| Read Time: 4 minutes | Assault
How to Beat Aggravated Assault Charges in Florida

Aggravated assault charges are extremely serious. A conviction could send you to prison for up to five years or longer, depending on the circumstances of your case. You’ll need to talk to an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer right away if you find yourself in these dire circumstances. 

The Orlando criminal defense attorneys from Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law are former prosecutors who have a unique perspective on how to defend your rights. By understanding how the prosecution might approach your case, our attorneys can plan the best defense strategy for your aggravated assault case.

Understanding How to Beat Aggravated Assault in Florida

You need to understand the elements—or the essential legal parts—of an aggravated assault charge before you can start planning a defense. We will discuss each part of the offense separately. 

Florida Statutes § 784.011 defines the crime of assault as an intentional threat to commit a violent act against another person. The threat can be verbal, an act, or a combination of speech and action. The threat has to be imminent, and the victim has to reasonably believe the accused can carry out the threat. People often refer to this crime as “simple” assault. 

Under Florida Statutes § 784.021, an aggravated assault is an assault with a deadly weapon but without the intent to kill. It can also be when the person commits an assault while intending to commit a felony. Deadly weapons in Florida are knives (except common pocket knives), brass knuckles, tear gas, or other objects that could be used as deadly weapons. For example, a brick by itself is not a deadly weapon but becomes a deadly weapon if you use it to hit someone in the head.

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony and carries up to five years in state prison. 

Florida law reclassifies aggravated assault from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony if the victim of the aggravated assault is either a(n):

  • Law enforcement officer,
  • Firefighter,
  • Emergency medical care provider,
  • Public transit employee,
  • School employee,
  • Person 65 or older, or
  • Railroad special officer.

A conviction for a second-degree felony carries up to 15 years in prison.

However, a conviction for an aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer carries a three-year minimum-mandatory prison term. So the judge can give you more, but not less than the three-year minimum sentence.

10/10 Andrew Moses is a professional hard working lawyer who goes above and beyond for his clients. If you’re scared about the legal system and in a bind look no further he will give you a clear view.
veronica heissner
veronica heissner
Paul Ghezzi took his time and listened to my issue AND did exactly what he said he would do. If you want someone who will listen and follow their word, then call Paul.
Jordan Cristwell
Jordan Cristwell
Absolutely tremendous staff (Tracy was Great 👍🏾). Attorney Rooth gave me a layout of the charges I was facing and he was able to successfully fight my tickets that would've jeopardized my driving record. Highly recommended. Can't thank ya enough
Emmanuel Rogers
Emmanuel Rogers
This law firm went on a 2 year roller coaster ride with me. They kept me from going to prison. They got me into rehab. I can say for certain that I am sober and intend to stay this way. Thanks to Mr. Jay Rooth , THE ORLANDO BRIDGE, My family and friends and above all myself. I can finally close this chapter in my life. Thanks again Moses and Rooth.
robert carlin
robert carlin
A wealth of legal expertise coupled with a make it happen professional attitude is exactly what you get when you hire Attorney Paul E. Ghezzi, Esq., of Moses & Rooth, to represent you. From my initial consultation Paul exuded an air of overwhelming confidence in his ability to get the Court to grant my motion for early termination of probation. Mom always said to me that God gave us all 2 ears to listen twice as much as we talk. Paul did just that, he listened intently to my intricate predicament which is a major attribute in the legal world. Having said that, when he spoke, I hung on every word and the motion was granted. Thank you Paul. Ladies and gentlemen, to regain your peace of mind in tough legal times, get yourself a magnificently savvy go-getter type of attorney.......Call Moses & Rooth and ask for Attorney Paul Ghezzi. With Paul, failure is NOT an option!
Byrd Risner
Byrd Risner
Paul Ghezzi, ESQ. represented me for a felony criminal defense case. He was able to get my 2 felonies dismissed & arrived at a plea for a misdemeanor with minimal fine and time served. He spent the time searching through my discovery and watching body cam footage to find my defense. An iron clad one at that That left the prosecution confused on why I was getting the deal of a lifetime. His knowledge on case law, his dedication of time to his clients and his empathy are unmatched. He is even trying to help me find an attorney to help me with a case I have in another state. Above & beyond is an understatement and the retainer was more than reasonable and well worth it. As somebody whose criminal history is as tall as me I have never had a lawyer fight for me, until now. If you find yourself in the position to need a power house attorney, look no further. You found him. to put this into full view for you, a case I could have done 5 years in prison for and have been sentenced to that for similar cases in the past, he was able to get me time served (for two days I spent in county awaiting bond), less than a $1,000 fine and NO PROBATION. When I have priors. I’m going to say it again, LOOK NO FURTHER.
Ashley Renee
Ashley Renee
I have hired attorneys in the past and I have to share that I’ve never had an attorney like Paul Ghezzi from Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law. Paul kept in contact with us through the entire process. Paul was always available for any questions we had and was always willing to go the extra mile. From my family to you Paul you are more than just attorney your now my friend. You are so much appreciated. Thank you Paul for being you! I strongly recommend this law firm if any of these attorneys give you 50% of what Paul has done for my family you will be in great shape!
Vicente Vigil
Vicente Vigil
I had an excellent experience with Moses and Rooth. From beginning to end I felt I had trusted the right firm. Jay Rooth represented me in my case and having an attorney who was pleasant, professional, and very experienced was everything. During a stressful time, I feel much of the stress was reduced due to the fact I made a good decision going with Jay. What is also important is everyone at this office is fantastic and helpful throughout the process. Many thanks !
Erin Meaney
Erin Meaney
If I could tell Mr. Jay Rooth a million times how much I thank and appreciate him I would ! After being told by three attorneys that my case was complicated and couldn’t be turned around, I almost gave up but my last attempt to fix my situation was the best decision I could have made ! Mr. Rooth worked so efficiently to help me. His knowledge, confidence, and reassurance is truly unbelievable. He updated me, communicated with me and did not miss a beat ! I will forever be grateful, I’ve been bragging on him ever since our first conversation! 10/10 HIGHLY RECOMMEND !!!!!!
Nastashia Kirkwood
Nastashia Kirkwood
Andrew is an amazing attorney. He really cares about his clients and goes above and beyond. Finding him was a blessing and my family and I will be forever be grateful to him.
Jessy C.
Jessy C.

