Criminal assault allegations can be charged as felony offenses when the defendant uses a deadly weapon with the intent to cause the victim great bodily harm. Similarly, battery allegations can be aggravated when they involve situations in which a defendant commits a battery on a law enforcement officer or another similar victim. Recently, Fort Lauderdale aggravated assault lawyer Kenneth Hassett represented a woman who was arrested for assaulting a victim with a metal broom and shovel and striking a law enforcement officer.
Woman Arrested for Aggravated Assault and Battery
Law enforcement officers were dispatched to a home on Feb. 9, 2020. The resident reported that her neighbor entered her property, ripped her plants out of their planters, and threw a lit candle into a Styrofoam planter. This report came after an earlier report on Feb. 4, 2020. During that earlier report, the woman stated that her neighbor entered her property and threw eggs at her mailbox and house. The victim estimated her damages from both incidents to total around $750.
On Feb. 10, 2020, police officers were again dispatched to the same victim’s home. When the victim called the police, she told the dispatchers that her neighbor was threatening her in her yard. When the police arrived, they found the neighbor holding a 3-foot metal broom and a 3-foot metal dustpan. The victim had several cuts and was bleeding from her left arm. The victim told the police that she had sustained her injuries while trying to defend herself against her neighbor. When a police officer attempted to arrest the neighbor, the neighbor kicked backward, striking the officer in the groin. She was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault and battery on a law enforcement officer. The defendant retained Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Kenneth Hassett to defend against her charges.
Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
In Florida, assault is a misdemeanor offense. However, it can be aggravated to a felony when a defendant uses a deadly weapon without the intent to kill or with the intent to commit a felony under § 784.021, Fla. Stat. (2021). This means that the prosecutor can choose to charge someone with aggravated assault when a deadly weapon is used or when the prosecutor can prove that the defendant intended to commit a felony.
The prosecutor does not have to prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim to secure a conviction of aggravated assault but must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the weapon was a deadly weapon and that the defendant intended to use it to commit a crime against the victim. Weapons are considered to be deadly when they are used in such a way that they could cause great bodily harm or death.
Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest
Under §784.03, Fla. Stat. (2021), a person can be charged with battery when he or she intentionally strikes another person against the victim’s will and causes him or her to suffer bodily injury. Battery is normally a first-degree misdemeanor. However, under §784.07, Fla. Stat. (2021), when a defendant intentionally strikes a law enforcement officer, the battery can be charged as a third-degree felony. A conviction for a third-degree felony battery on a law enforcement officer carries a potential prison sentence of five years.
Outcome of the Defendant’s Case
Attorney Kenneth Hassett understood that his client was facing potential prison time for the allegations against her. He worked hard from the start, negotiating with the prosecutor for a year. He argued that his client was suffering from a mental health issue. Through his strong advocacy on his client’s behalf, attorney Hassett was able to secure a dismissal of the charges that had been filed against his client.
Talk to an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Aggravated Assault Lawyer
If you have been charged with aggravated assault or battery in Fort Lauderdale, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Hassett & Associates, P.A. as soon as possible. Attorney Hassett has more than two decades of experience defending people who have been charged with crimes and has secured successful outcomes for many of his clients. Call us today at (954) 791-3939 to request a confidential consultation.