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Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Florida is defined as the intentional and unlawful threat, either through word or act, to do violence to another with a deadly weapon.

It must be shown that at the time you made the threat, you had an apparent ability to carry out the threat and that the threat caused the victim to have a well-founded fear that violence was about to take place.

The Florida definition of “deadly weapon” is a weapon used, or threatened to be used, in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Basically, if you make a threat to do violence with a weapon to another, you could find yourself charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Florida.

Under Florida law, whether you were just kidding or weren’t serious will not prevent you from being charged and possibly convicted of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Penalties for an Aggravated Assault Charge

In Florida, Aggravated Assault is classified as a third degree felony punishable by up to:
  1. Five years in state prison;
  2. Five years of supervised probation;
  3. A $5,000 fine

Defenses to an Aggravated Assault Charge

In addition to factual defenses that would be raised at trial to show reasonable doubt as to the crime alleged, some common defenses to a Florida Aggravated Assault charge include:

No ability to carry out the threat at the time it was supposedly made
In order to have committed an Aggravated Assault in Florida, you must have had an apparent ability to carry out the alleged threat at the time it was made. If there was no apparent ability to carry out the threat at the time it was made, then you will have a legal defense to the Florida Aggravated Assault charge.

This is often the case when threats are made over the phone, Facebook, or e-mail.

The victim’s fear was not reasonable under the circumstances
Florida law states that the alleged victim must have a “well-founded fear” in order for you to have committed an Assault in Florida. The Florida Aggravated Assault law does not carve out special exceptions for overly-sensitive people.

Florida law requires that any alleged “fear” must be reasonable and well-founded.

If the alleged victim’s fear is not reasonable and/or well-founded, you wll have an affirmative defense to the Florida Aggravated Assault charge.

You did not use a "deadly weapon"
If the alleged weapon was not a “deadly weapon” as defined under Florida law, you will have an affirmative defense to the Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge.

However, it is important to understand that this will only remove the “deadly weapon” status of the crime and you could still be guilty of another offense. However, this could mean the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor!

Contact Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Chris Kaigle if you’ve been charged with Aggravated Assault in Florida!
(407) 545-6416