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What is aggravated assault?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Assault, as defined by Florida law, is an intentional threat – either through words or action – to commit violence against another. Normally, this is a misdemeanor offense. But there’s an even more serious form of assault that Florida treats more seriously: aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault, according to law

Under state law, an assault becomes “aggravated” if a person commits an assault while fulfilling one of two conditions. Those conditions are:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill
  • Assault with the intent to commit a felony offense

In short, the distinguishing factors of an act of aggravated assault are the presence of a deadly weapon or felonious intent.

Aggravated assault is a felony of the third degree. A conviction leads to up to five years of prison and $5,000 in fines.

Enhancements to charges of furthering a riot

If a person facing charges for acting in furtherance of a riot also faces charges for aggravated assault, the aggravated assault offense becomes a felony of the second degree. If a court convicts a person of this enhanced offense, they face up to 15 years of prison and $10,000 in fines.

Those accused of aggravated assault in Florida must understand the gravity of their situation and the importance of defense. The penalties for conviction are severe, and even if the accused didn’t kill anyone, a sentence may still involve prison time. If you face charges, remember that a criminal defense lawyer experienced in violent crime cases may be able to advise you on your rights.