Aggravated Assault with a Firearm


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
help defend people against Aggravated Assault with a Firearm allegations

Some of the most serious cases that our firm takes on is Aggravated Assault with a Firearm cases. The reason is that many people with no prior record find themselves facing a 3 or 20 year minimum mandatory sentence for what they believed was an act of self defense.  Sometimes, when the State believes that there may be a viable self defense claim, they may offer probation or home detention with the threat of prison if you lose at trial.  If you, or a loved one, are charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, call the experienced criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law today to discuss your case.  

What is Aggravated Assault with a Firearm?

Aggravated Assault with a Firearm is defined in both Florida Statute 784.021 and the sentencing options are laid out in  Florida Statute 775.087.  To prove the crime of aggravated assault with a firearm, the State must prove:  

1.   You intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim.

2.   At the time, you appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.

3.   Your act created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place.    

4.   The assault was made with a deadly weapon  or the assault was made with a fully formed, conscious intent to commit a felony upon the victim. 

5.   During the commission of the aggravated assault, you personally carried, displayed, used, threatened to use, or attempted to use a firearm,

or

[
during the commission of the aggravated assault, you personally carried, displayed, used, threatened to use, or attempted to use a firearm and discharged the firearm],

or

[during the commission of the aggravated assault, you personally carried, displayed, used, threatened to use, or attempted to use a firearm and discharged the firearm, and in doing so, caused great bodily harm to or the death of the victim]. 



Does the listed victim have to be in fear for it to be an assault?

No. The State must only prove that a "reasonable person" would have been in fear, not that the actual listed victim was in fear.  It is the jury who decides whether a reasonable person would be in fear. 
If the circumstances were such as to ordinarily induce a well-founded fear in the mind of a reasonable person, then the victim may be found to have been in fear, and actual fear on the part of the actual victim need not be shown.

What are the potential consequences of an Aggravated Assault with a Firearm conviction?


Aggravated Assault with actual possession
3 year minimum mandatory sentence up to 5 years in prison*

Aggravated Assault with actual possession and discharge
20 year minimum mandatory sentence*

Aggravated Assault with actual possession, discharge, & serious bodily injury or death
25-life minimum mandatory sentence


* Exception to the 3 and 20 Year Minimum Mandatory Sentences for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm Cases

A judge shall not impose the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated assault if the court makes written findings that:
  1. You had a good faith belief that the aggravated assault was justifiable, and
  2. the aggravated assault was not committed in the course of committing another offense, and
  3. you do not pose a threat to public safety, and
  4. the totality of the circumstances involved in the offense do not justify the imposition of such sentence. 
- Florida Statute Section 775.087(3)(e)(6)


What are the possible defenses to Aggravated Assault with a Firearm?

By far, the most common defense to Aggravated Assault with a firearm is self defense.  Typically, the person charged believed that they were defending themselves by pointing a gun and or discharging the gun to avoid being injured by the listed victim.  Other defenses include a lack of or conflict in the evidence where witnesses or the listed victim may not be credible and their statements may contradict the other testimony or evidence. 

CALL US!

Allegations of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm can have very serious consequences, whether the allegations are true or not.

If you have been accused of a aggravated assault with a firearm,

Call us:
Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon 
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)
or
 contact us online.


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