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Aggravated assault charges can impact your future in a number of ways and for a number of reasons. If convicted, you might risk losing custody of your children, losing jobs or job prospects, and even losing your freedom.
Florida statutes define aggravated assault as the intent to commit a felony with the use of or intent to use a deadly weapon. The accused must have intentionally and unlawfully threatened to do harm at the time the threat was made, creating a well-founded fear in the mind of the alleged victim, and making harm or intending to make harm with a deadly weapon.
In this brief article, a St. Petersburg aggravated assault lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm weighs in on a few of the reasons and ways that aggravated assault can impact your life. This is especially important to understand if you have been wrongfully accused, as you may be afraid to hire legal representation for fear of appearing guilty. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate these charges and understand the best defense available to you.
For years, Florida’s notorious 10-20-Life law applied to a number of felonies, including murder, sexual battery, and kidnapping. In such extreme cases, it made sense that the State of Florida would want to enact stricter punishments. However, what judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys found was that minor offenses would require a mandatory prison sentence, regardless of extenuating circumstances, as was the case with a number of aggravated assault cases.
In 2016, things changed when Senate Bill 228 was passed, which removed the mandatory 20-year prison sentence for aggravated assault cases involving a firearm, and allowed judges to impose sentences that they deem fair and just. However, the accused must still defend against a third-degree felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. That means that even without a mandatory minimum sentence, you can still spend years behind bars if convicted. This can impact your life with everything from custody arrangements for your children to finding and keeping a stable job.
Aggravated assault, if convicted, cannot be expunged or sealed from your record. That means that future employers or clients will be able to see that you have been convicted. Aggravated assault is qualified as a violent crime, so even if you only have made a threat and are found guilty, you will be facing the repercussions for years to come.
In order to defend yourself and protect your livelihood, family, and life from these charges, contact a St. Petersburg aggravated assault attorney with The Rickman Law Firm. We have years of experience working with cases just like yours and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to attempt to achieve a favorable outcome. Our attorneys will not only look into the event itself, but will also examine the arrest to determine if your rights were violated.
For a free consultation with a St. Petersburg aggravated assault lawyer, 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.