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Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a Deadly Weapon


The state of Florida describes the crime of assault as any intentional physical or verbal threat against another person that causes fear of a harmful action. Assault with a deadly weapon is a specific crime within that law. While the term “assault” suggests that a physical confrontation like a fist fight occurred, the charge of assault can apply to any situations where one person made threats with such ferocity that a victim could reasonably believe their life was in danger.

Using a deadly weapon takes assault a step further by including the use of weapons in conjunction with the threat. So, if a person threatens a victim while holding a broken bottle, that person could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

What Qualifies as A Deadly Weapon

Any kind of weapon or tool that can be used to end a life would qualify as a deadly weapon. Some quick examples include:

• Firearms, both handguns and rifles
• Knives
• Bat or other blunt instrument
• Razor blades
• Broken bottles

However, some other things can also qualify that you may not think of.  The intended use of the object plays a role in determining whether it can qualify as a deadly weapon, which can make the definition of weapon wider than the traditional types.

Some examples of unorthodox weapons may include:

• A car or vehicle
• Pencils or pens
• Rocks
• Garden tools

Intended Use

Assault with a deadly weapon falls under the term of aggravated assault in the Florida Statutes, which notes assault with a deadly weapon occurs when the accused engaged in the assault with the intent of using the weapon in question.

This helps differentiate assault with a deadly weapon as a criminal charge versus an argument for self-defense. Because aggravated assault makes a point of noting the crime occurred either in conjunction to assault with a deadly weapon or in the process of committing another crime (or sometimes both), the individual accused of assault with a deadly weapon would not be able to argue the deadly weapon was used in an act of self-defense.

In simple terms, it all comes down to whether the accused has any intention of actually using the weapon. If a person follows through with the threat and uses the deadly weapon on a victim, the crime could be elevated to homicide or manslaughter.

Potential Punishments

As a third-degree felony, assault with a deadly weapon can result in a minimum jail sentence of three to five years and a $5,000 fine.

However, if the deadly weapon in question was a firearm or explosive device, the sentencing starts at three years and goes higher for automatic weapons with high-round capacities, discharging the weapon, and any deaths caused by the weapons being discharged.

If the deadly weapon involved in the assault was a gun or destructive device such as a pipe bomb, you would face long mandatory minimum sentences under Florida Statutes § 775.087

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been accused of the crime of assault with a deadly weapon and you need professional and experienced legal support, contact Farkas and Crowley today by calling (561)444-9529, 24/7 or for inquiries or questions complete our online form.

assault arrest due to deadly weapon

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Farkas & Crowley, PA

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