In Florida, per Florida Statute 784.021. an aggravated assault is an:
“assault (FS 784.011) with a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or with intent to commit a felony.”
Essentially, an aggravated assault adds the factor of a weapon or the intent to commit a felony to the simple assault definition.
A “deadly weapon” is a weapon that is used or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Note: the definition of a “deadly weapon” is very broad and consist of something as simple as a beer bottle.
Aggravated Assault is a third-degree felony and even first time offenders can face prison time. 3rd degree felonies are punishable by:
Up to 5 years in prison; or
Up to 5 years on probation; and
Note: if the victim is an officer or if a firearm was used and discharged, the punishment can include minimum mandatory prison time.
Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:
Defense of others;
Defense of property;
Stand your ground;
“Deadly weapon” not used;
Lack of intent;
Threat not imminent;