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

  • $5000.00 fine

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:

  • Self-defense;

  • Defense of others;

  • Defense of property;

  • Stand your ground;

  • “Deadly weapon” not used;

  • Lack of intent;

  • Threat not imminent;

  • Factual disputes.

Given the severe penalties and potential minimum mandatory prison time, aggravated assault is not a charge to take lightly. Prosecutors take these types of cases very serious and victims often want to see harsh penalties imposed.


Charged with Aggravated Assault? Contact us today.

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