Florida Aggravated Assault Attorney
Clearwater Aggravated Battery Attorney St. Petersburg Violent Crimes Defense Attorney
Larry Sandefer – Aggravated Assault Crimes Defense Lawyer
Serving Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and the State of Florida
What is the difference between an assault and a battery? Why was I charged with an Aggravated Battery, what does Aggravated Battery or Aggravated Assault mean?
What am I facing? I am not guilty, what do I do now?
These are all questions we are asked when someone has been charged with a violent crime in Pinellas County or in the Tampa Bay Area.
Let’s see if we can answer some of your questions. But, feel free to call or email us to talk about your specific charge or accusation because every case is different and every person is different.
The difference between an assault and battery is that an assault generally does not involve any contact but involves a threat by either word or act. An assault is an unlawful threat do violence to another person while having the ability to do so, and creating a well-founded fear in the other person that violence is about to take place. Those are legal terms for someone saying that you threatened them and they told the police that they believed that you were going to act on the threat.
An ‘aggravated’ assault is a threat with a deadly weapon or with a motor vehicle. This is often where you have been accused of pointing a gun at someone or threatening someone with a knife.
A deadly weapon can be a gun, a knife, or virtually anything which could cause serious injury. Often times an issue in aggravated assault an a defense to aggravated Assault is the so-called “weapon” and whether it is a deadly weapon or not. Another issue and potential defense to the charge of Aggravated Assault which should be explored is whether the person had the apparent ability to carry out the threat. Were they too far away to do anything or were they not serious?
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony carrying a maximum of of a five-year prison sentence. However, aggravated assault with a firearm can carry a minimum mandatory 3 year prison sentence. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 60 days in the County jail.
Aggravated Battery is more serious than Aggravated Assault and occurs when someone touches or strikes someone against their will and causes serious bodily injury. In other words you are charged with attacking someone and causing serious injury. If the accuser claims that you intentionally caused the serious injury, as opposed to not meaning to seriously hurt them, then the minimum sentencing score on the Florida Sentencing Code is more severe. Both types of Aggravated Battery are second degree felonies carrying up to 15 years in prison. If a firearm is used, Florida’s 10-20-Life law may come into play with minimum mandatory sentencing of 10 years for having the gun, 20 years if the gun is fired, or life in prison if someone is shot. These accusations are extremely serious and should not be taken lightly even if the situation is between family or friends and was temporary. Many times we get people who come in to hire us who waited because to them it was obvious that they were not guilty of the accusation. They were surprised that the state filed the charge. The state often only has been given one side of the story. It is usually to your advantage to get an attorney early in a case. Many times we are able to talk with the state attorney before a filing decision is made, and even give them information that they were not aware of, and a charge does not get charged or may be reduced.
What if the victim drops the charge? I know I don’t need an attorney for that! Wrong!
The ‘victim’ in Florida is not the one who controls prosecution, the state attorney can, and very often does, file charges even when an alleged victim wishes not to prosecute. You should always contact an experienced Pinellas County criminal and aggravated battery defense attorney and aggravated assault defense attorney for a consultation. Please review Larry Sandefer’s qualifications and extensive experience here. Then, call and talk on the phone or come in. There is no charge and all consultations are confidential.
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Larry Sandefer – Clearwater Aggravated Battery Defense Attorney
St. Petersburg Aggravated Battery and Aggravated Assault Attorney
Tampa Bay and Florida Aggravated Battery and Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney
- Over 30 Years Courtroom Experience
- Former Lead Trial Lawyer & Division Director
- Over 5000 Criminal Cases Handled
- Hundreds of Jury Trials as sole or lead counsel