An arrest for assault or any violent crime is a serious matter the state will prosecute aggressively. If the criminal court finds you guilty, the conviction for the offense will remain on your permanent criminal record.
You could also face harsh penalties, including spending time in jail and extensive fines. Navigating the criminal court process is often frightening, confusing, and overwhelming. A Tavares assault lawyer could help you build a sound defense and reach the best potential outcome in your case. Get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.
An Arrest for Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are two different criminal offenses. An individual can face assault charges without touching or causing physical harm to another. The criminal statute defines the offense as an unlawful and intentional threat to cause bodily injury to another, putting them in fear of imminent danger.
Battery charges mean the cause for arrest included physical contact intending to cause bodily injuries to a person. After an arrest, the state may charge individuals with one of the offenses separately or together as assault and battery if they believe the defendant’s actions fall within both statutes.
The Penalties for Assault and Battery
A person guilty of assault will receive a second-degree misdemeanor on their permanent criminal record, spend up to 60 days in jail, and pay a maximum of $500 in fines. A battery conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction could mean paying $1,000 in monetary penalties and spending a year in jail. A well-practiced Tavares assault attorney could answer specific questions about the charges and penalties after reviewing the case.
Criminal Charges for Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault charges carry heavy penalties; those guilty could spend up to five years in prison and pay fines up to $5,000. Under Florida Statutes § 784.021, aggravated assault is a third-degree felony conviction involving using a deadly weapon or committing the act while intending to commit a felony. A deadly weapon can be anything from guns, knives, beer bottles, or anything the defendant uses to threaten or cause intentional bodily harm.
A person who uses a firearm in the commission of an aggravated assault will spend a minimum of three years in prison. An individual guilty of firing a gun while committing the act will receive a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years and harsh monetary penalties.
The State Must Establish Four Elements for a Conviction
There must be specific elements present for the state to prove the accused is guilty of aggravated assault in a court of law. The case must establish the following:
- The individual intentionally and unlawfully threatened to commit violence against another person
- They had the means to carry out the threat and cause bodily harm
- The threats would cause any reasonable person to fear imminent harm
- The defendant committed the act using a deadly weapon or while in the commission of executing a felony
The state has the burden of evidence in criminal cases and must prove the components of assault and battery were present during the action to prove guilt. A skilled assault lawyer in Tavares could help determine the best defense in a particular person’s case and aggressively defend their rights.
Schedule a Consultation With a Tavares Assault Attorney
A dispute or argument can quickly escalate, leading to one or more people making threats or committing violence against each other. This disagreement can spiral out of control, causing one or all parties to face charges of assault or assault and battery.
A conviction for a violent crime could mean lengthy prison sentences and fines, and it will remain on your permanent record. In addition, an assault conviction will likely cause problems whenever you submit to a background check. If you are facing these severe charges, immediately call a Tavares assault lawyer to help strategize your defense.