The terms “assault” and “battery” are commonly used interchangeably, but they are different crimes with different elements that the state must prove. A person may be charged with either assault or battery or both. It is important to understand the specific offense you are charged with so you can make informed decisions about your case.
The violent crimes attorneys at our firm believe in justice for all defendants. When you meet with a Mount Dora assault lawyer, we candidly explain the offense you’re charged with, the evidence the prosecution is likely to present against you and how we plan to fight the state’s allegations.
How Does a Prosecutor Prove Simple Assault?
Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor. To secure a conviction for assault, the prosecutors need to prove all of the following elements:
- An intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to another person
- An apparent ability to hurt the person
- Committing some act that creates a well-founded fear that violence is imminent
The alleged victim must feel fear of harm for the threat to be a considered assault, as a knowledgeable attorney in Mount Dora could explain.
Aggravated Assault Explained
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. To convict you, the prosecutors must prove every element of a simple assault (above) and that the offense was committed:
- With a deadly weapon without intent to kill, or
- With an intent to commit a felony
Aggravated assault carries greater penalties, including longer periods of incarceration in state prison rather than county jail.
What is Domestic Assault?
When the offense involves a member of your family or household, he or she is charged with domestic assault. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, blood or marriage relations, people living together currently or in the past, and parents of a child in common. A domestic assault charge can also give rise to a domestic violence injunction.
Defending Against Assault Allegations
If you are charged with assault, our lawyers consider the defenses that might be available to you, including:
- You acted in self-defense.
- You were protecting another person.
- The incident was an accident.
- You did not intend to make a threat.
- The alleged victim consented.
Self-defense and defense of an innocent third party are complete defenses. However, other defense strategies are limited in effect. For instance, if you prove the incident was an accident, you may escape criminal charges, but you’re exposed to civil liability. Proving consent to an assault does not get you off the hook entirely; you may be charged with disorderly conduct, a second-degree misdemeanor. A skilled Mount Dora lawyer could advise you on the strategy that fits the facts of your case and explain the extent to which it could relieve you from the weight of the charges against you.
Consult a Mount Dora Assault Attorney About your Defense Options
If you have been arrested for assault, you should reach out to our offices as soon as you can. One of our Mount Dora assault lawyers could protect your integrity, assess the details of the case, and implement many defense strategies to minimize the legal consequences of your charge.