Am I Facing Jail if I am Charged with Simple Assault in Florida?
All too often, a disagreement or difference of opinion quickly escalates into an argument, and sometimes into threats or even a physical confrontation. Someone calls the police and someone gets arrested.
Sometimes, that someone is you, and now you’re facing assault charges in the state of Florida.
Defining Simple Assault
Florida Statutes 784.011 defines simple assault as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”
Assault, then does not even require physical contact; you can be convicted of assault if you simply threatened another person that makes him or her fear violent acts from you. Plus, if you made threats against multiple people, then you could face multiple assault charges. Physical contact, on the other hand, would result in a “battery” charge.
Consequences of a Simple Assault Conviction
Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree, which carries a sentence of up to 60 days in jail or six months of probation, as well as a fine of up to $500. So, the fact is that you can go to jail if convicted of simple assault, particularly if you have an extensive criminal history or previous assault convictions.
In addition to these short-term consequences, an assault conviction can have negative effects on your future. Simply having an assault conviction on your record could result in decreased job opportunities; a prospective employer may assume that you are violent because of this conviction on your record.
Enhanced Consequences for a Simple Assault Conviction
In some circumstances, a simple assault charge can be a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries more serious penalties than a second-degree misdemeanor. If you allegedly committed assault against a your spouse, a member of your household, a girlfriend or boyfriend or any domestic violence incident, a firefighter, law enforcement officer, or an emergency medical care provider, you could end up with a conviction on a first-degree misdemeanor. This type of conviction could result in up to one year in jail, up to one year of probation, and a fine of up to $1,000.
Defenses to a Simple Assault Charge
Fortunately, there are many different defenses that may apply to your assault case. We may be able to build a strong case on your behalf using one of the following defenses:
• Self-defense or defense of others
• Defense of your property
• No intent to make threats
• Inability to carry out the threat
• Vague threats with no overt act to carry them out
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.