Aggravated Assault

Florida Statute § 784.021 states that aggravated assault is an intentional threat against another with a deadly weapon. The crime of aggravated assault has more severe penalties than a standard assault offense. An aggravated assault charge can result in felony charges.

Florida’s criminal justice system can be daunting, especially with such a serious charge. The penalties for aggravated assault can result in steep fines and imprisonment. It is highly recommended that you seek a criminal defense attorney. A skilled defense attorney can file motions, suppress evidence, and help you explore all your legal options.

If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation.

Attorney for Aggravated Assault in St. Lucie County, FL

Are you currently being investigated for aggravated assault? Do you have an upcoming court date? It is important that you are aware what can come next. Hiring a strategic defense attorney can greatly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have a focus on criminal defense in the greater St. Lucie County area. We have over 20 years of experience handling violent crimes in Florida’s justice system. Our attorneys are dedicated to being current with upcoming Florida legislation. Additionally, we have a passion for criminal defense. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell will work tirelessly to obtain the best possible results for your case.

Meltzer & Bell defends those accused of aggravated assault throughout the Treasure Coast area and nearby communities including Jupiter Island, Fort Pierce, Stuart and Port St. Lucie.

Call today at (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form today.

Overview for Aggravated Assault in Florida


Definition for Aggravated Assault under Florida Law

Florida states that aggravated assault is a severe type of assault offense. The following is the elements of assault under Florida law.

  • The alleged offender intentionally and unlawfully threatened by act or word to do violence to the alleged victim;
  • At the moment, the alleged offender appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat;
  • The actions of the alleged offender created in the mind of the alleged victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place

The offense of aggravated assault does not necessarily require the prosecutor to prove that the alleged offender had intent to kill. According to Florida Statute § 784.021, aggravated assault is similar to assault with two additional elements:

  • The assault was made with a deadly weapon; or
  • The assault was formed with a fully-formed, conscious intent to commit a felony.

The term “deadly weapon” is defined as a weapon that is used in any way to produce great bodily harm or death. Often in aggravated assault cases, a firearm will be the deadly weapon used or threatened.


Florida Penalties for Aggravated Assault

An aggravated assault conviction can result in a third degree felony. The legal consequences for a third degree felony include:

  • Maximum prison term up to 5 years;
  • Possible probation for up to five years; and
  • Possible fine of up to $5,000.

The penalties for aggravated assault can be enhanced depending on who the victim is. If the alleged victim is one of the following and was injured while performing their professional duties, the penalties will be elevated to a second degree felony.

  • Firefighter;
  • Emergency Medical Technician; or
  • Law Enforcement Officer.

The legal consequences of a second degree felony include:

  • Maximum fine of up to $10,000; and
  • Maximum prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Possible Defenses to Aggravated Assault in Florida

An aggravated assault case can be tricky to defend. It is important that you protect yourself with a skilled defense attorney. An attorney can work with you on evaluating all aspects of your case. The following are some defenses that may be used in court to fight aggravated assault charges.

  • Unreasonable Fear – If the alleged victim was taunting the defendant, or actually never believed that a threat was imminent, the act is not considered assault in court.
  • Conditional Threat – If a person gives out a conditional threat, that is not considered assault. A conditional threat is where the violent act is at some unspecified point in the future. The threat must make the victim feel as though violence is imminent.
  • Idle Threat – An idle threat is a threat that is unaccompanied by any physical act, that justifies a belief that the person will actually follow through with the threat. Idle threats are not considered assault in a court of law.

Additional Resources

Florida Aggravated Assault Laws – Visit the official website for Florida laws and regulations. Find more information regarding the statutory language for aggravated assault. Learn more about charge specifics, penalties, and admissible defenses for violent crimes.

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Visit the official website for the non-profit organization called the Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence (FCADV). The FCADV is dedicated to promoting information about domestic violence and to give support for domestic violence survivors.


Lawyer for Aggravated Assault in Fort Pierce, Florida

An aggravated assault offense can result in a felony. The penalties for aggravated assault can be overwhelming. Additionally, the legal process is extremely complex. The prosecution will do their best to try to poke holes in your defense. Find a skilled defense attorney with Meltzer & Bell.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have over 20 years of combined experience in Florida’s criminal courts. We understand the ins and outs of violent crime laws in Florida. You want an attorney who is not only knowledgeable, but puts you first. Our attorneys value open communication with every client.

Meltzer & Bell defend those accused of assault or aggravated assault throughout Martin County and St. Lucie County including Ocean Breeze, Jupiter Island, Port St. Lucie, and Fort Pierce.

Dial us today at (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on September 5, 2018.

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