Orlando Assault Lawyer

As a trusted criminal defense law firm in Florida, we know that charges are rarely as straightforward as they seem. When you need an attorney who will listen, empathize, and advocate for you, Sergio Cruz is here to help. Contact our law firm to learn more. 

Being accused of committing any violent crime is a serious — and conviction carries serious consequences. Fortunately, our criminal defense lawyers understand that situations resulting in assault charges are rarely cut-and-dry. 

The reality is that assault encompasses much more than overtly violent actions. When tempers flare and tensions run high, people sometimes act in ways they regret, never realizing their actions qualify as assault. As criminal defense lawyers, it’s our job to ensure they receive the critical legal services they need to avoid life-altering penalties. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with assault in Florida, don’t lose hope — Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is here to help. This article will explain the countless ways an Orlando assault lawyer can assist in your case, explain the differences between various types of assault charges, and explore a few commonly used defenses to assault charges. 

Remember: Being accused of a crime doesn’t make you guilty of committing it. However, in the absence of a robust defense strategy, you could still do time. Contact our criminal defense law firm to explore your legal defense options. 

What Is the Assault Law in Florida?

In the Sunshine State, assault is defined under Florida Statutes, specifically Chapter 784. It is divided into three categories based on the severity and the circumstances of the offense. Here are a few key aspects of each:

  1. Simple assault. Simple assault occurs when an individual purposefully and unlawfully threatens (verbally or physically) to commit violence against another person. The person making threats must have an apparent ability to carry them out, and the other person must believe that the violence is imminent.
  2. Aggravated assault. Aggravated assault has the same elements of simple assault with the additional factor of using a deadly weapon — but without the intent to kill or to commit a felony.
  3. Assault on specific victims. An assault on specific victims refers to assaulting a law enforcement officer, emergency medical care provider, public transit worker, firefighter, or other protected groups while they are performing their duties.

Each category of assault comes with its own set of penalties and legal consequences. Assault, also called simple assault, is the least serious of assault charges, but conviction can still result in life-altering consequences.

How Is an Assault Different from a Battery?

In Florida, assault and battery are two distinct offenses with different legal definitions, key elements, and penalties. Here are the key elements of each:

  • Assault. To be considered assault, there must be a threat (verbal or through actions) of imminent violence; the perpetrator must have an apparent ability to carry out the threat; and the victim must have a reasonable fear that violence is about to occur.
  • Battery. Battery takes assault a step further and involves the actual and intentional touching of another person against their will. Key elements include unwanted physical contact and, in some cases, bodily harm.

Both assault & battery offenses carry significant legal consequences, but they differ in important ways. Essentially, assault is about the threat of violence and does not necessarily involve physical contact; battery charges, on the other hand, involve actual physical contact or harm. 

How Is Aggravated Assault Different from Assault?

According to Florida law, aggravated assault and simple assault are differentiated by the presence of specific aggravating factors. In other words, when an assault occurs with certain aggravating factors, it is elevated to aggravated assault. 

An individual can be charged with aggravated assault (or assault with a deadly weapon) if the following key elements are present: 

  • The perpetrator makes a threat of violence, either verbally or with their actions.
  • The perpetrator appears capable of carrying out the threat.
  • The victim reasonably fears that the violence is imminent. 
  • The perpetrator threatens to use a deadly weapon or does use a deadly weapon during the assault. 
  • The perpetrator either uses a deadly weapon without intending to kill or commit an assault or with the intent to carry out another felony. 

In summary, aggravated assault is considered more severe than simple assault because it involves a deadly weapon or the intent to commit a felony. Additionally, simple assault is typically considered a misdemeanor, and aggravated assault is a felony that carries harsher penalties. 

Defending Against Assault Charges

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All assault cases are different and require a custom-tailored approach. The best defense strategy for you will depend on the specific details of your criminal case and your exact charges. That being said, there are several common defense strategies that our criminal defense law firm can help you explore, including the following:

  • You were acting in self-defense. If the force you used was proportional to the threat you faced, you can’t reasonably be considered the aggressor. We can argue that you acted justifiably to protect yourself from imminent harm or danger.
  • You were defending someone else. If you used a reasonable amount of force to protect another person from imminent harm, we can argue your actions do not constitute assault.
  • You were defending your property. You may not be considered guilty of assault if you used an appropriate amount of force to protect your property from being invaded or damaged.
  • You had a lack of intent. If we can prove your actions were accidental or unintentional, we can argue that you had no intention to threaten or harm another person and should not be convicted of assault.
  • You had consent. If we can demonstrate that the alleged victim willingly participated in the activity and consented to your action, you cannot be convicted of assault.
  • You have an alibi. If we can present credible evidence that you were not present at the scene of the crime when it occurred, you’ve got a great chance of beating the charge.
  • You were falsely accused. Exposing inconsistencies in the accuser’s testimony and presenting strong evidence that contradicts their allegations can help us argue that your charges are based on false accusations or mistaken identity.
  • There is insufficient evidence to convict. If the prosecution cannot meet the burden of proof required to establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it is unlikely that you will be convicted.
  • You are justified under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law allows individuals to use force — even deadly force — to defend themselves in certain circumstances, proving they had a right to be where they were and believed the force was necessary to defend against imminent danger.
  • You were engaged in mutual combat. If both you and your accuser willingly engaged in a physical altercation, we can argue that it was consensual and not an assault.

These are just a few of the many criminal defense strategies we can explore when building your case. After a thorough review of the evidence and circumstances surrounding the incident, we will design an aggressive defense strategy that ensures the best possible outcome.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Top Assault Attorneys in Orlando, Florida

Assault charges are no laughing matter. Conviction of even simple assault can result in devastating consequences, including jail time, fines, and a marred criminal record. The best way to avoid severe penalties is by contacting a top criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Luckily, you don’t have to look too far: Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is standing by. Contact us today to start defending your future with confidence.

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