Florida Law on Assault

CLEARWATER CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
FLORIDA ASSAULT LAW & STATUTES IN TAMPA BAY

Robert Hambrick Photo 1While the victim’s version of the facts may be filled with inaccuracies your attorney must be able, competent, willing and capable of exploiting those failures of fact against the prosecution. In assault & aggravated assault cases it is always important to initially present an accurate and effective defense by effectively marshalling all of the facts so the prosecutor and the judge, and if necessary a jury, see your side of the story. When you’re faced with the possibility of prison time and heavy fines it is important that you retain an attorney who is savvy, skilled, smart and aggressive. As a former prosecutor in Pinellas county, Robert knows both sides of the criminal defense system giving him an advantage, as he is able to anticipate the strategies of the prosecution. He knows the weak points in specific charges and how to defend against them. You must not fail to act immediately, you must not fail to defend your reputation nor fail to defend yourself with vigor when you face the Judge and the Victim in the courtroom.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN ARRESTED OR CHARGED WITH ASSAULT in Tampa Bay, Florida a Pinellas criminal law defense lawyer must take action to obtain the best results as soon as possible.

784.011 Assault

(1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in Florida Statutes -775.082 or s. 775.083.

784.021 Aggravated assault

(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:

(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or

(b) With an intent to commit a felony.

(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in Florida Statutes – 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

784.046 Action by victim of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence for protective injunction; dating violence investigations, notice to victims, and reporting; pretrial release violations.

(1) As used in this section, the term: (a)“Violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person. (b)“Repeat violence” means two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member. (c)“Sexual violence” means any one incident of: 1. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794; 2. A lewd or lascivious act, as defined in chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age; 3. Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787; 4. Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827; or 5.Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.

784.047 Penalties for violating protective injunction against violators.—A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, issued pursuant to s. 784.046, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315 by:

(1)Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;

(2)Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;

(3) Committing an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the petitioner; (4) Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;

(5) Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party; (6) Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;

(7) Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or

(8) Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.

(1) As used in this section, the term: (a)“Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose. (b)“Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.” Such constitutionally protected activity includes picketing or other organized protests. (c)“Credible threat” means a threat made with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety. The threat must be against the life of, or a threat to cause bodily injury to, a person. (d) “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

(2) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person, and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury of the person, or the person’s child, sibling, spouse, parent, or dependent, commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) Any person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person’s property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(5) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a minor under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(6) Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person he or she has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section.

(7) Any person who, after having been sentenced for a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5) and prohibited from contacting the victim of the offense under s. 921.244, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks the victim commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8) The punishment imposed under this section shall run consecutive to any former sentence imposed for a conviction for any offense under s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5).

784.05 Culpable negligence

(1) Whoever, through culpable negligence, exposes another person to personal injury commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Whoever, through culpable negligence, inflicts actual personal injury on another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) Whoever violates subsection (1) by storing or leaving a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor commits, if the minor obtains the firearm and uses it to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or any other person, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. However, this subsection does not apply: (a) If the firearm was stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or was securely locked with a trigger lock; (b) If the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person; (c) To injuries resulting from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents; or (d) To members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or State Militia, or to police or other law enforcement officers, with respect to firearm possession by a minor which occurs during or incidental to the performance of their official duties. When any minor child is accidentally shot by another family member, no arrest shall be made pursuant to this subsection prior to 7 days after the date of the shooting. With respect to any parent or guardian of any deceased minor, the investigating officers shall file all findings and evidence with the state attorney’s office with respect to violations of this subsection. The state attorney shall evaluate such evidence and shall take such action as he or she deems appropriate under the circumstances and may file an information against the appropriate parties.

(4) As used in this act, the term “minor” means any person under the age of 16.

784.062 Misuse of laser lighting devices.

(1) As used in subsection – the term “laser lighting device” means a handheld device, not affixed to a firearm, which emits a laser beam that is designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. As used in subsection, the term “laser lighting device” means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission.

(2) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device at a law enforcement officer, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, in such a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a firearm is pointed at him or her commits a noncriminal violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.

(3)(a) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. (b) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft and such act results in bodily injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

784.083 Assault or battery on code inspectors.

Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a code inspector, as defined in s. 162.04(2), while the code inspector is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties and when the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or employment of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: (1) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. (2) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. (3) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. (4) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.

784.082 Assault or battery by a person who is being detained in a prison, jail, or other detention facility upon visitor or other detainee; reclassification of offenses.

