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Gainesville Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney

Many Americans mistakenly conflate the terms assault and battery when the two words mean different – though often related – things. Assault is the threat of physical force or harm of another person, and the charge of battery is the carrying out of that threat. Any threat of harm that causes the victim to fear for his or her personal safety is assault. When an aggressor makes contact with the victim, the offense escalates to assault and battery. Gainesville residents can discuss assault and battery charges with an attorney to understand the differences and how to avoid penalties for conviction, if possible.

Florida’s Assault and Battery Laws

Chapter 784 of the Florida Criminal Statute explains the various definitions and qualifying factors involved in assault and battery crimes. The penalties for assault and battery vary based on the nature of the offense, the extent of the damage to the victim, and the offender’s criminal record. The different types of assault and battery offenses include:

  • Simple assault. This is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
  • Aggravated assault. This applies to any assault committed with a deadly weapon and is a third-degree felony punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.
  • Simple battery. The state may request a punishment of one year of imprisonment for this first-degree misdemeanor, and offenders will also face fines up to $1,000.
  • Felony battery. This is a third-degree felony that may lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Aggravated battery. Any battery committed with a deadly weapon, upgrades to an aggravated charge, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

A prosecutor can request additional or enhanced punishments for an offender with a record of past offenses or who poses a particular threat to society. An assault and/or battery charge can lead to significant penalties and pose more problems later in life when it comes to securing employment, finding housing, or qualifying for financial assistance.

Defending Against Aggravated Assault Charges

Several possible defenses may help you may fight an assault charge, but it’s vital to have evidence to back up your claims. It’s up to the prosecution to provide compelling evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but it’s not a wise idea to sit back and hope the prosecution’s case falls apart on its own. Being proactive in your defense is the best way of beating the charges, and a criminal defense attorney will be an invaluable asset in this endeavor.

A few of the potentially viable defenses against an assault and/or battery charge include:

  • Consent to physical contact.
  • Lack of intent.
  • Self-defense. Florida follows a Stand Your Ground law, allowing potential victims to use deadly force to protect themselves from others who wish to do them harm.
  • Defense of another person.
  • Defending a home or personal property.

If you or a loved one faces an aggravated assault charge in Gainesville, Florida, talk with an attorney immediately. Take advantage of your right to remain silent after your arrest and wait to speak with an attorney. Your attorney will advise you of your next best steps.

Contact the Fischer Redavid PLLC office in Gainesville today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We understand the complexities of assault cases and will get to know you and your situation to provide the best possible legal counsel for your case.