Assault and Aggravated Assault

In 2017, the crime data report for Pasco County, FL, shows that there were 1,648 violent crimes. Out of those cases, the crime of aggravated assault was the most prevalent violent crime in Pasco County, FL, with more than 1,200 cases.

The most serious aggravated assault charges involve pointing a firearm at another person when that person claims to have been “in fear for their life.”

In many assault cases, the defendant will seek immunity from prosecution by hiring an attorney to file and litigate a motion to dismiss and for immunity from criminal prosecution pursuant to §776.032 for justifiable use or threatened use of force.

Defenses in assault or aggravated assault cases include both self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property. The defense of property claim, for example, might apply so as to justify the use of non-deadly force pursuant to Section 776.031(1).

Attorney for Assault or Aggravated Assault in Pasco County, FL

If you were charged with any type of misdemeanor assault or felony aggravated assault in Pasco County, then your case will be prosecuted at the courthouse in New Port Richey or Dade City, FL.

The criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm have a second office located in New Port Richey, across the street from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

The most common defense in assault cases involves claims of self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property. If the alleged victim in the case is a family member or household member, then the crime might be classified as domestic violence.

After an accusation concerning any type of violent crime, contact the attorneys at Sammis Law Firm.

Call (727) 807-6392.

Crimes for Simple Assault in Florida

Simple assault requires proof of an intentional and unlawful threat made by one person towards another in order to create a reasonable fear that violence or harm is about to occur. Physical contact or injury is not a required element of assault.

In a simple assault case, the crime cannot occur on the basis of words alone. The courts in Florida have consistently found that the defendant must engage in an overt act rendering the victim’s fears of imminent violence reasonable.

Under Florida law, the crime of assault is charged as a second-degree felony which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Felony Assault Crimes in Pasco County, FL

A simple assault can become a felony if the victim includes any of the following types of public servants:

  • Law Enforcement Officer;
  • Firefighter; or
  • Emergency Medical Care Provider.

In those cases, the assault charge is reclassified from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The crime of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is charged as a third-degree felony which is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison or five (5) years probation and a $5,000.00 fine. The penalties can increase substantially depending on the circumstances, For instance, the crime comes with a minimum mandatory prison of up to 20 years if a firearm is discharged during the course of the assault.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Pasco County, FL, take an aggressive stance when it comes to investigating aggravated assault cases. Those law enforcement agencies in Pasco County, FL, include:

  • the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office;
  • the Dade City Police Department; and
  • the New Port Richey Police Department;
  • the Port Richey Police Department;
  • the Zephyrhills Police Department.

We understand the standard operating procedures used by these law enforcement agencies in Pasco County, FL, when investigating assault or aggravated assault cases.

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Pasco County, FL

The crime of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Florida requires proof of the following:

  • the defendant committed an assault by using a deadly weapon;
  • that created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that violence is about to take place;
  • that the threat of the weapon is used in a way likely to cause death or great bodily harm; and
  • that violence was in fact imminent.

In other words, the crime of aggravated assault involves an accusation that an assault occurred with an additional accusation that a deadly weapon was used or that the crime involved the intent to commit a felony.

While a simple assault can be charged as a misdemeanor, the crime can be charged as a felony if the person commits assault by:

  • using a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
  • commits assault with the intent to commit a felony.

Under those circumstances, the person can be charged with aggravated assault, a third degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison.

Additional Resources

Incident Reports from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office – The sheriff’s office in Pasco County, FL, provides incident reports for assault and aggravated assault crimes that offenses that occur within its jurisdiction (within Pasco County but outside the incorporated cities). Contact the Records Section of the Sheriff’s Office by calling 1-800-854-2862 in order to obtain a copy of the report. If the crime occurred within the limits of the cities in Pasco County, then you might need to contact the police department in that city.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.