Aggravated Assault is an enhanced form of assault. It includes the definition of assault with additional requirements that the State must prove. Aggravated Assault is a felony with serious consequences. Call us now to discuss your Aggravated Assault case.
Aggravated Assault is defined in Florida Statute Section 784.03. In order to prove that you committed an Aggravated Assault, the State must prove:
- You intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim, and
- at the time, you appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat, and
- the act created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place, and
- the assault was made with a deadly weapon, or
- the assault was made with an intent to commit a felony on the victim.
What is a "deadly weapon?"
A "deadly weapon" is a weapon that is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. So, if you stabbed a person in the eye with a pencil, it would be a deadly weapon. If you lightly hit the eraser edge against their forearm, it would not be a deadly weapon.
The State doesn't have to prove that the listed victim was actually in fear. It is enough that they prove that a reasonable person would be in fear under those circumstances. For example, if you pulled a gun on someone and said that you were going to shoot them and the victim simply laughed, the jury could convict you of aggravated assault even if the victim took the stand and testified that he was not in fear because the jury could conclude that a reasonable person would have been in fear if a gun was pointed at him or her.
Aggravated Assault is a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Some common defenses to Aggravated Assault are that the listed victim wasn't in fear, that you were acting in self defense, that you did not have the ability to carry out the threat, and that you did not threaten violence. If you qualify the threat, (i.e. if you don't stop what you're doing, I'm going to punch you), then the State may not be able to prove that you created a well founded fear that violence was about to take place. Another defense is that you did not make the threat with a weapon, or the weapon was not deadly. Each case is different. Give us a call to discuss the facts of your case and possible defenses unique to you.
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