Defending Against Aggravated Assault Charges

At Moses & Rooth, we comb through all of the details of your case to find the best defense. Remember, the prosecutor has the burden to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury can convict you. You must receive an acquittal if the state fails to prove any element of the crime. 

The best defense strategy for your case is unique to the facts of your case. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these cases. In fact, using more than one defense tactic might be the best strategy for you.

Conditional Threat

One strategy is the “conditional threat defense.” A conditional threat communicates an intention to commit a violent crime at some unknown or unspecified time in the future. The crime of assault is complete only if the threat of violence is immediate.

Similarly, an idle threat cannot rise to the level of assault because an assault victim must believe the person can carry out the threat.

Keep in mind that the victim of an assault has to experience a reasonable fear. Showing that the alleged assault victim was unafraid or did not believe you would carry out the threat could also be a winning defense.


We often get questions about self-defense from our clients facing aggravated assault charges. It is well-documented that Florida is a “Stand Your Ground” state.

You have a right to use or threaten to use deadly force if you reasonably believe you need to use deadly force to protect yourself or another from imminent death, great bodily harm, or harm caused by a forcible felony. Florida law does not require you to retreat before using deadly force.

Additionally, Florida law presumes that your fear of death or great bodily harm is reasonable if the person attacked you in your home or vehicle. 

There are limitations to the Stand Your Ground Law. You must be lawfully present in the place where the incident occurred, and you cannot be engaged in a felony. If you are engaged in a felony or have no legal right to be in the place where the incident happens, the Stand Your Ground defense is not available to you. 

Reduced Sentence

Knowing how to negotiate a plea bargain is one of the benefits of having a former prosecutor as your defense attorney. Negotiating with the prosecutor for a favorable punishment is one of the most effective defense tactics.

Negotiating a reduced sentence to simple assault from aggravated assault helps you avoid a felony conviction and reduces the amount of time you could potentially serve in jail.

Need Help Beating an Aggravated Assault Charge in Florida?

Moses & Rooth is here to help when you need it most. We fight aggressively for our clients to protect their rights. Our award-winning defense lawyers offer free case reviews and are available when you need them. Contact us today at 407-377-0150 to learn more about how to beat an aggravated assault in Florida. 

Author Photo

Andrew Moses

Andrew has been practicing criminal law his entire career. After graduating from law school he began working as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. During his time as an Assistant State Attorney, Andrew handled all types of cases ranging from misdemeanors to such serious felonies as drug trafficking and armed robbery. His experience as a prosecutor helped him gain perspective of the criminal justice system and how the government established its cases.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars