Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter

Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter

Aggravated Assault on aFirefighter

What must the prosecutor prove in anAggravated Assault ona Firefighter Charge?
According to Florida Statute § 784.07, to prove the crime of Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter, the prosecutor must prove the following seventhings:

  1. The defendant intentionally threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim;
  2. At the time the defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat;
  3. The act of the defendant created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place;
  4. The Assault was made with a deadly weapon or the Assault was made with a fully formed, conscious intent to commit a felony upon the victim;
  5. The victim was at the time a Firefighter;
  6. The Defendant knew that the victim was a Firefighter;
  7. At the time of the assault, the victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties.

What does the term “deadly weapon” mean?
Under Florida Law, a weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.  Florida Courts have found that large sticks, knives, and beer bottles are deadly weapons.  Florida Courts have found that mace sprayed into a victim’s mouth, and a cigarette lighter shaped like a gun and pointed a victim, are not deadly weapons.

Who qualifies as a Firefighter?
Florida Statute 784.07(1)(b) states that a“Firefighter” means any person employed by any public employer of this state whose duty it is to extinguish fires; to protect life or property; or to enforce municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes, as well as any law pertaining to the prevention and control of fires.

What are the maximum penalties in an Aggravated Assault on Firefighter?
In Florida, an Aggravated Assault on Firefighter is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

  1. 15 years imprisonment
  2. A $10,000.00 fine
  3. 15 years of probation

Possible Defenses to an Assault on a Firefighter charge:

  1. The Florida Stand Your Ground Law

Under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law a person may commit an Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter when that person reasonably believes the Aggravated Assault on the Firefighter was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

  1. Self Defense

Even when a judge rules that the Florida Stand Your Ground Lawdoes not apply in a case, a person accused of Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter can still claim he or she acted in Self-Defense.

If a jury, or in the case of a bench trial, the judge, were to find that there was a reasonable doubt as to whether or not a person was justified in using an Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter to protect himself or herself, then the jury or judge should find the person not guilty.

  1. The Victim Was Not Engaged in the Lawful Performance of His or Her Duties

In order for the State to bring a charge of Assault on a Firefighter, the victim must have been engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties at the time of the assault.

For example, imagine a uniformed firefighter is on break and drives his car to a restaurant to get something to eat.Imagine further that the Firefighter and Person B get in an argument over a parking spot and that Person B grabs a bat out of his trunk and threatened to hit the firefighter.

Because at the time of the aggravated assault the firefighter was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duties, Person B can’t be convicted of Aggravated Assault on a firefighter.  However, it is possible that Person B could be still convicted of aggravated assault, a third degree felony that carries lesser potential penalties than Aggravated Assault on a firefighter.

Are you looking for the best lawyer to handle a charge of Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling all types of assault cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Aggravated Assault on a Firefighter in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.