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The crime of assault is governed by Florida Statute 784.011 and is considered a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in a Florida county jail and a $500 fine. Defined, Assault is any intentional, unlawful oral threat to perpetrate violence to the body of another, with a current ability to carry out that threat, paired with some act which creates a well-founded fear in another person that violence is imminent. Assault does not require touching of another person or physical injury to occur, as required for battery. More simply explained, assault is a threat to another person, followed by an obvious act which causes that person (the victim) to reasonably fear that a violent act is going to be inflicted upon them. Although it is a minor level misdemeanor, a charge of assault carries a heavy burden when considering possible collateral repercussions. Despite no injury necessary, society will view an assault allegation as a “violent crime,” typically categorizing it as they would a standard battery, domestic battery, or more serious felonies involving violence. Without a doubt any assault conviction will be detrimental to a person seeking employment, housing, or an opportunity in higher education. Attorneys at The Mayberry Law Firm have experience in both prosecuting and defending hundreds of individuals accused of this kind of crime. Our attorneys have the know how and the skill required to earn you the best result possible. If you are facing a charge of assault, beware of the collateral consequences that come with an adjudication of guilt. Contact the experienced Tampa assault lawyers at The Mayberry Law Firm today and allow us to guide you through this troubling time.


Battery often results in visible injuries; however, assault is a simple threat to another which is a very defendable crime. Amongst other possible defenses, if our attorneys can show that there was no apparent ability to act upon a threat made, the allegation can be defended and it is very likely we can defeat the allegation. A threat made without an apparent ability to carry out that threat cannot result in another’s reasonable apprehension that violence is imminent. The key element to an assault charge is the belief that the violence being threatened is actually going to occur at that moment, and it must be paired with an overt, or obvious act which indicates the threat is able to be acted upon.

Additionally, it follows that another common defense to an assault charge is the lack of an overt act or gesture which would reasonably lead another to believe that you are about to carry out the threat being made. The necessary component which turns a threat into an assault is some physical act or gesture which takes the interaction from an intense conversation to a tangible threat. An example of such an act would constitute a threat to punch someone in the face, followed by actually throwing a punch that ultimately misses making contact with the other person. Another common example is the threat of beating someone up, followed by running towards that person. Without some act or gesture in connection with the threat, the assault allegation would be invalid.

Finally, in a scenario where a person makes a threat using some type of communicative technology, if it can be shown that the written or oral threat cannot be authenticated or identified as actually coming from the accused, the case can be defended.

How We Can Help

The Tampa criminal law attorneys at The Mayberry Law Firm are skilled and experienced at helping individuals facing these allegations. Traditionally, we have been able to prevent charges from being filed by displaying a well-founded defense if it is available to our client. Even if the State feels they have enough evidence to prove the elements of assault, Tampa criminal lawyer Jason Mayberry will often be able to negotiate a pre-trial diversion resolution, depending on the client’s criminal history. Pre-trial diversion allows our clients an opportunity to have their pending criminal charges dismissed upon successful completion of the intervention program’s terms. If neither options are available and if the facts are permitting, our attorneys have the trial experience necessary to provide a zealous trial defense that sees you through an acquittal. If you have been charged with simple assault or aggravated assault in Tampa, contact our criminal attorneys at 813-444-7435 today for a free consultation.

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