Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
The State of Florida takes gun crimes very seriously. In fact, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has a special “gun unit” consisting of prosecutors who have been specifically trained in the area of weapons offenses. While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, allegedly possessing a firearm without a proper permit or using a gun in the commission of a crime may lead to serious, potentially life-changing consequences. Tampa gun crime lawyer Will Hanlon and the team at Hanlon Law have considerable experience representing people who have been accused of crimes like aggravated assault with a firearm or other weapons offenses. Attorney Hanlon offers the skilled, aggressive representation that you need in order to put forth a strong defense against a Florida firearms charge.
Under Florida law, there are different variations of the crime of assault. A simple assault charge may result from one person unlawfully threatening to harm someone else, but a conviction may not occur unless the alleged victim had a well-founded fear that violence was imminent. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. This may not seem drastic, but, when the defendant uses a firearm in committing an assault, the possible consequences of a conviction are much more severe.The Importance of Fighting a Charge of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
An aggravated assault charge arises when a defendant uses a deadly weapon with the intent to kill the victim or with the intent to commit a felony, such as a robbery. A conviction for aggravated assault with a firearm is punished as a third-degree felony. This means that the defendant may be incarcerated for up to five years and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, the State of Florida has a “10-20-Life” mandatory minimum sentencing program for people who use a gun in the commission of a felony.
The crime of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon may also be considered in determining whether a defendant is a “three-time violent felony offender” (habitual felony offender) for the purposes of enhanced penalties under Florida law. Convicted felons also lose the right to legally possess a firearm in the future, as well as other rights, such as the right to run for public office or vote in an election.
However, there are often compelling defenses that may be raised against a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. Depending on the circumstances, a defendant may be able to show that they acted in self-defense or in defense of another person. A defendant may also assert a violation of their constitutional rights during the arrest or investigation into the alleged crime. Evidence obtained illegally, such as a confession obtained in violation of the defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights, is usually inadmissible in court. If you have been taken into custody, you have a right to remain silent rather than answering questions by the police.Hire a Tampa Lawyer Experienced in Weapons Offenses
If you have been arrested, you may be tempted to simply ask for a public defender and hope for the best. This is a very risky proposition, especially when so much is riding on the outcome of a criminal charge like aggravated assault with a firearm. Public defenders have very large caseloads and are generally not able to give the same amount of time and attention that a private attorney can provide. Will Hanlon has spent more than two decades advocating for Tampa residents who are trying to keep their records clean and their futures intact. He understands the high stakes in any type of weapons case, considering the heavy penalties that may be imposed, and he will spare no effort in investigating any defenses that may be available. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call us at 813-228-7095 or contact us online. You should consult an aggravated assault defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.