If you were arrested for assault, it is crucial that you take legal action as soon as possible. Assault is a violent crime in Florida, so these charges are not something to take lightly. An incident that might seem like a misunderstanding could have severe consequences on your freedom and your livelihood.
At Rossen Law Firm, we know that these charges have the potential to upend your life, and our expert defense attorneys will fight to make sure they don’t. An expert Wellington assault lawyer at our office is prepared to build a strong defense on your behalf, so reach out right away to get started.
Florida Statutes §784.011 describes assault as a violent threat. The law does not require that the person carry out the threat, but they must have the means to do so, and the alleged victim must feel endangered. Heated arguments with no physical contact often lead to assault charges. These simple assaults are usually misdemeanor crimes.
Aggravated assault occurs when someone commits an assault while armed with a dangerous weapon. It does not matter whether the defendant displayed the weapon, or the alleged victim was aware of it. Aggravated assault is a felony, so it is critical to work with an expert attorney when combating these charges in Wellington.
Enhanced charges and penalties apply if the alleged victim falls into a special category. Someone found guilty of assaulting a public servant like a police officer, Fish and Game officer, bus driver, campus security guard, or other official described in Florida Statute §784.07 will face an enhanced charge. Similarly, assaulting someone vulnerable, like an elderly person or someone with a disability, leads to more serious charges with stiffer penalties.
Examining the actions of law enforcement is often a large part of building a defense. An experienced attorney in Wellington can scrutinize police officers’ conduct when they approached you, made the arrest, and collected evidence. If the police stopped you without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing or made an arrest without probable cause, your lawyer can file a motion to suppress the evidence the police obtained illegally.
Ideally, your attorney will be present to supervise questioning. If you were not able to obtain a lawyer right away, they could still review records to ensure the police informed you of your rights.
Evidence that police did not follow correct procedures could result in prosecutors dropping a charge. A lawyer could raise the issue of police misconduct and encourage the jury to question the officers’ truthfulness and motivation.
Even first-offenders could face severe penalties if convicted of assault. Different types of assault carry different penalties, so it is important to work with an expert attorney who has experience defending all types of assault cases in Wellington.
A simple assault is usually a second-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, if the alleged victim was a public servant or a vulnerable person, the potential penalties increase to a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
Aggravated assault carries a sentence of up to five years imprisonment and a $5000 fine. If the alleged victim was a public servant or a vulnerable person, the prison sentence increases to 15 years.
One conviction for a violent crime could lead to a harsher penalty if the person gets a subsequent conviction. More than one conviction for a violent felony like aggravated assault could lead to Habitual Violent Felony Offender status, which requires judges to impose harsh minimum sentences upon conviction.
A skilled legal professional will consider numerous defenses to an assault charge, such as mistaken identity, false witness, lack of intent to instill fear, and others, depending on the circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been arrested on suspicion of assault, do not hesitate to contact us at Rossen Law Firm. If you call from jail, a legal professional can be present during the police interview to protect your rights.
Our Wellington assault lawyers are experts at handling these charges and can get you the best result possible under the circumstances. The sooner you contact our expert attorneys, the more effectively we can get to work for you, so call today.
Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.
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