Statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicate that there were 312 reported violent crime incidents (including 236 aggravated assault cases) in Pensacola, Florida in 2019. In the state of Florida, a person may face assault crimes charges for unlawfully and intentionally issuing threats toward someone else. Such threats may be by actions or angry words that put the victim in reasonable fear of imminent danger or harm.
If you've been arrested and charged with assault crimes, retaining a highly skilled and aggressive Florida criminal defense attorney is imperative to outline your defense strategy. David Lee Sellers is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to individuals facing assault allegations. As your legal counsel, David can review and investigate your situation and determine the best available defense to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome in your case.
David Lee Sellers, PA is proud to serve clients across Pensacola, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Milton, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach.
Under Florida law, a person who intentionally and unlawfully threatens another person, and puts the victim in fear of imminent danger, violence, or harm, may be charged with assault. Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 784.011(1):
"An "assault" is 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."
In the state of Florida, assault crimes fall into two different categories:
Simple assault, also known as misdemeanor assault, is the least serious form of assault. Simple assault can be defined as an intentional and unlawful threat made by an individual toward another person, thereby creating a reasonable fear of potential harm, danger, or violence.
For instance, threatening to beat someone up or raising an object to hit someone may be considered simple assault in Florida.
Possible Penalties: Simple assault is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by six months of probation or up to 60 days in jail, a maximum fine of $500, or both.
Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 784.021(1), aggravated assault is an assault that is committed with:
A deadly or dangerous weapon without intent to kill
An intent to commit a felony
For instance, pointing a gun at someone to scare them may be considered aggravated assault in Florida. Depending on the victim and other surrounding circumstances, aggravated assault may be charged as either a third-degree felony or second-degree felony.
Third-Degree Felony: Punishable by up to five years of probation or up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000, and restitution paid to the victim.
Second-Degree Felony: An aggravated assault committed against a special victim (such as a law enforcement officer, emergency medical care provider, firefighter, school employee, or an adult 65 years or older) is charged as a second-degree felony and is punishable by up to fifteen years of probation or up to fifteen years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, and restitution paid to the victim. There is a minimum sentence of three years for an assault committed against a law enforcement officer.
If you are facing assault accusations in Florida, your attorney can use the defenses of:
False accusations by the alleged victim
Lack of provable intent to threaten
Defense of property
Defense of other people
Inability to perform the alleged threat
The instrument used may not be considered a deadly or dangerous weapon
When facing assault charges, trying to defend yourself could easily expose you to the risks of receiving the maximum punishment for your offense. If convicted, you could face devastating consequences, including hefty fines, a lengthy prison sentence, a permanent criminal record, and other social ramifications. Hiring a skilled Florida criminal defense attorney is crucial to help protect your rights and craft a strong defense for your case.
David Lee Sellers has devoted his career to handling criminal cases, including defending clients facing assault charges. As your legal counsel, he can review and investigate all the facts of your case, help you understand your potential defenses, and refuse the allegations against you with substantial evidence. David will fight aggressively to protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair treatment in every phase of the legal process. Using his extensive experience and legal understanding, David Lee Sellers will help you navigate the Florida criminal justice system.
Don't face your assault charges alone. Contact David Lee Sellers, PA, today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation. David can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance, advocacy, and aggressive representation you need. David Lee Sellers, PA serves clients across Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, and Crestview, Florida. Reach out today to get the help you need in your assault case.