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In basic terms, another word for assault is an unlawful threat. According to Black's Law Dictionary, it means "[t]he threat or use of force on another that causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact." Reasonable fear means that you have to realistically believe that someone who is threatening you could actually cause you harm.

A simple assault, in Florida, may be enhanced if the person assaulted is considered a “special victim,” if a serious injury occurred, or if the alleged defendant used a weapon. If you were arrested for assaulting someone, assert your right to remain silent as soon as possible and contact an attorney to help fight for your rights.

Attorney for Assault Charges in Pensacola, Florida

Criminal Defense Lawyer, John Terrezza, is experienced in fighting violent crimes including assault and aggravated assault.

John Terrezza is a dedicated Florida native who has experience defending clients in criminal cases in multiple areas in the Florida Panhandle. He has defended clients in Escambia County in Pensacola, in Santa Rosa County, in Milton, and in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Call (850) 764-5291 if you live in Pensacola, FL and need help in an assault case. 

Elements of Criminal Assault as Defined by Florida Statute §784.011

Florida Statute §784.011 states that an “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat, by an act or by words, to commit violence against another coupled with the ability to carry it out. Assault is also doing some act that creates a well-grounded fear in that other person that such violence is imminent.

At trial, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt:

Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, and a defendant could face up to sixty (60) days in jail and a $500 fine.

Third-Degree Felony Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is characterized as an assault with intent to commit a felony or assault with a deadly weapon. Intent to kill is not required.

Moreover, the Florida Criminal Jury Instructions defined “deadly weapon,” as a weapon that could be used, or threatened to be used, to produce death or great bodily harm.

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony and carries a possible sentence of up to five (5) years in prison or up to $5,000 fines.

Special Assault Victims

Under Florida Statute 784.07 assault on certain persons may enhance the normal penalties. These special victims are:

When a defendant commits assault against a member of one of these groups, a simple assault charge becomes a first-degree misdemeanor. If the claim against the defendant is aggravated assault, then the charge becomes a second-degree felony.

Defenses to Assault

The most well-known defenses to assault and battery charges are consent and self-defense.

Consent is defined as a person giving another his or her permission to perform an otherwise threatening act.

Self-Defense or Defense of Others allows an individual to use a reasonable amount of force in response to an imminent threat.

Additional Resources

Jury Instructions for Assault in Florida – Find the Florida standard jury instructions for violent crimes commonly prosecuted in Florida including assault, battery, and domestic violence.

Finding an Attorney for Assault Charges in Santa Rosa County, Florida

If you or someone you know has found yourselves faced with criminal assault charges contact attorney John Terrezza at (850) 764-5291 now.

He has experience fighting his client’s greatest battles. For more information about assault and other violent offenses go online for a free evaluation.

John Terrezza takes cases in Escambia, County, and Santa Rosa County. Attorney John Terrezza also takes federal cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

The firm is conveniently located on George Street in Downtown Pensacola.

 This Article Was Last Updated On Thursday, April 6, 2017