Whenever a person who is being detained in a prison, jail, or other detention facility is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon any visitor to the detention facility or upon any other detainee in the detention facility, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: (1) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. (2) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. (3) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. (4) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree

784.081 Assault or battery on specified officials or employees; reclassification of offenses.

(1) For purposes of this section, the term “sports official” means any person who serves as a referee, an umpire, or a linesman, and any person who serves in a similar capacity as a sports official who may be known by another title, which sports official is duly registered by or is a member of a local, state, regional, or national organization that is engaged in part in providing education and training to sports officials.

(2) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon any elected official or employee of: a school district; a private school; the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; a university lab school; a state university or any other entity of the state system of public education, as defined in s. 1000.04; a sports official; an employee or protective investigator of the Department of Children and Family Services; an employee of a lead community-based provider and its direct service contract providers; or an employee of the Department of Health or its direct service contract providers, when the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or position or employment of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: (a) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. (b) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. (c) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. (d) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(3) An assault, aggravated assault, battery, or aggravated battery upon a sports official shall be reclassified pursuant to subsection (2) only if such offense is committed upon the sports official when he or she is actively participating as a sports official in an athletic contest or immediately following such athletic contest.

784.08 Assault or battery on persons 65 years of age or older; reclassification of offenses

(1) A person who is convicted of an aggravated assault or aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years and fined not more than $10,000 and shall also be ordered by the sentencing judge to make restitution to the victim of such offense and to perform up to 500 hours of community service work. Restitution and community service work shall be in addition to any fine or sentence which may be imposed and shall not be in lieu thereof. (2) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older, regardless of whether he or she knows or has reason to know the age of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: (a) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. (b) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. (c) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. (d) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 948.01, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, deferred, or withheld.

784.074 Assault or battery on sexually violent predators detention or commitment facility staff; reclassification of offenses.

(1) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a staff member of a sexually violent predators detention or commitment facility as defined in part V of chapter 394, while the staff member is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties and when the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or employment of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: (a) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. (b) In the case of an aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. (c) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. (d) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. (2) For purposes of this section, a staff member of the facilities listed includes persons employed by the Department of Children and Family Services, persons employed at facilities licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services, and persons employed at facilities operated under a contract with the Department of Children and Family Services.

 

784.071 Assault or battery on a law enforcement officer; missing while in line of duty;

(1) At the request of an authorized person employed at a law enforcement agency, the Department of Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Department of Transportation, shall activate the emergency alert system and issue a blue alert if all of the following conditions are met: (a)1. A law enforcement officer has been killed, has suffered serious bodily injury, or has been assaulted with a deadly weapon; or 2. A law enforcement officer is missing while in the line of duty under circumstances evidencing concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety; (b) The suspect has fled the scene of the offense; (c) The law enforcement agency investigating the offense determines that the suspect poses an imminent threat to the public or to other law enforcement officers; (d) A detailed description of the suspect’s vehicle, or other means of escape, or the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle is available for broadcasting; (e) Dissemination of available information to the public may help avert further harm or assist in the apprehension of the suspect; and (f) If the law enforcement officer is missing, there is sufficient information available relating to the officer’s last known location and physical description, and the description of any vehicle involved, including the license plate number or other identifying information, to be broadcast to the public and other law enforcement agencies, which could assist in locating the missing law enforcement officer. (2)(a) The blue alert shall be immediately disseminated to the public through the emergency alert system by broadcasting the alert on television, radio, and the dynamic message signs that are located along the state’s highways. (b) If a traffic emergency arises requiring that information pertaining to the traffic emergency be displayed on a highway message sign in lieu of the blue alert information, the agency responsible for displaying information on the highway message sign is not in violation of this section.

