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Assault Serving Families Throughout Jacksonville For Over 25 Years

Jacksonville Assault Lawyer

What is Assault in Florida?

Assault, typically paired with the crime of battery, is a criminal offense that involves threatening another individual or individuals. In an altercation between two or more people, the crime of “assault” refers to a (1) physical or verbal threat that can be reasonably carried out which (2) causes a person to fear for their immediate safety. By definition, the offense does not include physical contact. This means that if one person throws a punch aimed at another but missed, the aggressor may face assault charges. For clarification, if physical contact does occur, the crime can be charged as “battery”. An assault becomes “aggravated” when during the course of an offense, an aggressor makes use of a deadly weapon or intends to commit a felony.

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Assault can be committed as a crime in and of itself but is also frequently accompanied by other crimes or aggravating factors such as the presence of a deadly weapon or assault with battery. The penalties and the charges will differ drastically depending on the unique factors present in each case. If you were arrested and are now facing assault charges, speak with a Jacksonville assault attorney from our firm immediately.

Work with our dedicated and experienced Jacksonville assault attorney today to fight for your rights! Contact us today at (904) 701-0591!

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Proving Self-Defense in Florida Assault Cases

For self-defense to be just that and not its own form of assault or battery, four requirements must be met during the altercation:

  1. Defender was legitimately threatened with unlawful harm by another.
  2. Attacker’s behavior was convincing enough to cause the defender to reasonably believe they were in danger.
  3. Defender did not attempt to provoke the attacker in any way.
  4. Defender did not have a safe opportunity to flee, retreat, or escape.

If all four of these conditions are met, the defender can use force or violence in return to protect themselves, to an extent. Self-defense claims must be “proportional” to the perceived or real threat. Force can be used to stop the attack and escape, but it cannot be used to exact revenge or inflict harm to the attacker after the threat has been resolved.

For example: John approaches Matt with his fists raised, an angry scowl on his face, and tells him he is going to attack him. Matt pulls a gun while John is still 100 feet away. At this point, if Matt tells John to stop while also attempting to retreat himself, it would constitute acceptable self-defense and not assault with a deadly weapon. If Matt pulls a gun and immediately fires, killing John before he has a chance to stop his attack, Matt could be charged with murder or manslaughter.

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