By legal definition, aggravated assault, as explained in Florida Statute 784.021, is the placing of another in fear by using a deadly weapon or with an intent to commit a felony. It’s a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in Florida state prison.
As an experienced Miami aggravated assault lawyer, I see first hand how the criminal justice system imposes harsher penalties for those convicted of aggravated assault. It’s a charge that must be taken very seriously. By hiring the best aggravated assault attorney in Miami, a person has the greatest chance of securing the best possible outcome under challenging circumstances.
Often, these cases are either overcharged or simply lacking in evidence. An attorney can immediately reach out to the “screening prosecutor” assigned to the case. The screening prosecutor is the attorney or paralegal who is assigned to determine what, if any, charges will be filed. That decision maker from the prosecutor’s office may not necessarily be the one who ultimately handles the case, assuming the charges are filed. Often the crimes charged by law enforcement are not the same charges the accused will face when the case is set for arraignment, which typically occurs twenty-one days after the arrest. A talented, experienced attorney can present arguments to the screening prosecutor that may affect what charges, if any are filed. Many times, charges can be “No Actioned,” which means prosecutors drop charges, believing they don’t have sufficient evidence to proceed.
If charges aren’t dropped, often times they can be reduced. In some instances, an aggravated assault charge can be reduced to a lesser charge like improper display of a weapon or simple assault. Both of those charges are misdemeanors, which carry significantly less penalties than aggravated assault. A misdemeanor charges carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail as opposed to a felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Even if the screening prosecutor doesn’t drop the aggravated assault charge, the prosecutor and defense attorney may be able to work out a very favorable resolution, even prior to the arraignment (the first court hearing).
A great Miami aggravated assault lawyer understands how the public views this type of charge and knows that a stellar defense is required to ensure a favorable outcome. The resolution obtained in an aggravated assault case, like any criminal case, may likely follow an accused around for the rest of his/her life. Obtaining the best outcome is essential. In many instances, charges can be sealed and/or expunged only when a phenomenal outcome is obtained. Conversely, if an accused is convicted of aggravated assault, then he/she may never have that charge removed from their record.Defenses to Aggravated Assault
There are a number of defenses available to aggravated assault. Often, an accused will allege that they were forced to use a weapon to defend themselves. The “Stand Your Ground” defense is frequently used to defend against this charge. A person who reasonably fears death or great bodily harm does not have to turn their back on the aggressor. Rather, he/she has a right under Florida law to stand his/her ground and defend himself. Often, law enforcement will arrest someone for aggravated assault with knowledge that the alleged victim was the initial aggressor. In those circumstances, they are aware that the arrestee will make the self-defense argument in court. In other words, it’s only in rare cases that an arrest is not made when there’s an allegation of aggravated assault, even when there’s a viable defense alleged.
Another defense often alleged in aggravated assault cases is “mistaken identity.” There are instances when the wrong person is arrested for the crime. An alleged victim may believe that the accused is the one who committed the offense, however, be completely inaccurate. A talented, experienced attorney knows how to best analyze and challenge the identification process. In some instances, the procedure is so problematic that cases can actually be dismissed.
In some instances, especially when the evidence is overwhelming, it can be argued that a client accused of aggravated assault did commit the offense, however, it was “an isolated incident in an otherwise exemplary life.” It’s not uncommon for judges and/or prosecutors to then offer very reasonable plea offers in lieu of having to go to trial and/or lengthy prison terms.
At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh we take very seriously an accused’s presumption of innocence, which is guaranteed by the constitution. For all of our clients, we zealously challenge the allegations made in every criminal case.
At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh we’ve handled countless aggravated assault cases over the years and achieved phenomenal results for our clients. If you’re under investigation, and/or have been arrested and charged with this offense, call our aggravated assault attorney in Miami today: 305.674.0003. We are available 24/7 to serve you. We’ll be there for you throughout the process, zealously and aggressively fighting for your rights.