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Assault with a Deadly Weapon Florida

In the state of Florida, assault with a deadly weapon is a form of aggravated assault, which is classified as a felony under the Florida Statute. If you are convicted guilty of this offense you could be facing penalties such as mandatory prison time and high fines. A guilty conviction can also have severe negative impacts on your life and your future. If you or a loved one are currently being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it is extremely important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney Rahul Parikh has successfully defended many in the Central Florida area and has proven himself truly dedicated to defending the rights of those who place their trust in him and his firm. 

Photo of person holding another person at gunpoint

What Constitutes a Deadly Weapon?

There is a common misconception that in order for an object to be classified as a “deadly weapon”, it needs to be in the form of a gun or a knife. That is, however, not the case. It is important to understand what objects are classified as “deadly weapons”, as many of them may not be so obvious. A “deadly weapon” is defined as any item that is used to or may be used to cause another person serious bodily harm and/or death. Besides guns and knives, some other things that the Florida Law considers “deadly weapons” are:

  • Any solid item that can be used to strike another to severely injure and/or kill them.
  • Cars and/or other types of vehicles.
  • Fireworks.
  • Glass bottles.
  • Knives.
  • Steel-toed boots.

Are There Any Defenses to this Offense?

Out of the many reasons it is a good reason to hire an attorney if you are being accused of assault with a deadly weapon, is that an attorney will have the ability to pinpoint which specific defenses will be most effective in your unique situation. Attorney Rahul Parikh has the benefit of having been a prosecutor in Orange County for years before going into practice as a criminal defense attorney. This gives him the extra advantage of having knowledge of how the prosecution approaches cases. This also gives him the added ability to really know which defenses would be most effective in your case. Since not every assault with a deadly weapon case is the same, it is important to have an attorney on your side who will recognize that and strategize based on the circumstances of each individual case. Some possible defenses to assault with a deadly weapon include:

  • You were defending yourself from imminent physical harm.
  • The alleged victim’s fear of you is unfounded because they were goading you into a physical altercation immediately prior to the incident in question.
  • Any threat you may have made toward the supposed victim was not accompanied by any other actions that would have led them to believe you were going to follow through with the threat.
  • The threat you made was vague and there is no proof that you ever intended to make good on it. 
Person holding a knife

Severe Penalties if Convicted Guilty

Being that assault with a deadly weapon is a felony offense in the state of Florida, a guilty conviction can result in extremely harsh penalties.  These penalties can make the rest of your life hugely difficult. It is important to be aware of what you could be facing, should you be found guilty of this crime. Some penalties include fines up to $5,000 and prison time for up to twenty-five (25) years. Besides having these penalties imposed, being a convicted felon in the state of Florida can also make your life harder because:

  • You may be automatically disqualified from obtaining certain professional licenses or certifications.
  • Many employers will turn you away.
  • You may be denied when attempting to rent or own a home or apartment. 
  • If you plan on continuing or pursuing higher education, you may be barred from receiving financial aid. 
  • If you are a parent, your parental rights may be taken away.
  • You will lose your right to vote.
  • The armed forces will be more likely to turn you away if you wish to serve. 

How Does the State Prove Guilt?

It is important to understand what the State of Florida needs to do in order to prove a person is guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors are required to prove a few things beyond a reasonable doubt. They must demonstrate:

  • An intention to threaten impending violence.
  • A deliberate act that was carried out and resulted in the alleged victim having a legitimate fear of imminent violence.
  • The alleged assailant had the capacity to carry out their violent threat.

Even if nobody was actually hurt during the incident, if the State is able to prove these things, they will still be able to secure a conviction of guilt. Further, the State has witnesses and expert witnesses at their disposal, which can make it much easier for them to corroborate their narrative. Being up against all of this, if you are unrepresented, can make things that much more of a challenge and put you at a significant disadvantage. If you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you, you are relieving yourself of the stress and confusion of attempting to find your own witnesses and/or experts to testify in your defense. 

The Importance of Hiring an Attorney

It is almost never in your best interest to try to represent yourself in court. So much is at stake for you. This is especially true when you are being accused of a violent felony offense, such as assault with a deadly weapon. No matter how open and shut you believe your case to be, prosecutors and Judges will be much more scrupulous in reviewing the facts and the evidence. Prosecutors and Judges also have the advantages of having been trained in criminal law and had the experience that you may not have. By having a criminal defense attorney with extensive legal knowledge and experience, you are putting yourself in a position not to be blindsided by legal jargon, confusing plea deals, and extreme penalties. In addition, if you are represented by counsel, you have a significantly higher chance of having your charges amended to lesser charges or being altogether dismissed. 

Parikh Law, P.A. is Dedicated to Your DefenseAttorney Rahul Parikh is able to use his ever-expanding skills to fight for his clients and does so with genuine fervor. When you become a client at our firm, you are never just another name on a list somewhere. You are a valued member of our family, and we are committed to defending you as we would one of our own. Our central goal is to see you through what may be the most difficult time in your life and to work toward making sure your case ends in the best outcome possible. From start to end our team will always make sure you are being updated, informed and treated with the utmost respect. If you are facing assault with a deadly weapon charge, please contact us today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.