In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, studies have shown a dramatic increase in domestic violence cases all over the U.S., with a correlating increase in severity of charges. With more people facing domestic violence accusations, it can be confusing to understand the difference in charges you may face. For example, you may be under the impression that domestic violence itself is a blanket charge, but in fact you may actually face charges including aggravated assault.
In this brief article, the best aggravated assault lawyer in St. Petersburg with our team at The Rickman Law Firm shares some information you may find helpful if you are facing aggravated assault charges connected to a domestic violence incident.
Domestic violence is sometimes a blanket term used to describe acts of violence against a spouse or partner. However, it can extend to include anyone who lives in the house.
Florida Statute Chapter 741 defines domestic violence as:
“…any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
The statute goes one step further defining family or household member as:
“spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.”
Some common crimes associated with domestic violence include assault, aggravated assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment, among other criminal charges. Although the vast majority of domestic violence cases are tried on the state level, domestic violence can also be considered a federal crime. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is one such law passed that allows these cases to be considered violations of federal law. For accusers that possess a firearm, this can be classified as a violation of the Gun Control Act.
In Florida, aggravated assault is defined as an assault with a deadly weapon with or without intent to kill, or with intent to commit a felony. A deadly weapon does not necessarily have to be a knife or a gun. In fact, 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.”
For an example of how domestic violence can result in these charges, let’s imagine you have a heated argument with your spouse and break a dish and begin to chase them with it. Even though you may not have intended to threaten their life, if you have something that can be used as a deadly weapon in your hand you may be charged.
Often, domestic violence comes down to “he said, she said.” It’s important to defend yourself against any and all charges, including aggravated assault, with an experienced aggravated assault lawyer in St. Petersburg. If you have been accused of aggravated assault, contact The Rickman Law Firm to discuss the best defense for your specific case. A free consultation with Anthony Rickman is just a phone call away.
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.