Assault / Aggravated Assault
One of the most frequently charged criminal offenses in Orlando, Florida, involving an allegation of violence against a person is the charge of "assault" or "aggravated assault." If you have been arrested for this offense, it is important to speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately before discussing the facts of the case with any law enforcement officer in Orange County.
Anything you say to law enforcement can be misconstrued, taken out of context, and ultimately used by the prosecuting attorney as evidence against you during trial. Even if you believe what you say is helpful, it may actually turn out to be harmful to your defense.
A conviction for assault or aggravated assault can lead to serious penalties under Florida law, including jail time, fines, loss of an ability to own or possess a firearm, loss of driving privileges, and negative effects on reputation, employment or educational opportunities. Read more to learn about statistics, punishments and penalties for assault and aggravated assault charges prosecuted in Orange County, Florida.
Orlando Attorneys for Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges
If you have been charged with Assault or Aggravated Assault in Orlando or Orange County, Florida, contact the experienced defense attorneys at the law office of Hale & Hale. The criminal defense attorneys at Hale & Hale are knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s violent crime and assault laws, and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious repercussions and consequences to the criminal assault charges against you. Call the Orlando attorneys of Hale & Hale today at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your alleged misdemeanor or felony assault offense in Orlando, FL.
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Misdemeanor Assault Offenses Defined Under Florida Law
Florida Statute § 784.011, defines the criminal offense of assault as a crime that occurs if a person:
- Acts intentionally and unlawfully
- Threatens another person
- By word or actions
- To cause harm to that person
- Is apparently able to cause the harm, and
- The other person is fearful that harm will immediately happen.
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Florida Aggravated Assault Statutes
Under Florida Statute § 784.021, an aggravated assault is a simple misdemeanor assault with the additional elements that:
- A deadly weapon was used (but without any intent to kill the other person); or
- With the intent to commit a felony.
There are a number of acts that can be considered felony offenses for purposes of determining whether a simply assault should be charged as aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony.
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Increased Offense Classification for Certain Assault Charges
Florida Statute §§ 784.07, 784.08, 784.081, 784.082, 784.083, provide for upgraded penalties and classifications for assaults committed against certain classes of people, including elderly victims and law enforcement officers. A person who knowingly assaults any of the following types of individuals will be charged with the next highest degree of the assault offense:
- Law enforcement officer;
- Correctional officer at any prison or county jail;
- Security personnel or security guard;
- Probation or community control officer;
- Ambulance driver;
- Emergency medical technician (EMT);
- Registered nurse (RN);
- Any emergency medical care provider;
- Medical director;
- Bus operator;
- Train operator;
- Any other public transit employee or their agents;
- Revenue or tax collector;
- Code inspectors,
- Elected officials;
- School employees;
- Sports official;
- Employees of certain governmental departments;
- Any visitors or other detainees of a detention center or jail by a person detained; and
- Any person elderly person who is 65 years of age or older.
For example, if a person commits a simple assault, the alleged offender will be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree instead of a misdemeanor of the second degree. If a person allegedly commits aggravated assault, they will be charged with a felony of the second degree instead of a felony of the third degree.
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Assault Punishments and Penalties in Florida
If someone is convicted of assaulting another person, they can be sentenced to either misdemeanor or felony penalties, depending on:
- whether an injury occurred;
- the number of prior convictions of the person accused;
- the degree of assault;
- whether the alleged victim is a member of a protect class because of age or employment; and
- whether the assault was committed with a deadly weapon.
Florida law provides for numerous classifications for assault charges including:
- A person who is convicted of misdemeanor simple assault under Florida law can be charged with a Misdemeanor of the Second Degree. A conviction for this offense can lead to a jail sentence up to 60 days in the county jail and/or fines no more than $500.
- Aggravated assault and an upgraded misdemeanor assault under Florida law can be charged as a Felony of the Third Degree (F3) A conviction for this degree of offense can result in a punishment of up to five years in Florida State Prison and/or fines up to $5,000.
- Upgraded aggravated assault can be charged under Florida Law as a Felony of the Second Degree (F2). A person who is convicted of this degree of any assault offense can be sentenced up to 15 years in Florida State Prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. Additionally, if this offense is committed on a law enforcement officer or a person over the age of 65, a minimum term of imprisonment for three years is mandatory (often called a "three year minimum mandatory"). If the assault offense is committed against a person over the age of 65, a convicted offender will also be required to make restitution to the victim of the offense and perform up to 500 hours of community service.
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Hale & Hale, P.A. | Orlando, Florida Assault Defense Attorneys
Contact the attorneys at Hale & Hale, P.A. to discuss the particular facts of your alleged assault offense in Orange County, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Seminole County, Osceola County, Winter Park, Orlando and Kissimmee. The attorneys at Hale & Hale will make every effort to help you find the best possible outcome for your particular case. Contact the attorneys of Hale & Hale, P.A. at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your assault violent crime in Orlando, Florida.
Violent Crimes Often Related to Assault and Aggravated Assault under Florida Law
- Battery under Florida Staute § 784.03.
- Felony Battery under Florida Statute § 784.041
- Aggravated Battery under Florida Statute § 784.045
- Aggravated Battery against a pregnant woman under Florida Statute § 784.045
- Domestic Battery by strangulation (includes dating violence) under Florida Statute § 784.041(2)(a)
- Stalking under Florida Law § 784.048(2)
- Aggravated Stalking under Florida Statute § 784.048(3) or § 784.048(4)
- Aggravated Stalking against a victim who is under 16 years of age under Florida Statute § 784.048(5)
- Assault under Florida Statute § 784.011 and Aggravated Assault under Florida Statute § 784.021
- Assault on Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) under Florida Statute § 784.07(2)(a)
- Aggravated Assault on Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) under Florida Statute § 784.07(2)(c)
- Aggravated Assault on an Elderly Person 65 Years of Age or Older under Florida Statute § 784.08(2)
- Assault on an Elderly Person 65 Years of Age or Older under Florida Statute § 784.08(2)(d)