Defense Attorney Details Assault and Aggravated Assault Punishment In Fort Walton, Destin & Elsewhere In Okaloosa County
The only real difference between Assault and Aggravated Assault are the potential penalties. If it’s the latter charge, get the best attorney you can.
Simple Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
Aggravated Assault is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five (5) years in prison.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for an Assault, Aggravated Assault, or any Firearm, Gun, Knife, or related Deadly Weapon charge in the Emerald Coast or Panhandle of Florida, by now you know it is serious – and that the prospect of serving substantial jail or prison time is a very real possibility.
Local prosecutors handling simple assault & aggravated assault arrests in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area, and judges too, target these crimes and categorize them as violent offenses, and as such, seek justifiably harsher sentences for defendants.
Additionally, if it is alleged that a firearm was used or possessed during the commission of the offense, a mandatory minimum sentence is usually mandated if the defendant is convicted as charged.
If you live in Florida, you have probably heard of 10-20-Life, one of the most punitive minimum mandatory sentencing statutory schemes in the nation.
Florida Sentencing Laws for “10-20-Life”
Florida lawmakers seem to have a love/hate relationship with gun laws. On one hand, they want to give “law abiding citizens” expansive gun rights protections, while at the same time, being extremely punitive if a firearm is used during a criminal episode.
As you can see from recent Florida court cases like the George Zimmerman trial, it is something of a slippery slope. Regardless, if you are charged with one of the enumerated felony 10-20-Life crimes in the State of Florida, you may be facing a lengthy prison sentence with little or no gain time & no opportunity for parole.
If you actually possess a firearm during the commission of a crime.
If you discharge the firearm during the commission of a crime.
If you kill or injure someone with a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Mandatory means Mandatory
With Florida Statutes requiring minimum mandatory sentencing, there is zero discretion for the Judge. There are no available sentencing departure grounds, no legal basis to receive a lesser sentence, unless you meet the narrow statutory criteria to be categorized as a “youthful offender.”
That means in order to avoid such a sentence, your criminal defense attorney must work to help you avoid being convicted of a qualifying offense. In every case my objective is to work to establish a viable defense that would possibly lead to a dismissal; but if that cannot be obtained, the focus must be on an amended charge, a reduced charged, or a lesser offense that would not subject my client to mandatory felony conviction as well as mandatory prison.
Three (3) Year Minimum Mandatory Sentences that do not fall under 10-20-Life
If the crime is the sole firearm related charge and the State prosecutor is able to prove actual possession:
- Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
- Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
- Burglary of a Conveyance
If you or a family member has been arrested for Assault, Aggravated Assault or Weapons Crime, in Destin, Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Okaloosa County, Florida, contact attorney Shawn Lupella at (850) 362-6655. The call is free and there is no obligation on your part.