What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?

There are different definitions and punishments for assault and aggravated assault. Both of these crimes involve intentional harm inflicted on one person by another. Even when a fight is mutually agreed on, it may still lead to an assault charge.


What is assault?

Assault is when someone intentionally makes another fear that they will be physically harmed. Even though the person may not end up physically injured, the definition recognizes that even just making someone fear that they will be is deserving of punishment. This also allows law enforcement to intervene before physical harm is done.


What is aggravated assault?

Aggravated assault may involve a weapon or just the intent to commit a more serious offense against another person, such as sexual assault. The biggest difference between aggravated assault and regular assault is that words alone are not considered an aggravated assault. 


Whether you are facing assault or aggravated assault charges, the law is not in your favor. Felony aggravated assault also has various degrees, each resulting in a harsher punishment, including a mandatory prison sentence with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years probation, and a $5,000.00 fine. The offense is harshly prosecuted throughout Florida, and even first-time offenders will face a real possibility of prison. 


Some examples of common defenses are:


  • Self-defense
  • Justifiable Use of Force in Defense of Others
  • Justifiable Use of Force in Defense of Property
  • Necessity or duress
  • Stand Your Ground defense
  • False allegations by the alleged victim
  • Lack of probable intent to threaten
  • Inability to carry out the alleged threat
  • The instrument used does not constitute a deadly weapon


Being accused of assault is very serious, whether it was simple or aggravated. Your life will change permanently if you are convicted. Therefore, you need to contact a defense attorney immediately. Michael B. Cohen can help you fight an assault charge by thoroughly investigating your case.


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