If you are in Florida facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, jail time is only one consequence you need to worry about. Assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, or aggravated assault, is a felony offense. Florida deprives convicted felons of certain rights, including their right to vote, serve on a jury, or hold public office. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives. Additionally, an aggravated assault carries a potential prison sentence of up to five years. Different factors like prior assault convictions or the type of weapon you used can affect the prison sentence for an aggravated assault conviction. An experienced criminal lawyer can review the details of your case and help determine the jail time associated with your charge. Our team at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law has more than 5050 years of combined legal experience navigating criminal charges. Contact our team today to schedule a free initial consultation.
What Is Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Florida?
In Florida, assault with a deadly weapon occurs when someone uses a deadly weapon to commit the following:
- An intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to another person;
- The apparent ability to fulfill the threat; and
- Commission of an act that creates a well-founded fear in the victim that violence is imminent.
Additionally, the person who commits the assault cannot intend to kill the target of their alleged threat. A deadly weapon is an item that is used or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm, such as :
- Glass bottle,
- Motor vehicle, or
Assault with a deadly weapon is referred to as aggravated assault in Florida.
Assault With a Deadly Weapon Jail Time—Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Aggravated assault is considered a third-degree felony in Florida, and it carries the possibility of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.However, the court may impose mandatory minimum penalties for an aggravated assault conviction if the court deems you a habitual felony offender. If you are convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon within five years of a prior felony conviction, the minimum prison sentence is five years, with a maximum sentence of 10 years.
How Can a Lawyer Decrease Potential Jail Time for Assault With a Deadly Weapon?
A criminal defense attorney can review the details of your charges and build a strategy that emphasizes the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. If there are significant weaknesses or a legal defense applies, we can take your case to trial or negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges and penalties. Let’s look at some possible defenses.
Defense of Self or Others
In Florida, you can use a firearm or other weapon to defend yourself or another person from a reasonable threat of harm. Evidence that you threatened the use of a firearm to defend yourself from another person can justify dismissing your charges.
Inability to Fulfill a Threat
Mere threats made without the apparent ability to carry out the action are not sufficient to prove aggravated assault. For example, suppose Bob and John are playing an online video game against each other from different locations. After a frustrating match, Bob threatens to hit John with a baseball bat. Bob does not have the ability to fulfill the threat, as he is in a different location and made the threat during an emotional outburst. Thus, Bob did not commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
A threat made conditional on another event occurring is insufficient for aggravated assault charges. For example, suppose Mark yells, Get off my lawn, or I will stab you! This threat is conditional on the target refusing to get off their lawn. Therefore, it is insufficient to qualify as aggravated assault.
How Much Time Do You Get for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon? Contact Our Team to Find Out
When your freedom is at stake, you cannot afford to hire an inexperienced, unqualified criminal lawyer to defend you. Instead, you need a team with the resources and experience to secure a favorable result.
At Moses & Rooth, we pride ourselves on helping our clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. As former district attorneys, we have extensive courtroom experience, and we know how prosecutors like to prove their cases. You do not need to face criminal charges alone. Contact Moses and Rooth to discuss your case and see how our criminal defense attorneys can help you fight for your rights.