Aggravated Assault is considered a crime of violence, so in order to protect the public, the State will be pushing hard to convict you and send you to jail or prison. Instead of thinking your situation is hopeless, start taking steps now to protect yourself.
My name is Tim Flaherty. I’m a Crestview aggravated assault defense attorney who has been practicing throughout Okaloosa County since 2001. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. She has worked with me since 2007. Call us today at (850) 398-8098.
What should I do if I have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Crestview?
I have listed 3 pieces of free advice below that will improve your odds of avoiding a felony conviction for Aggravated Assault:
Do not talk to the police without an attorney
The police are not your friend. They think you are guilty of a violent crime and they are trying to convict you. The police hate it when a suspect says they won’t talk without a lawyer. There is a reason they hate it. It makes their job harder and increases your chances of winning.
Do not contact the alleged victim to “work this out.”
There are a couple reasons why this is a bad idea. One, if you have already been arrested for Aggravated Assault, the judge probably issued a No Contact Order. If you violate that Order, your bond will be revoked and you will sit in jail until the case is over. Second, the alleged victim may still be mad about what happened. They may say you were trying to intimidate them into dropping the charges. You’re in enough trouble as it is. Don’t make it worse.
Your attorney is the one who should call the alleged victim and see what they want to see happen.
Call a criminal defense attorney with experience defending Aggravated Assault cases in Crestview
Whether you hire us, or someone else, you are going to need to hire an attorney for a serious charge like Aggravated Assault. You are facing a felony conviction and a possible prison sentence.
There are no guarantees in life, but following the three pieces of advice that I listed above could mean the difference between a fresh start and a jail cell. We have seen it happen many times.
Aggravated Assault under Florida Law
Pursuant to Florida Statue 784.021, the State must prove the following 4 elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of Aggravated Assault:
- A threat to commit violence was made against another person and it was intentional;
- The person must have had the ability to carry out the threat.
- The alleged victim must have had a well-founded fear that violence was imminent; and
- A deadly weapon was used.
Our job is to attack each of those elements and build a defense that keeps the State from being able to prove their case.
What is the penalty for Aggravated Assault in Crestview?
Aggravated Assault in Florida is a third degree felony with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, along with a felony conviction on your record. You will not be able to expunge or seal your arrest record for Aggravated Assault unless the case is dismissed.
What defenses are there to Aggravated Assault in Crestview?
Obviously, I don’t know the facts of your case, so I don’t know if these will apply in your case, but here is an idea of what a good criminal defense lawyer will look at:
- Did you make a statement to the police, and if so, were you read your rights?
- Do the police have the weapon in custody that was allegedly used? If not, they can’t prove all of the elements.
- Was the alleged victim in fear, and can the State prove it? This comes up in situations where the alleged victim is not available to testify. No one is a mind reader, so the State will need their testimony to prove the fear element of Aggravated Assault.
- If the alleged victim is willing to testify that they were in fear, was that fear well-founded? In other words, would a reasonable person in the same situation have been in fear?
- Did you have the ability to carry out the threat? If you made a threat over the phone or on the computer, you obviously couldn’t have carried out the threat.
- Did you act in self-defense?
- Were you suffering from a mental illness that affected your ability to control your actions?
- Is it possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a lesser offense?
- Can we convince the prosecutor to either dismiss the case, or refer it to Pretrial Diversion? Pretrial Diversion is a contract with the State that requires a dismissal of your case if the agreed-upon conditions are met.
- Is a trial in your best interest? We will be preparing for that possibility from the beginning.
Hopefully, the information on this page has answered some of your questions about Aggravated Assault charges in Crestview. If you would like more information, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation. We can meet in person or talk on the phone. During our meeting, we can talk about the specifics of your case and start developing a strategy that gives you the best chance.