Some of the most common, yet most often misunderstood criminal allegations in Palm Beach Gardens concern some form of assault. Many people are surprised to learn that they are facing charges of assault even though they never actually touched another person.
Assault is the attempt to cause harm to another person. Palm Beach Gardens assault defense lawyers defend individuals against all forms of assault charges in Florida’s Criminal Courts. We listen to the needs and concerns of the accused to form a strategy that gives them a better chance for a positive outcome. Consult a skilled criminal defense attorney that could advocate on your behalf.
What is an Assault?
In its simplest form, assault is defined by Florida Statute 784.011 as any intentional, unlawful threat to cause violence towards another person combined with the apparent ability to do so. This is a somewhat complex definition that needs some explanation.
First, the law requires that the individual intend to commit the threatening act. If they accidentally hit another person without intending to do so, they did not assault the person.
Second, under the law, an assault is as a threat. This means that the actual contact is incidental to the charge of assault. It is simply the threatening idea that the individual places in the mind of the alleged victim that constitutes assault. If they actually make contact, they may face charges of battery. For this reason, it is common for individuals to be facing simultaneous charges of assault and battery that result from the same incident. The best example of an assault is a threat to do harm coupled with the apparent ability to cause imminent harm or simply the ability to carry out the theft.
Different Charges Related to Assault
A basic assault and battery is any touching of another person with the intent to cause them harm. However, the situation becomes much more serious depending upon several aggravating factors.
An assault becomes aggravated under Florida Statute 784.021 if someone makes the threat using a deadly weapon, such as a knife or baseball bat. Alternatively, the assault is aggravated if the threat is made in conjunction with another Felony.
For example, if someone is alleged to have stated, “Give me your money or I’ll beat you up,” they may be facing aggravated assault charges in combination with robbery.
Many of the same factors, when applied to battery charges, make those charges more severe. A battery that results in great bodily harm is committed with a deadly weapon, or is committed against a family member is counted as a felony level charge. A Palm Beach Gardens assault lawyer could help an individual fight the assault charges that they face.
Potential Consequences for Assault in Palm Beach Gardens
At their simplest levels, assaults and batteries are misdemeanors. This means they never carry mandatory jail sentences and can often result in probation. Assault without an attached battery charge is a misdemeanor of the second-degree that can result in a jail sentence of as many as 60 days and a maximum fine of $500.
If a person is facing charges of battery, this is a misdemeanor of the first-degree where the maximum jail term is increased to one year and the fine can be as high as $1,000.
Far more serious are allegations of aggravated assault or felony battery. As stated in their titles, these are felony level crimes. Aggravated assault is a felony of the third-degree. This means it can result in prison term up to five years and fines of up to $5,000. Felony battery is also a felony of the third-degree with identical potential punishments. A Palm Beach Gardens assault lawyer could attempt to mitigate the consequences a person may face.
How Palm Beach Gardens Assault Defense Lawyers Could Help
Allegations of assault or battery in Palm Beach Gardens can range from the relatively minor to the very serious. Depending upon a number of factors including the presence of a weapon, the target of the alleged assault, and the amount of damage inflicted, the penalties can range from misdemeanors to felonies. It is important that anyone accused of any level of assault or battery obtain representation to protect their rights in court.
Palm Beach Gardens assault lawyers help people accused of all levels of assault or battery by presenting strong and thorough defenses to juries. We listen individual’s needs and form strategies tailored to their specific situations. Contact an attorney today and know that you are in good hands.