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Aggravated Assault: Deadly Weapon and Firearm

There are two main types of aggravated assault in the State of Florida: Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault with a firearm. They are both third-degree felonies, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison. However, the use of a firearm is the element that can make all the difference.
A aggravated assault occurs when somebody does something, by word or act, to put another person in fear of imminent danger, and in doing so displays a deadly weapon. An example of an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon would be holding a knife at somebody and threatening to cut them.
In this situation, the maximum sentence is 5 years in prison. However, there is no required minimum sentence. An accused person can easily be offered Pretrial Intervention (PTI) provided the prosecutor and alleged victim agree.
However, if charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, there is a 3-year mandatory minimum prison sentence that must be imposed.
The 3-year mandatory minimum can be waived but only by the State Attorney's Office. Waiver of a 3-year mandatory minimum requires the skill of a criminal defense attorney.
Weaknesses in the evidence must be exposed. This can be done through the taking of depositions and finding out how credible the witnesses are. Also, the evidence against the accused must be examined. Did the police actually recover a gun? Is there an unlawful search and seizure issue? Are there conflicts in the evidence or testimony?
Aggravated assault with a firearm is a serious charge. Even if the State waives the mandatory minimum and offers a plea bargain that does not include jail or prison, pleading guilty or no contest to aggravated assault (with or without a firearm) will make you ineligible to have your record sealed.
Sometimes, these cases must be fought at trial.
Everything is an allegation until it is proven. I believe in this firmly.
I am a criminal defense attorney and former Miami-Dade prosecutor who practices criminal law in Miami-Dade and Broward.
Call me if you or someone you love has been charged with aggravated assault.
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