Assault is a
of the second-degree, punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail, 6 months
probation, and a $500 fine.
Unlike aggravated assault, assault requires no weapon or threat of deadly force.
Under Florida law, an assault is defined as the following:
"An "assault" is 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."
In other words, an assault does not involve a touching or striking. That
would be a battery.
Breaking down the statutory language, you will see what elements equal
1) Defendant, intentionally and unlawfully, threatened by word or act to
do violence to the person of another
2) coupled with an apparent ability to do so
3) and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person
that such violence is imminent.
In other words, an assault can be entirely verbal provided the State can
prove that the accused had the ability to act on his or her threat. An
accused person must make threats, by word or act, to do violence to another,
and they must take some action to show that they are capable of carrying
out that threat.
In other words, a verbal threat alone, without more, is not an assault.
There must be the apparent ability to act on that threat.
Factors such as the distance between the accuser and the accused is important.
As well as the nature of the threat. The threat must show imminent harm.
That is, a conditional threat will not suffice. An example of a conditional
threat would be, "If you come over to my house later, I will hit
you." This is not an assault because in order for the violence to
occur, the alleged victim must first satisfy a condition (coming over
to the accused's house).
These are just a few of the legal exceptions to the law. Assault is a misdemeanor
but if charged as a
domestic violence offense
, it can remain on your criminal record if the case is not dismissed. If
you plead guilty or no contest to assault and it is domestic in nature,
you cannot seal the charge!
criminal defense throughout Miami-Dade County.
today if you have a pending assault case.