Violent Crime Penalties in Florida

Learn More from a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

If you find yourself accused of a violent crime, one of the first things you likely are wondering is what sort of penalties you’re facing if you’re found guilty. Violent crime penalties are some of the toughest and most extensive of all crimes due to the nature and perception of the offenses, and that means you shouldn’t hesitate whatsoever if you find yourself facing accusations of a violent crime.

At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami criminal defense attorneys are experienced in defending clients against all types of criminal charges, including violent crimes. We understand how intimidating it can be to be caught up in the criminal justice system, and we’re allies who fight to protect your rights and preserve your reputation along every step of the way. We believe success lies in detailed preparation and our trial-tested, aggressive strategy that effectively combats your charges to help obtain the best possible result. We truly care about your case and we want to help you move on with your life and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Get a case evaluation by calling Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today at (305) 330-1360!

Assault Charges

Florida law defines assault as an intentional threat to commit violence to another person, coupled with the apparent ability to do so. This can also include intimidating someone to the point where they genuinely believe they may be at risk of harm being done to them. This can be found in Florida statute §784.011.

Simple assault, which is assault with no aggravating or mitigating factors such as the use of a deadly weapon, against a protected class, or done in the commission of another offense, is generally considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which means you may face up to 60 days in jail, up to six months’ probation, and a fine of up to $500.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a simple assault charge, but with the presence of an aggravating factor. The most common type of assault is using a deadly weapon, such as a firearm, knife, or blunt instrument, in the commission of the assault. However, aggravated assault does involve the intent to kill.

Aggravated assault is considered a third-degree felony, carrying up to five years in prison or five years’ probation, plus a fine of up to $5,000. This is a particularly harshly-penalized crime, and even first-time offenders face a highly-realistic chance of prison time if convicted.


Whereas the crime of assault involves threatening someone with bodily harm, battery is actually doing harm to them. Florida statute §784.03 defines battery as any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person without that person’s will, including intentionally causing them bodily harm. However, “mutual combat,” such as a fist fight where both parties were willingly engaged in the altercation, is a valid defense to battery charges under Florida law.

Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to one year in prison or up to a year of probation. If the crime causes injuries, the victim may also seek restitution. However, aggravated battery, which involves the use of a deadly weapon or battery against someone who knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant, is a second-degree felony, which carries up to 15 years in prison or probation, plus up to $10,000 in fines.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is another term for “rape” in Florida law—the two terms are synonymous, and refer to someone forcing a victim to engage in sexual intercourse against the victim’s will, or engaging in sexual activity with someone who is unable to give consent. This is considered a sex crime, but often has violent elements to the offense.

Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the penalties can range as high as a life felony, which means you’ll face up to life in prison (not to exceed 40 years) with no chance of parole or probation.

Get help with your charges by contacting Hager & Schwartz, P.A. and let our team fight for you!

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