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Assault can often result from an argument that got out of hand or from the loss of one’s temper. In the heat of the moment, it is very easy to say or do things that are out of character, even if there was no intent to cause harm. What might result is an assault charge, and in the state of Florida, assault is a simple misdemeanor, which can have serious repercussions if you are convicted.

Gainesville Assault Lawyer

If you have been charged with a violent crime, an experienced criminal defense attorney can be your best option to avoid the harshest penalties and fines. Dedicated representation is especially important for students, who may face college disciplinary proceedings, regardless if the alleged offense occurred on campus or not. The Galigani Law Firm represents individuals who have been charged with an assault offense throughout Florida, including Lake City and Ocala. Contact the Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 for a free consultation.

Definition of Assault in Florida

According to Fla. Stat. § 784.011, assault can occur when an individual intentionally threatens another person by words or actions to violently harm that person. It is also a required element that the alleged assaulter appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat and the other person was justifiably afraid of being assaulted. Under this law, an assault offense does not have to include actual physical touching of another person.

Florida Assault Penalties

An individual charged with assault can be convicted of a misdemeanor of the second degree, is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and/or a fine up to $500 or probation under Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082 - .083.

Florida’s Increased Offense Classification for Certain Persons Assaulted

Under Fla. Stat. §§ 784.07, 784.08 and 784.081 - .083, an individual who knowingly assaults certain persons can receive increased assault charges from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. These individuals can include, but are not limited to:

  • Law enforcement officers,
  • Firefighters,
  • Parole officers,
  • Probation officers,
  • Paramedics,
  • Public transit employees,
  • School officials,
  • Sports officials,
  • Elected officials,
  • Code inspector or
  • Persons 65 or older.

A misdemeanor of the first degree is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000 under Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082 - .083. Alternatively, the individual could receive probation for the first assault offense.

Assault vs. Battery Under Florida Law

The state of Florida lists assault and battery as two separate offenses. Assault does not have to include physical touching. The more serious offense of battery usually involves physical touching and the intentional bodily harm of another person.

Terms of Florida Probation

A conviction of assault does not necessarily mean an individual will go to jail. The court may instead sentence a person to probation. When sentenced to probation there are specific guidelines of supervision that must be followed, which can be found in Chapter 948 of the Florida Statutes. A violation of probation can result in an individual having their probation revoked and being sent to jail. While on probation an individual typically must:

  • Report to probation supervisor as directed,
  • Allow the probation supervisor to visit his or her home or place of employment,
  • Maintain suitable employment,
  • Avoid any legal trouble,
  • Pay for the costs of supervision,
  • Not associate with known criminals, and
  • Follow any special provisions ordered by the court.

Often an individual sentenced to probation is required to complete some form of community service. Early termination of probation can be considered if an individual performs satisfactorily and has not violated any terms of supervision.

Galigani Law Firm | Florida Assault Attorney

Contact the Galigani Law Firm to discuss the circumstances regarding your alleged assault offense. Criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani will use his experience defending individuals against assault charges in Florida courts to help you achieve the best possible outcome regarding your particular circumstance. Contact the Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 or send an online message for a free consultation about your alleged assault offense in Florida and throughout Alachua County, Marion County, Gilchrist County and Baker County.

Florida Counties

Galigani Law Firm proudly serves Gainesville and surrounding areas of
North Central Florida.