Miami Assault Defense Lawyer
What constitutes assault in Florida?
Being arrested and charged with assault can be a shocking experience that can leave you confused, wondering how you got into this position and what to do about it. Protesting to the arresting officer that you didn't touch the person or hurt anyone won't help you. Assault is a criminal offense which can be committed without ever touching the victim. It consists of an intentional threat through action or word to do violence to the alleged victim and the apparent ability to carry out the threat and the victim developed a well-founded fear that the violence was imminent. Assault is a misdemeanor in Florida but the penalties if convicted are harsh. If you or a loved one has been arrested for assault, make sure you are represented by a Miami criminal defense attorney who is prepared to fight for you.
According to the Florida Statutes §784.021 (2011), aggravated assault means an assault with a deadly weapon or in the commission of a felony, and more severe sentencing in a conviction. Assault on emergency personnel such as firefighters or EMTs, public transit personnel and police officers means a minimum prison sentence of three years if convicted. Assault can be one of those offenses where only the accuser and the accused were present, for example when two neighbors become involved in a disagreement.
How is assault different than battery?
Although assault and battery are typically grouped together, Florida considers these different offenses. Assault charges are detailed in § 784.011 of the statutes and is defined as intentionally threatening another person by word or action. This must be coupled with the ability to carry out those threats, enough to cause the victim to fear for their safety. The crime of battery is detailed in § 784.03 of the statutes, and is defined as carrying out an act of violence against another person and causing them physical bodily harm. If an individual was accused of threatening a person and then carrying out those threats then they could be charged with assault and battery, but these two offenses are not always charged together. In the state of Florida, there are also different penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer (§ 784.071).
Criminally charged with assault? Contact our team for defense!
Since no evidence of injury is necessary for a charge of assault a false accusation may be made out of anger which officers and prosecutors can take seriously. Allegations of assault and aggravated assault or domestic violence are common in domestic disputes also. After a cooling off period the accuser may withdraw the accusation, however the final decision to prosecute or not rests with the prosecutor. A resourceful assault defense lawyer may be able to present enough convincing information to the prosecutor to prevent charges from being filed in such a case.
Contact a Miami criminal defense lawyer from the firm today to get started on your case.