In Broward County, assault does not have to involve any form of physical contact or injury. In fact, according to Florida Statutes Section 784.011, assault involves intentionally threatening someone with physical harm and having the apparent ability to carry out those threats, installing a well-founded fear in the alleged victim. En Español.
If you have been charged with assault in Florida—whether it is simple assault, aggravated assault, or the assault of a public safety officer—an experienced Broward County assault lawyer can investigate the details of your case, build a solid defense, and fight to reduce your penalties or have your charges dropped completely. Contact a Broward County criminal attorney immediately to begin the investigation process.
What is Simple Assault in Broward County?
A simple assault occurs when an individual threatens another person with violence, either verbally or by act, with the intent to cause harm or fear. For example, if someone menacingly threatens to punch someone and the person reasonably believes they are going to get hit, the verbal threat could be considered a simple assault.
In order for a threat to be considered simple assault in a Florida court, it must be proven that:
- The defendant intentionally threatened someone with violence
- The defendant had the physical ability to carry out the threat
- The threat instilled fear in the alleged victim
If convicted of simple assault in Florida, an individual could be facing second-degree misdemeanor charges, punishable by 60 days in jail, six months probation, or a $500 fine.
A Broward County assault lawyer can fight to avoid a criminal conviction for a simple assault by building a strong defense, or by negotiating enrollment in Florida’s Pre-Trial Intervention Program or Misdemeanor Diversion Program.
When Would an Assault Offense Be Elevated to Aggravated?
Unlike a simple assault, an aggravated assault involves either the use of a deadly weapon, or the intention to commit a felony.
For example, if an individual threatens another person while holding a knife or gun, or even throws an object towards someone during a fight, it could be considered aggravated assault.
Similarly, if a person threatens someone in an attempt to carry out a robbery, it will most likely be considered an aggravated assault.
In Broward County, aggravated assault is a considered a third-degree felony, which could lead to five years in prison, $5,000 in fines, court-mandated anger management classes, community service, and more. To lessen such penalties, an individual should be sure to contact a Broward County assault attorney as soon as possible.
Assault Against a Public Servant
According to Florida Statues Section 784.07, penalties for assault are increased when the assault involves a public servant, such as a:
- Police officer
- Ambulance driver
- Public transit employee
- Railroad police officer
If someone commits a simple assault against a public servant, the charges increase from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor. If an individual commits an aggravated assault towards a public servant, they could be facing a second-degree felony, instead of a third-degree felony.
Contacting an Attorney
If you have been arrested for simple or aggravated assault, whether it is against someone you know, a stranger, or a public servant, such as a police officer, you could be facing serious and lasting consequences.
Fortunately, an assault attorney in Broward County can offer you advice, walk you through the legal process, and ensure that your rights are being protected every step of the way. Contact a knowledgeable Broward County assault lawyer today to find out how they can assist you.