Florida Assault Defenses
Florida assault charges are considered serious crimes. If you are convicted of assault, you may have to serve time in jail. If you threw an object during the dispute, you may be charged with aggravated assault, which could lead to an even longer sentence.
If you are slapped with Florida assault charges, you will want to hire a Florida criminal lawyer, specifically one who has experience handling assault cases. A Florida criminal defense attorney will be able to analyze the facts of your case and come up with a strong defense to help either clear you of all charges or reduce the charges.
Florida Assault Basics
Assault occurs when someone threatens physical violence against another person or attempts physical violence. There does not actually have to be any injury sustained for assault to occur. Assault usually involves the use of a weapon, although a person can assault another just with fists or another part of the body. Assault with the use of a deadly weapon is known as aggravated assault
In Florida, assault can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Most incidents of assault in Florida are considered second-degree misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for such a crime is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is considered a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty for this crime is 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Florida Assault Defense: Consent
One potentially effective defense for Florida assault cases is consent. Consent occurs when the person who is the alleged victim of the assault consents to the offending actions.
However, consent will only be an effective defense if the incident did not result in serious bodily harm, if the injury occurred during the course of joint participation in an athletic event, or if the consent justifies the conduct.
When using consent as a defense, the defendant must show that the harm was not serious and that the person who is alleging assault was legally competent to consent and was not forced to consent in any way.
Florida Assault Defense: Self-Defense
Another potentially effective defense against Florida assault charges is claiming self-defense.
Under the law, you are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force if you or someone else is in immediate danger of being harmed. If during the course of protecting yourself or another you do use reasonable force and the attacker alleges assault, you may claim self-defense.
To prove self-defense, you will have to show that there was an immediate threat to you or someone else that necessitated your actions.
Getting Legal Help for Assault
Each incident of assault is different, and so it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense lawyer to assess your case and help you devise a strong defense strategy. If you have been charged with committing a felony assault, your lawyer may be able to negotiate the charges down to a misdemeanor.
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