Clearwater Assault Lawyer
Like other violent crimes, assault is prosecuted aggressively in Clearwater and those convicted will face harsh penalties. If you have been charged, those penalties could negatively impact your life in the days and weeks to come, but potentially for the rest of your life if you are left with a permanent criminal record. A Clearwater assault lawyer can provide the defense you need to avoid those penalties and will answer any question you have while working on your case.
What is Assault?
When many people hear the term “assault,” they often immediately think of assault and battery. They also think the phrase refers to one crime only. Assault and battery is a common term, but it actually refers to two different criminal offenses. Assault is defined under Florida law as an illegal and intentional threat made by one person to another. In order for assault charges to apply, the individual making the threat must be reasonably capable of carrying out the threat and must act in a manner that places another person in fear that violence is imminent.
While assault is a threat of bodily harm, battery is the actual act of injuring another person. Battery requires physical contact between two people, while assault does not. Even though assault and battery are different crimes, the two charges are often laid at the same time over the same incident.
Simple assault is generally charged as a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense. The penalties for those convicted include up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.
There are many circumstances that can upgrade a simple assault charge to a more severe crime. Aggravated assault is a much more serious criminal offense than simple assault. Aggravated assault occurs when someone threatens another person using a deadly weapon, or they threaten someone else with the intention of committing a felony. For example, if a person used a gun to threaten a store clerk into giving them cash, that would constitute aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is one of the many circumstances that can result in felony charges. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. A conviction can result in up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Defenses to Assault in Clearwater
Being charged with any type of assault is very serious and you are likely concerned about your future. Fortunately, there are many defenses available. For example, if you were protecting yourself or someone else at the time, you can argue that you were acting in self-defense. Or, if the prosecution cannot show that you had the intent or ability to actually harm someone, that can also serve as a defense. A Clearwater assault lawyer can advise on the best defense to use after reviewing the facts of your case.
Call Our Assault Lawyer in Clearwater Today
Do not face your assault charges on your own. At King Law Group, our Clearwater assault lawyer knows the defenses that will give you the best chance of a favorable outcome and will use them to help you beat your charges. Call us now at 727-538-4265 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.