Anyone convicted of a crime of violence faces harsh consequences for the rest of their life. They could be denied jobs, housing, educational opportunities, and certain professional licenses. Being arrested for assault means potentially carrying the label of a violent criminal forever. The irony is that you could be convicted for assault even if you never made physical contact with the alleged victim.
Do not try to handle assault charges without the aid of a capable defense attorney. Call a Winter Garden assault lawyer for help as soon as you are arrested.
Assault charges are based on words and body language rather than physical contact. If someone makes a fist and says, “I am going to punch you in the nose,” that is an assault if the supposed victim believes they will be punched, and the person is close enough to carry out the threat. However, it is possible the person was teasing or being dramatic and did not have the intention to punch anyone.
A person without intent to harm who is arrested for assault might try to talk their way out of the charge. Although understandable, it is unwise. Police and prosecutors often set verbal traps for people facing charges and take advantage of their eagerness to present their version of events. The law gives all accused persons the right to remain silent, and staying silent until an attorney is present is always the best strategy.
Prosecutors usually charge a simple assault as a second-degree misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to a 60-day jail sentence and a $500 fine. In many cases, especially when the accused is a first offender, a skilled Winter Garden assault attorney could convince a prosecutor to dismiss the charge or reduce it to a non-criminal infraction.
An aggravated assault charge is more serious. Florida Statute § 784.021 defines aggravated assault as an incident where the alleged offender was armed or committing a felony such as a robbery. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony, and a conviction carries a possible sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Whether an action was an assault depends on intent and perception. The accused must have intended to threaten the alleged victim, and the alleged victim must have felt threatened by the defendant’s words and actions.
A dedicated Winter Garden attorney could defeat assault charges by presenting evidence showing the defendant had no intent to threaten or harm and the alleged victim was mistaken in their impression. Sometimes, a legal professional could prove that the alleged victim did not feel threatened but claimed to be fearful for their own purposes. For example, people involved in child custody disputes sometimes make false allegations of assault.
In any criminal case, an advocate will examine whether the police acted appropriately when investigating the alleged crime, gathering evidence, and making the arrest. If the police violated the defendant’s rights, the attorney could seek dismissal of the charges or suppression of the illegally collected evidence.
Retain the services of a qualified attorney immediately if you face an assault charge. Having legal representation protects your rights and allows you to present the most powerful defense available under the circumstances.
A Winter Garden assault lawyer is committed to resolving the case with minimal consequences for your future. You can trust them to fight for you. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys