3 Common Causes of Aggravated Assault

According to the 2018 Florida Statutes, an aggravated assault is “an assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or with intent to commit a felony.” Aggravated assault is a felony of the third degree with penalties including:

  • 5 years imprisonment
  • 5 years probation
  • $5,000 fine

These penalties can increase significantly based on the nature of the crime. For instance, if a firearm was discharged during an act of aggravated assault, the aggressor could face a mandatory prison sentence of up to 20 years. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, it’s imperative that you contact an aggravated assault attorney St. Petersburg to ensure that your rights are protected. Aggravated assault charges can be wrongly assessed. There’s a possibility that you’re the only one who knows and is willing to describe what really happened before you were charged. 

In this brief article, an aggravated assault attorney St. Petersburg will discuss three common causes of aggravated assault. Remember, the line between a domestic altercation, battery, aggravated assault, and an honest mistake can be surprisingly hard to determine, so don’t let yourself become the victim of a crime you didn’t commit.

1. Domestic Altercations

Domestic altercations are common. The National Statistics Domestic Violence Fact Sheet claims that approximately 20 people are “physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States” every minute. Furthermore, one out of every four women are subjected to “severe” physical violence (or stalking) from their partner. One out of every nine men experience the same. This leads to increased anxiety, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, a greater chance of injury, and more. These altercations can start mild and quickly turn violent. If one partner threatens to commit an act of violence against the other and the threat is found to be credible, or they use a deadly weapon, a spat can turn into a case of aggravated assault. Keep in mind that a deadly weapon doesn’t have to be a knife or a gun. In loninger v. State, 846 So. 2d 1192 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), the use of a beer bottle to strike a victim on the head was regarded as the use of a “deadly weapon.” 

2. Intoxication

Let’s take another look at that last point. If a beer bottle can be used as a deadly weapon, it follows that your average bar can be considered both a hotbed for drunken altercations and an armory, all in one. In other words, if you like to go out and get hammered in public, you need to be extremely cognizant of your behavior around others. Unfortunately, this is not something a drunk person is typically good at. Pointless arguments that start as shouting matches can turn into pugilistic bouts at the drop of a hat. The moment you pick up that beer bottle, cock back, and launch it at your adversary is the very same moment you commit aggravated assault.

3. Road Rage

You never know when you might share the road with a driver looking for a fight, but you have to choose to be the bigger person and avoid a dispute; otherwise, you could find yourself calling the best aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg to work on your case. Your vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon, and determining whether or not your actions constitute self-defense can be troublesome. If someone with road rage tries to engage you in a fight, you should drive away immediately. If you are stuck in gridlock, you need to stay put, lock the doors, and call 911. Do not use your car as a weapon unless you have no other options to protect your life. On the other hand, if someone is driving poorly and you find your blood boiling, take a deep breath and relax. Five years in prison simply isn’t worth it.

For a free consultation with the best aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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