Common Defenses in Aggravated Assault Cases

If you have been accused of aggravated assault, depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime, there’s a realistic chance that you could face a prison sentence without the right representation. If you are in this position, consult the best aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg. In this brief article, criminal defense attorneys with The Rickman Law Firm will discuss the penalty for aggravated assault in Florida and common defense strategies utilized in aggravated assault cases.

What is the Penalty for Aggravated Assault in Florida? 

In the State of Florida, an aggravated assault conviction can result in a five-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine. This includes first-time offenders. Even more concerning, the potential punishments of aggravated assault with a “deadly weapon” can increase the penalties significantly, including up to 20 years in prison. It’s important to note that a deadly weapon isn’t just a firearm and can include a knife, automobile, broken beer bottle, or a variety of other potential weapons. Moreover, you don’t have to physically act in order to be charged with aggravated assault. Even the threat of bodily harm can result in a lengthy prison sentence.   

Common Defenses to Aggravated Assault

A person accused of aggravated assault could simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here are some common, successful defense strategies against wrongful accusations of aggravated assault:

  • Self-Defense: Florida law states a person is justified in using force if they have a reasonable belief that they need to utilize this force to defend themselves against “imminent death or great bodily harm.” Florida is also well known for being a “Stand Your Ground” state, meaning lethal self-defense can be used in certain situations.    
  • Defense of Others: A citizen has a right to defend others and can use force if they witness a person in a dire situation where imminent death or great bodily harm are high possibilities. Defense using justifiable force can also include protecting personal property as well.
  • False Allegations: In some cases, an alleged victim could claim wrongdoing occurred, but their account was completely fabricated.  
  • Lack of Evidence: A person may claim an aggravated assault crime occured, but there is no evidence to support their claim.  

Depending on the circumstances, there can be a variety of reasons why a defendant is accused of a crime like aggravated assault; however, the court must prove that the victim’s fear was justified and that the defendant had intent to carry out the perceived threat. If the court can’t prove this, the defendant should not be convicted of aggravated assault. If you have been wrongfully accused of aggravated assault, speak with the best aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg today. 

For a free consultation with an 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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