What is Assault? A Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Explains
Thanks to popular television shows and movies, there are many misconceptions about what an assault actually is. Many people imagine that there must be aggressive physical contact in order for the perpetrator to be convicted of an assault. This is not the case. While a battery requires touching, striking or physical harm to the victim, an assault is completed merely by threatening violence upon another person. Nonetheless, assault can result in significant legal penalties, and the collateral consequences of an assault conviction can have a negative impact on your life for years to come.
If you or a loved one is facing an assault charge, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney. The skilled attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. has extensive experience in defending all types of assault cases. Call 305-615-1285 for a free phone consultation.
The Legal Definition of Assault
Section 784.011 of the Florida Statutes defines assault as 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 which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. This means that an assault can be committed without ever making contact with another person. It also means that hostile words or actions can be interpreted by a judge or jury as a threat – even if the defendant did not intend them to be so. This is why it is so important to remove yourself from hostile situations (such as road rage incidents or bar fights) before they escalate. Defendants can easily commit assault in such situations without meaning to do so.
“Simple” assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, but this can be enhanced by the circumstances of an offense. This is known in criminal law as “aggravation.” Assault charges can be aggravated by the use of a weapon. This is what happened to a Milton man who said he would “kill his neighbors with kindness,” then proceeding to slice them with a machete he had named Kindness. Newsweek reports that the man now faces felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Racial motivation can also be an aggravating factor. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, two white high school students at Flagler Palm Coast High School posted online messages in which they threatened to kill a black teacher at the school. The teens were initially charged with misdemeanor assault with hate crime enhancements. Now, the local NAACP is calling upon State Attorney R.J. Larizza to file felony charges against the teens.
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation with a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
An assault conviction can affect a person’s employment, professional licensure, parenting rights, and other important aspects of life. It is important to have the advice of an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney at every step of the criminal court proceedings in order to ensure that your constitutional rights are being protected. At Stroleny Law, P.A., our criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience in protecting the rights of Floridians who have been charged with a crime. Call 305-615-1285 for a free phone consultation. Don’t wait – the sooner you consult with an attorney, the better protected your legal rights will be.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Criminal Attorney in Miami.