It is clear from recent statistics that aggravated assaults have continued to rise across the state of Florida. Aggravated assault is a third degree felony carrying a maximum of five years in Florida State Prison and depending on the type of aggravated assault can carry with it a mandatory minimum periods of time in prison. Of course, protection from these types of crimes is in everyone’s best interest. On the other hand, law enforcement must be careful about who they arrest. The aggressive criminal attorney will challenge law enforcement’s investigation to ensure that it has not led to a wrongful arrest or that a wildly exaggerated police report doesn’t convince the State Attorney to file charges that he/she should not file. The instant you have been arrested or you realize that you are being investigated for aggravated assault contact us so that we can defend you.
How Does the Prosecution Prove Assault
Assault is described in Florida Statute 784.011. It has the following definition: An intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. A misdemeanor assault can be caused by a simple threat to punch or strike someone with an immediate ability to follow through on the threat to strike the victim. Many people misunderstand assault and battery because the offenses are used together many times. They are not the same thing. Battery requires actual contact between the suspect and the victim. Assault only requires a threat of harm not actually carrying through with the threat of physical contact. Years ago simple assault charges were routinely filed by the Hillsborough State Attorney’s office and in other counties. In more recent times the offense of simple assault is something rarely pursued by prosecutors across the state of Florida. However, aggravated assault is a criminal charge that is aggressively pursued by every State Attorney’s office across the State of Florida.
Severe Sanctions Based on the Use of a Deadly Weapon
As pointed out above the maximum sentence someone might receive for aggravated assault is five years in Florida State Prison. A more serious situation arises when the aggravated assault is coupled with the use of a firearm. The use of a firearm during the commission of an aggravated assault can call for a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years in Florida State Prison. Other sentencing enhancements apply where the firearm is either a machine gun or a semi-automatic with a high capacity, detachable magazine.
Defending You Against an Aggravated Assault Charge
An aggressive Tampa criminal attorney will collect police reports, witness statements and most importantly get your side of the story before approaching the prosecutor in your case. There are different ways to defend each defendant’s case but one fact is critical. Your attorney needs to get in contact with the prosecutor assigned to your case immediately! As each second passes the prosecutor assigned to your case is receiving a one-sided story about your arrest. It is imperative to hire our office immediately so that we can argue your side of the case with the prosecutor before she files a charge. Approaching a prosecutor before a formal filing decision is made could mean a dismissal of the charge before it is ever filed. Talking to the prosecutor gives your lawyer the opportunity to offer up a number of different defenses to aggravated assault charges:
The victim lied in an effort to manipulate our client or effect the outcome in some other proceeding
The victim never felt threatened by our client’s actions
The victim was the aggressor and our client had to defend himself
The weapon used was not a deadly weapon
The client never intended to commit a felony during the commission of the aggravated assault
The weapon used does not justify an enhancement that the prosecutor wants
Get the Legal Experience that You Need
The sanctions for aggravated assault can be severe. What can be done to convince the prosecution that your side of the story is the truth? Did law enforcement collect the evidence or statements that you discussed with them? What are the witnesses telling the prosecutor? All these questions can be answered by an experienced Tampa defense attorney.
Tampa aggravated assault attorney Will Hanlon has over 20 years of experience defending aggravated assault charges in the Tampa Bay area. He is familiar with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office and the judge’s that preside in both County and Circuit Courts. His goal is to bring about a dismissal of your charge and minimize any damage the charge might have on your future. Call Hanlon Law today so Will Hanlon can begin building your defense today.