Even though no physical harm usually results from an assault, it is still considered a serious violent offense. From a minor Misdemeanor to a Felony, the consequences of a conviction can be severe. If you were accused of any form of assault, you may benefit from the counsel of a skilled Jupiter assault lawyer.
There are various defenses that might be available to you in an assault case. For example, if your alleged actions were in response to a threat to your own safety, you may be able to build a case on self-defense. A criminal defense Attorney at Leifert & Leifert could help determine a strong defense for your case and work with you to reach the best outcome given your circumstances.
Elements of Assault
Florida Statute § 784.011 defines assault as intentionally threatening to physically harm another, having the perceived ability to carry out that harm, and taking some action that creates a reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury. These threats could be either spoken or result from an action taken. Therefore, even if the accused had no ability or desire to carry out a threatened act of physical violence, it could still be considered assault if the alleged target believes that they could carry out the threat.
Florida law also provides the definition for an aggravated assault offense. A person could commit aggravated assault for two reasons, pursuant to FLA. STAT § 784.021. One, if they commit an assault with a deadly weapon, but without an intent to kill, a charge is immediately elevated from to aggravated assault. Second, if someone commits an assault with the intent to commit a Felony, that is also grounds for an aggravated assault.
What Can Make Charges Worse?
In some cases of assault, the status of the alleged victim could lead to enhanced charges. For instance, under FLA. STAT § 784.07, assault charges increase if the alleged victim fits into one of the following categories and is acting in an official capacity:
- Law enforcement officer
- Firefighter or other emergency services personnel
- Various non-sworn law enforcement agency employees – such as certified law enforcement agency inspectors and breath test operators
- Parking enforcement specialists and public transit employees or agents
As the potential penalties for assault charges can be further intensified depending on the circumstances, consulting a Jupiter assault attorney for assistance could be beneficial.
Penalties in Jupiter
FLA. STAT § 784.083 states that assault is a second-degree Misdemeanor, and a conviction can result in a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of no more than 60 days. If the target of the alleged assault falls within one of the special classifications listed above, then the offense automatically increases to a first-degree Misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is a third-degree Felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. If the alleged target of the aggravated assault is a law enforcement officer, the offense not only increases to a second-degree Felony, but there is a minimum prison sentence of two years.
For the other special classifications of individuals listed above, aggravated assault also automatically becomes a second-degree Felony. Because even a simple assault conviction could result in jail time – and many elements could enhance charges – you might benefit from speaking with an experienced assault lawyer in Jupiter about the best course of action for you to take.
Work with a Jupiter Assault Attorney Today
A conviction on your record for a criminal offense can affect your life profoundly, both professionally and personally. Because of this, building a strong defense against allegations of assault can be very important for your future. Talking with a dedicated Jupiter assault lawyer may make a big difference in the outcome of your case and your life moving forward.
If you were charged with assault, a hardworking Attorney at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert may be able to examine your circumstances and develop a sound defense strategy in your case to get the best result possible. Reach out to us today to discuss your case and schedule a free consultation.