be increased as follows:
- Aggravated Assault with Actual Possession: 3-year minimum mandatory sentence up to 5 years in prison
- Aggravated Assault with Actual Possession and Discharge: 20-year minimum mandatory sentence
- Aggravated Assault with Actual Possession, Discharge, & Serious Bodily Injury or Death:
25 to life minimum mandatory sentence
Work With an Experienced Assault
Defense Attorney in Boca Raton, Florida
Trying to defend your assault charges by yourself could expose you to the possibility of conviction and facing the maximum penalties for your offense. If convicted, you could be facing severe consequences, including huge fines, lengthy prison time, and a lasting criminal record. That’s why it is so crucial to hire a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and outline an effective defense for your case.
Through the years I have dedicated my career to defending clients facing assault charges and those wrongfully accused of simple assault crimes. As an experienced assault defense attorney, I will review the details of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, and outline a strong defense strategy for your case. Using my extensive experience, I will help you navigate the complex Florida criminal justice system, work tirelessly to protect your rights, and fight hard to pursue the best possible outcome for your situation.