On average, St. Petersburg has a higher rate of violent crime than the typical city in the United States does. It also has the sixth-highest crime rate in Florida. Aggravated assault is taken seriously by prosecutors. If you are charged with aggravated assault, you face the possibility of prison time, and even after serving time for a conviction, you will have a criminal record and the social stigma and difficulties related to jobs, housing, and education that come with it. However, a conviction is not inevitable, and there may be strategies that a St. Petersburg aggravated assault defense lawyer can use to pursue a plea deal or an acquittal for you. At Hanlon Law, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of the accused.Aggravated Assault Charges
Under Florida Statute section 784.021, aggravated assault can be charged when the accused intentionally and unlawfully threatened by word or act to do violence to the victim, they seemed to be able to carry it out at the time, the victim had a well-founded fear that they were about to be a victim of violence, and either the assault was with a deadly weapon or it was made with the full intent of committing a felony.
Aggravated assault is basically an assault that involves either an intent to commit a felony or a deadly weapon. You can be charged with aggravated assault even if you did not actually touch or wound the victim. For example, if you robbed a house and threatened to kill someone inside the house for trying to stop you, you could be charged with aggravated assault. For another example, if you waved a gun around while threatening someone, even if you did not shoot him, you could be charged with aggravated assault. Your intent to commit the felony is the basis for the aggravated assault charge.
What counts as a deadly weapon might surprise you. For example, you could be charged with aggravated assault in an episode of road rage if you drove head-on toward a car as if you were about to crash. Hitting a victim on the head with a bottle could be charged as aggravated assault, with the bottle being a deadly weapon. Even waving a knife at someone from whom you were separated by a closed window could be charged as aggravated assault. An aggravated assault defense attorney in St. Petersburg can explain whether this charge is likely in your specific circumstances.
Aggravated assault is punished as a third-degree felony. This means that you can face a maximum of five years’ imprisonment or probation and a $5,000 fine. These penalties are made worse if a gun or another firearm goes off during the assault.
All aggravated assault charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. This is a tough standard, and a conviction is by no means assured.
Defenses that a St. Petersburg aggravated assault defense attorney may be able to raise include insufficient evidence, self-defense, defense of others, and Stand Your Ground. You are justified in using force to defend yourself against someone else's imminent use of unlawful force. If you are in your home, it will be presumed that you had a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury if the victim unlawfully came in or stayed or tried to remove someone against their will. In some cases, we can raise these defenses even before you are charged. If, for example, there is insufficient evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, or there is strong but not conclusive evidence of self-defense, it might be possible to sway the prosecutor to charge a lesser included offense, such as improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon or discharging a weapon in public.Consult a Skillful Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney in the St. Petersburg Area
If you are charged with aggravated assault, you should consult us. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation since 1994. We are dedicated to guarding the rights of the accused. Call Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or complete our online form.