Assault / Aggravated Assault
Florida Statute § 784.011 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.” Since the wording is based purely on a threat, a person can face criminal charges for a confrontation even if the incident did not involve any physical contact.
In most cases, assault is a misdemeanor offense that is frequently referred to as “simple assault.” Certain aggravating factors such as certain types of alleged victims or the use of a deadly weapon can result in enhanced criminal charges, possibly making assault a felony offense.Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Broward County, FL
Were you arrested in South Florida for any kind of alleged assault? You should avoid saying anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who represents clients accused of crimes of violence in Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Cooper City, Miramar, Coral Springs, and many surrounding areas of Broward County. You can have him review your case when you call (954) 524-4474 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Fort Lauderdale Assault Crimes Information Center
- How can a person be convicted of assault?
- When does an offense become aggravated assault?
- Where can I learn more about assault prevention efforts in Broward County?
Simple Assault Penalties in Florida
Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of up to $500. Chapter 8.1 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions states that a prosecutor will need to prove the three following factors beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a person to be convicted of assault:
- The alleged offender intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the alleged victim;
- At the time, the alleged offender appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat; and
- The act of the alleged offender created in the mind of the alleged victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place.
Simple assault can become a first-degree misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 if the alleged victim is the member of a certain protected class of people under state law. Multiple assault offenses under Chapter 784 of the Florida Statutes provide that alleged offenders can be charged with the next highest degree of the crime if an alleged victim is any of the following:
- Law enforcement officer;
- Emergency medical technician (EMT);
- Public transit employee;
- Ambulance driver;
- Registered nurse (RN);
- Bus operator;
- Elected official;
- Employee of a specified department of government;
- Medical director;
- Parole officer;
- Probation or community control officer;
- Revenue or tax collector;
- School employee;
- Security personnel or security guard;
- Train operator;
- Any person 65 years of age or older;
- Sports official;
- Correctional officer at any prison or county jail;
- Any visitor or other detainee of a detention center or jail; or
- Code inspector.
Aggravated Assault Charges in Broward County
Under Florida Statute § 784.021, an alleged offender can be charged with aggravated assault if he or she commits an assault:
- with a deadly weapon (a weapon that is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm) without intent to kill; or
- with an intent to commit a felony.
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony offense punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. An aggravated assault crime can be classified as a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000 if the alleged victim is a member of one of the protected classes listed above.
Certain aggravated assault convictions in Florida can also carry mandatory minimum sentences. Under Florida Statute § 784.07(2)(c), aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer will result in a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison, and Florida Statute § 784.08 establishes that aggravated assault upon a person 65 years of age or older will result in a minimum of three years in prison as well as an order to make restitution to the alleged victim and to perform up to 500 hours of community service.
Florida Resources for Assault Arrests
Youth & Neighborhood Services | Broward Sheriff's Office — Visit the Sheriff's Office website to learn more about the various programs offered by the Youth & Neighborhood Services division, some of which focus on anti-violence efforts. Find information about senior services, youth services, and special units. You can also learn about ways to get involved.
Broward Sheriff's Office
2601 W. Broward Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
Public Security | Broward County Crime Commission — The Broward County Crime Commission is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation that acts “judiciously on behalf of law-abiding citizens in maintaining an unwavering vigilance against crime and corruption in the community.” On this section of the Crime Commission’s website, you can find various tips for maintaining personal safety. Learn more about home security, business security, workplace violence, neighborhood security, and more.
Broward County Crime Commission
10640 Northwest 32nd Street
Sunrise, FL 33351
If you have been arrested for allegedly assaulting another person in South Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm fights to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed for clients throughout Broward County, including Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Margate, Dania Beach, and several other nearby communities.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. He can use his experience handling these case on both sides of the aisle to help identify your strongest possible legal defense when you call (954) 524-4474 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.