Aggravated Assault with a Firearm: Sentencing and Penalties

Gun Crime Lawyer Representing Residents of Tampa

Aggravated assault with a firearm is taken seriously by Florida prosecutors, and if you are arrested or being investigated for aggravated assault, you should retain a Tampa gun crime lawyer. An experienced criminal attorney can make a difference to the outcome of your case. At Hanlon Law, we provide an aggressive, comprehensive defense for our clients.

Aggravated Assault with a Firearm: Sentencing and Penalties

Florida Statutes section 784.021 requires a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt certain elements to obtain a conviction for aggravated assault. These are that the defendant intentionally and illegally threatened through words or acts to do violence to the alleged victim, the defendant appeared to be able to carry out this threat at the time, the threat created in the alleged victim a reasonable fear that violence was about to happen, and the assault was made with a deadly weapon or a fully formed conscious intent to perpetrate a felony.

The prosecutor does not need to show that you actually intended to harm the other person or that you actually injured the other person — it just needs to show that you intended to threaten violence. If a firearm was used to threaten, the fifth element of aggravated assault will be met, regardless of whether there was an intent to perpetrate another felony, such as a bank robbery, rape, or burglary.

Aggravated assault is prosecuted as a third-degree felony. Generally, you can be sentenced to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment or five years’ probation and a $5,000 fine. For example, if the assault was made with a knife, you might face this sentence. Even if you are a first-time offender, you may go to prison if you are convicted.

Multiple factors will be considered to determine the term of your sentence for aggravated assault with a firearm. A score sheet is used for felony charges, and points are given to calculate an appropriate sentence. For example, you can get points for having a prior felony conviction, even if it is not for aggravated assault with a firearm. If convicted, you may go to prison for five years, depending on how the factors or points involved in your case are viewed by the judge.

Florida Statute section 775.087 provides mandatory minimum sentences for various felony offenses, except for felonies in which using a firearm is an essential element. You cannot be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated assault with a firearm unless the incident that supports the charge happened before July 1, 2016, when the amendment to the statute took effect. In that case, you do face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years.

There are various common defenses, but it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to figure out which are likely to be successful, given the facts and circumstances of your case. These defenses include Stand Your Ground, self-defense, defense of others, necessity, and false allegations. We may be able to argue that you were unable to carry out the threat or that there is not enough evidence about the intent to commit a felony, or we might argue that your actions did not amount to a threat.

Consult a Skillful Tampa Attorney to Fight a Firearms Charge

Florida courts take aggravated assault with a firearm seriously, and harsh punishments are meted out, particularly when it is not a first offense or when it is an aggravated assault that occurred in connection with the carrying out of some other crime. It is crucial to have an experienced assault defense attorney on your side as early as possible. Strong defense strategies may be available even before you are charged, and as soon as we get involved, we can start examining which defense strategies would best serve you and implement those strategies. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has provided a strong, aggressive defense to people accused of crimes since 1994. He strives to provide responsive and personalized representation. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment with a Tampa lawyer.