784.07 Assault or battery of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers; reclassification of offenses

(1) As used in this section, the term: (a) “Emergency medical care provider” means an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, paramedic, registered nurse, physician as defined in s. 401.23, medical director as defined in s. 401.23, or any person authorized by an emergency medical service licensed under chapter 401 who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The term “emergency medical care provider” also includes physicians, employees, agents, or volunteers of hospitals as defined in chapter 395, who are employed, under contract, or otherwise authorized by a hospital to perform duties directly associated with the care and treatment rendered by the hospital’s emergency department or the security thereof. (b) “Firefighter” means any person employed by any public employer of this state whose duty it is to extinguish fires; to protect life or property; or to enforce municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes, as well as any law pertaining to the prevention and control of fires. (c) “Law enforcement explorer” means any person who is a current member of a law enforcement agency’s explorer program and who is performing functions other than those required to be performed by sworn law enforcement officers on behalf of a law enforcement agency while under the direct physical supervision of a sworn officer of that agency and wearing a uniform that bears at least one patch that clearly identifies the law enforcement agency that he or she represents. (d) “Law enforcement officer” includes a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, a correctional probation officer, a part-time law enforcement officer, a part-time correctional officer, an auxiliary law enforcement officer, and an auxiliary correctional officer, as those terms are respectively defined in s. 943.10, and any county probation officer; an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections who supervises or provides services to inmates; an officer of the Parole Commission; a federal law enforcement officer as defined in s. 901.1505; and law enforcement personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the Department of Law Enforcement. (e) “Public transit employees or agents” means bus operators, train operators, revenue collectors, security personnel, equipment maintenance personnel, or field supervisors, who are employees or agents of a transit agency as described in s. 812.015(1)(l). (2) Whenever any person is charged with knowingly committing an assault or battery upon a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, a traffic accident investigation officer as described in s. 316.640, a nonsworn law enforcement agency employee who is certified as an agency inspector, a blood alcohol analyst, or a breath test operator while such employee is in uniform and engaged in processing, testing, evaluating, analyzing, or transporting a person who is detained or under arrest for DUI, a law enforcement explorer, a traffic infraction enforcement officer as described in s. 316.640, a parking enforcement specialist as defined in s. 316.640, a person licensed as a security officer as defined in s. 493.6101 and wearing a uniform that bears at least one patch or emblem that is visible at all times that clearly identifies the employing agency and that clearly identifies the person as a licensed security officer, or a security officer employed by the board of trustees of a community college, while the officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, traffic accident investigation officer, traffic infraction enforcement officer, inspector, analyst, operator, law enforcement explorer, parking enforcement specialist, public transit employee or agent, or security officer is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows: (a) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. (b) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. (c) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years. (d) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years. (3) Any person who is convicted of a battery under paragraph (2)(b) and, during the commission of the offense, such person possessed: (a) A “firearm” or “destructive device” as those terms are defined in s. 790.001, shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years. (b) A semiautomatic firearm and its high-capacity detachable box magazine, as defined in s. 775.087(3), or a machine gun as defined in s. 790.001, shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years. Notwithstanding s. 948.01, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, deferred, or withheld, and the defendant is not eligible for statutory gain-time under s. 944.275 or any form of discretionary early release, other than pardon or executive clemency, or conditional medical release under s. 947.149, prior to serving the minimum sentence.

CALL ROBERT HAMBRICK NOW AT (727) 365-5555 FOR YOU FREE PINELLAS CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY ASSAULT & BATTERY EVALUTATION OF EVIDENCE, FACTS & FLORIDA LAW CONSULTATION

CONVENIENT OFFICE LOCATION only two blocks South of the Criminal Justice Center in the Rubin Icot Office Complex, Robert Hambrick is also available to meet clients to discuss case evaluation and evidentiary issues in other convenient locations within Tampa Bay.

FINDING THE BEST CRIMINAL LAW ATTORNEY IN TAMPA BAY FOR YOUR NEEDS FOR ASSAULT AND BATTERY CASES: What qualities and qualifications should your criminal law attorney have to successfully handle your Criminal Case in Tampa Bay? You need to find an attorney who has one field of practice – criminal law; an attorney who knows the local Tampa Bay and Pinellas criminal law system; an attorney who has repeatedly and successfully handled complex criminal litigation; an attorney who has had significant Criminal Trials; an attorney with an excellent legal reputation; an attorney who received an excellent education at one of the best law schools in Americal; and most imporatantly, an attorney who cares about you as a person and who will stand up and fight for you.

If you are under investigation or have been found guilty of assault and battery, Clearwater Defense Attorney Robert Hambrick will do his best to successfully negotiate with the prosecution to dismiss the charges, to reduce the charges or to go to Trial by Jury or to hammer out a reasonble sentence by showing the prosecution the weaknesses of the arrest, the facts and the circumstances of the alleged misconduct. Robert Hambrick will stand by you in the Courtroom preparing a strong assault or battery defens so that you can move forward with your life.