Florida Statute 784.011 defines Assault as an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. Assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine, sixty (60) days jail and/or 6 months probation. An Assault charge is commonly referred to as Simple Assault.
A variation of Criminal Assault is Aggravated Assault. Aggravated Assault involves the use of a deadly weapon without the intent to kill and / or the intent to commit a felony crime. Aggravated Assault is a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, five (5) years prison and/or probation.
Many people are wrongfully accused and charged with Simple Assault due to the subjective nature of determining what the accused intent was. If you are accused of, arrested, and/or charged with Criminal Assault, it is important that you seek experienced legal counsel to ensure you are made fully aware of your legal rights and options.
In order for the prosecution to obtain a conviction for assault, they must prove that the accused had intent to commit the assault. Often times an alleged claim of assault arises after a disagreement or argument between two or more individuals. Assault does not involve physical contact and is subject to one person's perception of the incident relating to their own safety.
It is important that you show that regardless of the perception of the other party, at the time of the incident in question, you had no intent to inflict harm to anyone present at the scene.
When a deadly weapon or firearm is present during the altercation or in your possession after the altercation the subjective nature of the case may be dramatically reduced and may require a different defense strategy which best represents your claim of innocence.
While any form of Assault may be aggressively prosecuted, Aggravated Assault may be considered a violent crime depending on the evidence gathered against you. Violent Felony Crimes are subject to the Three Strikes Law which requires a judge to impose terms ranging from five years to life in state prison depending upon the severity of the crime.