Miami Aggravated Assault & Battery Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing aggravated assault or aggravated battery charges in Miami-Dade County, you need an experienced Miami aggravated assault attorney on your side. Both of these violent crimes are considered to be felonies and are punished more severely than simple assault or battery. The penalties for each criminal offense can include imprisonment, fines, and probation, and in some cases, a conviction for aggravated assault or battery can also result in the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to possess a firearm. You must take immediate steps to protect your liberty, reputation, and future.
What are Aggravated Assault & Aggravated Battery?
Under Florida law, an “assault” is defined 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 that creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. These charges often arise in domestic violence cases. Florida Statute 784.021 states that an assault becomes an aggravated assault charge if it is committed:
- With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
- With an intent to commit a felony.
In Florida, “battery” is defined as the intentional touching or striking of another person against their will or the intentional causing of bodily harm to another person. According to Florida Statute 784.045, a person commits an aggravated battery charge if they commit a battery:
- Intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
- Using a deadly weapon; or
- Against an alleged victim who is pregnant that they knew or should have known was pregnant.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
Under Florida law, a “deadly weapon” is defined as any object likely to cause death or great bodily harm. This can include firearms, knives, and other cutting instruments, as well as objects that are not typically considered weapons but can be used in a way that can cause death or great bodily harm, such as a car or a baseball bat.
What Counts as Great Bodily Harm?
Under Florida law, “great bodily harm” is defined as significant or substantial physical injury. It is a higher level of harm than “bodily harm” which can be minor injuries. Great bodily harm includes any permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. More specifically, it is an injury that results in:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
Great bodily harm can include injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement, loss of consciousness, or other injuries that are more severe than minor cuts or bruises.
Aggravated Assault & Aggravated Battery Penalties
Aggravated assault and aggravated battery penalties are more severe than simple assault and simple battery penalties.
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony under Florida law, and the maximum punishment for a third-degree felony is up to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony under Florida law, and the maximum punishment for a second-degree felony is up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
In some cases, a person convicted of aggravated assault or aggravated battery may be sentenced to probation instead of imprisonment. The length of probation can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the criminal case. In addition to being ordered to perform community service, a person convicted of aggravated battery may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim for any medical expenses or other costs related to the crime. A conviction for a criminal charge of either aggravated assault or aggravated battery can also result in the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to possess a firearm.
10-20-Life Enhancement for Firearms
In Florida, the penalties for Aggravated Battery can be significantly increased when the crime involves possessing or discharging a firearm. Under the state’s 10-20-Life Law, a conviction for Aggravated Battery with a firearm can result in the following minimum mandatory sentences:
- Possession of a firearm during the incident: a minimum of 10 years imprisonment.
- Possession of a semiautomatic firearm or machine gun during the incident: a minimum of 15 years imprisonment.
- Discharge of a firearm during the incident: a minimum of 20 years imprisonment.
- Discharge of a firearm resulting in death or great bodily harm: a minimum of 25 years imprisonment.
These minimum mandatory sentences are in addition to any other penalties that may be imposed for the underlying crime of aggravated battery, and they are not subject to parole or early release.
Defenses to Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery
Some common defenses to aggravated assault and aggravated battery in Florida include:
- Self-defense/Stand-Your-Ground: This defense asserts that the defendant acted in self-defense or defense of others and that using force was necessary to prevent imminent harm.
- Lack of intent: The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to commit the assault or battery. This may be a valid defense if the defendant can show that their actions were accidental or did not intend to cause harm.
- False accusation: The defense can argue that the defendant is falsely accused of the crime and that there is no evidence to support the prosecution’s allegations.
- Inadmissible evidence: The defense can argue that the prosecution’s evidence is inadmissible because it violated the defendant’s rights.
- Mistaken identity: The defense can argue that the defendant is falsely accused and that the prosecution has mistaken them for the actual perpetrator.
The specific facts of each case will determine which defenses may apply to your case. Our firm’s experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate your options and build a strong defense strategy.
Contact Experienced Miami Aggravated Assault & Battery Lawyers
It is crucial to contact an experienced Miami aggravated assault lawyer immediately if you or someone you know is facing aggravated assault or battery charges. It’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney experienced in building a strong defense and protecting your rights throughout the legal process. Having an attorney by your side can also help you navigate the legal system and minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.
At our criminal defense law firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with aggressive and effective representation. Our experienced attorneys are well-versed in the laws and regulations surrounding aggravated assault and battery charges in Miami. You can count on us to fight tirelessly for your rights and freedom and to build a strong defense on your behalf. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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