Aggravated Assault in Florida
In Florida, aggravated assault is defined as any assault in which there is an intention to carry out a felony and/or a deadly weapon is used to carry out the assault. Larkins v. State, 476 So. 2d 1383 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985). Penalties for aggravated assault are especially serious. This can mean that if you are convicted guilty, you could be facing a minimum mandatory prison sentence, along with several other severe penalties. Due to the drastic consequences, which could stick with you for a lifetime, it is vital to have a learned defense attorney who is wholeheartedly committed to securing the best viable outcome that can be obtained for you. Having such counsel on your side puts you at a remarkable advantage and increases your chances of circumventing long-term consequences. Attorney Rahul Parikh has handled several aggravated assault cases, and has been successful in resolving many of them without his clients serving any prison time or being convicted of a felony. Parikh Law, P.A. will unwaveringly challenge your aggravated assault allegations.
What Are the Penalties?
Aggravated assault is classified as a third-degree felony in the state of Florida. If you are found guilty of this crime, the consequences could have indefinite, negative effects on your entire life. Even if it is your first offense, prosecution on these types of cases is extremely rigid. Possible punishments include:
- Up to twenty (20) years in prison;
- Five (5) years of probation;
- Fines as high as $5,000.00, and;
- Requirement to pay restitution to the alleged victim.
Besides the penalties listed above, you could also suffer in many other areas of your life if you are found guilty of aggravated assault. Being a convicted felon in Florida prevents you from being able to do a significant number of important things. Your record will permanently reflect your felony conviction and make it hugely difficult to do things like buy or rent a home, be granted financial aid for school, gaining employment and many other things. In addition, you will not be permitted to vote or own any firearms. Remember that these roadblocks cannot just make your future harder, but can also affect the well-being of your significant other and/or children.
How Prosecutors Prove Guilt
Prosecutors are required to provide verifiable evidence to the Court in order to convict an accused individual guilty of aggravated assault. They must do so by demonstrating proof that four (4) specific, fact-based elements were present at the time the alleged incident took place. These four (4) crucial factors that must be proven are that:
- The Defendant either carried out an assault while using a deadly weapon or that the Defendant had a willful intention to carry out a felony;
- The Defendant purposefully, either through action or words, made unlawful threats of violence toward the alleged victim;
- At the time the threat was made, the Defendant seemed to actually be capable of following through with the threat, and;
- The supposed victim, as a result of the alleged offender’s threat, had a well-grounded fear that violence against them was imminent.
Are There Any Defenses to Aggravated Assault Charges?
Though prosecution will be unrelenting if you have been charged with aggravated assault, having a lawyer of your own to raise defenses is a tremendous benefit. It is crucial that you obtain counsel with proven strategy and knowledge of these defenses. Because the State is burdened with proving certain elements in aggravated assault cases, your defense counsel can determine which defenses would be best suited to your specific case. Some potential defenses to aggravated assault accusations include:
- The fears of the supposed victim are not justified;
- There is uncertainty as to whether or not the accused person’s behaviors constituted a threat;
- The claims purported by the alleged victim are unfounded;
- The Defendant did not have the ability to carry out their supposed threat;
- No deadly weapon was actually used;
- There is a lack of evidence that the accused intended to commit a felony;
- There is proof that the Defendant was carrying out justifiable use of force in defense of property or other people;
- There is an absence of proof that the accused individual intended to threaten the alleged victim;
- The accused was acting under duress or necessity, and;
- The alleged offender was acting in self-defense.
The Importance of Retaining an Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing allegations of aggravated assault, you certainly have more than enough stress on your plate. Having a competent, experienced defense attorney can benefit you in a number of ways, including alleviating much of your stress. By securing counsel, you will expand the likelihood of getting the best possible outcome, and avoiding many of the monumental penalties of being found guilty of this offense. You also have the advantage of being kept in the know about what is going on with your case, throughout the process. It is never advised to take such a huge gamble on your future, by trying to defend yourself in Court. Judges, prosecutors, expert witnesses and other key players in the courtroom have experience and knowledge that, as someone who is not familiar with the law, you may not have. This puts you at an extreme disadvantage. Even if it seems like you could defend yourself using common sense, Florida statutes are constantly changing and can be very confusing to interpret. We hope that you will not take a chance on your future and consult with an attorney about your aggravated assault case.
Parikh Law, P.A. Can Help! Attorney Rahul Y. Parikh has continued to prove his dedication to his clients, by using his knowledge and tact to defend them to the fullest extent. Prior to going into private practice in criminal defense, Attorney Parikh spent time as a prosecutor. During his years as an Orange County prosecutor, he picked up valuable skills, including the knowledge of how the State approaches when prosecuting aggravated assault cases. This hands-on exposure to working with and learning the ways of Florida prosecutors not only gives Mr. Parikh an edge, but also benefits those who put their trust in him to defend their rights. Ensuring that your case has the most favorable result is of the utmost importance here at our firm. We understand that there are different circumstances surrounding every case, and will never treat your case like it is just a run-of-the-mill aggravated assault case. Your specific needs and your best interest are at the very center of all we do at Parikh Law, P.A. At our firm, you can always expect that your questions will be answered, you will be treated with respect, your concerns and privacy are always respected and that we will do everything within our power to make this process as stress-free as humanly possible. We believe that treating our clients the way we would treat our own family is the only way to do it. If you or a loved one have been accused of aggravated assault, get in touch with our criminal defense lawyer today to schedule your free and confidential consultation. We hope to assist you during this tumultuous time in your life and to afford you the peace of mind that your case is being handles diligently and with care.