Aggravated Assault in Pinellas County

Under Florida law, an assault is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so and doing some act that creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

Florida Statute Section 784.011, F.S., makes it a second degree misdemeanor to commit an assault. A second degree misdemeanor is punishable by not more than sixty (60) days in county jail and a fine not exceeding $500 as provided by Sections 775.082(4)(b) and 775.083(1)(e), F.S.

Assault crimes can be classified as a felony for aggravated assault under several circumstances. For example, Section 784.021, F.S., provides that an aggravated assault is an assault plus one of the following additional elements:

  • With a deadly weapon but without an intent to kill; or
  • With an intent to commit a felony.

The crime of aggravated assault is charged as a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000 fine.

As provided in Section 921.0022(3)(g), F.S., the crime of aggravated assault is ranked in Level 6 of the Criminal Punishment Code offense severity level ranking chart.

Attorney for Aggravated Assault in Pinellas County, FL

If you were charged with the felony offense of aggravated assault, contact an attorney at Sammis Law Firm.

Visit our offices at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd #701, Clearwater, FL 33762, just a short distance from the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse.

During the consultation, we can explain the charges pending against you, ways to avoid the typical penalties, and the best defenses to fight for an outright dismissal.

We can also explain what happens if the alleged victim wants the prosecutor to drop the aggravated assault charges.

Call 727-210-7004 to discuss your case.

What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault in Florida?

Under Florida law, a simple assault is classified as a second degree misdemeanor. The statutory maximum penalty for a second degree felony is sixty (60) days in the county jail and a $500 fine.

On the other hand, aggravated assault is classified as a third degree felony, punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000 fine.

The court is not required to impose the statutory maximum penalty. Instead, the court might impose a lesser punishment, such as a withhold of adjudication of guilt and probation.

Defining “Deadly Weapon” in Aggravated Assault Cases

How does Florida law define a “deadly weapon” for the aggravated assault statute? The courts in Florida have defined the term “deadly weapon” to include any instrument that will likely cause death or great bodily harm when used in the ordinary and usual manner contemplated by its design.

The courts have also defined “deadly weapon” to include any other object that is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. See Brown v. State, 86 So.3d 569, 571 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012).

How to Beat Aggravated Assault Charges in Pinellas County, FL

A criminal defense attorney might use one of several defenses to help you beat a charge of aggravated assault. The defenses that might apply to your case depend on the unique facts and circumstances presented in your case.

To explore those defenses, your attorney might suggest hiring a private investigator or issuing subpoenas for phone records and surveillance video.

The most common defenses for aggravated assault crimes include self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property. Other common defenses include the statute of limitations or violations of your right to a speedy trial.

After an aggravated assault charge, you might be served with an injunction for protection to prohibit domestic violence, repeat violence, or dating violence.

If the victim of the aggravated assault is a spouse, former spouse, parent, child, or live-in girlfriend or boyfriend, then the crime might be classified as a form of “domestic violence.”

Types of Aggravated Assault Charges Prosecuted in Pinellas County, FL

The most commonly prosecuted forms of aggravated assault charges prosecuted in Pinellas County at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse in Clearwater, FL, include:

  • 784.021(1)(a) – Aggravated assault; deadly weapon without intent to kill (F3).
  • 784.021(1)(b) – Aggravated assault; intent to commit felony (F3)
  • 784.041 – Battery; domestic battery by strangulation (F3)
  • 784.048(3) – Aggravated stalking; credible threat (F3)
  • 784.048(5) – Aggravated stalking of a person under 16 years old (F3)

The most serious forms of aggravated assault are classified as a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in Florida Statute Prison. Those forms of aggravated assault include:

  • 784.07(2)(c) – Aggravated assault on law enforcement officer (F2)
  • 784.074(1)(b) – Aggravated assault on sexually violent predators facility staff (F2)
  • 784.08(2)(b) – Aggravated assault on a person 65 years of age or older (F2)
  • 784.081(2) – Aggravated assault on specified official or employee (F2)
  • 784.082(2) – Aggravated assault by detained person on visitor or another detainee (F2)
  • 784.083(2) – Aggravated assault on code inspector (F2)

What if the Aggravated Assault in Florida Occurs During a Riot?

Section 784.021(3) provides that an aggravated assault committed by a person acting in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot prohibited under Section 870.01 is ranked one level above the ranking under Section 921.0022 for the offense committed.

This article was last updated on Monday, April 17, 2023.