30th Sep 2022
Florida law classifies assault, or simple assault, as a second-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 60 days in jail or 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.
Aggravated assault is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment. Where a firearm is used, the penalties for aggravated assault can increase substantially under Florida’s 10-20-Life law.
REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ASSAULT PENALTY
1. Physical Contact (Weapon)
In Florida, physical contact or injury is not a required element of assault. However, wielding a knife toward another person, is sufficient for an assault even if the defendant never makes contact with the alleged victim.
2. Words/Act Must Be Intentional
The intentional threat element of an assault charge addresses the defendant’s intent, not the reaction of the person perceiving the word or act and that it constitutes and instigates the threat.
In a situation wherein a defendant is prevented from imminently carrying out the act, an assault does not occur. A defendant holding a gun or a knife in a threatening manner towards any individual, who was defensively positioned behind a car (or in most cases, a deputy positioned behind a police car) 30 feet away, does not commit the crime.
If you have been arrested for battery or assault in Miami, then you may want to call an experienced criminal defense attorney for legal advice.