Using a Weapon in a Threatening Manner

firearm defense atttorney

In the state of Florida, law-abiding citizens have the right to carry and defend themselves with a firearm if need be. This is important to understand because oftentimes, there is tremendous hesitation when it comes to actually using a firearm in a setting that demands it. One important aspect of concealed-carry with a firearm is that you can only use a firearm in a circumstance where the carrier feels great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death are imminent from the hands of another. A common misconception in Florida is that anyone is permitted to withdraw a firearm and use it in a threatening manner, in other words, to threaten death or great bodily harm with a firearm without the aforementioned criteria.

Even if it is used in a preemptive manner, one must prove he or she felt a well-founded fear of great bodily harm or death to use a firearm. He or she cannot merely threaten to hurt someone or brandish it in a way to threaten. This is especially true if he or she lacks a concealed weapons permit. Accusations of using a weapon in a threatening manner in Florida are serious. If someone is accused of this crime, it demands the defense of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Florida.

Understanding Florida Aggravated Assault Law

The actual criminal offense for using a weapon in a threatening manner is called aggravated assault. In simplest terms, it is the actual intentional threat of violence with a deadly weapon by one person against another person. Even if the defendant never intended to cause actual harm to the victim, simply creating a well-founded fear that violence was imminent is enough to constitute a crime.

F.S. 776 allow citizens to reciprocate force with force. In other words, if someone were to threaten someone with a deadly weapon, the person being threatened could retaliate with a deadly weapon of their own.

Consequences for Using a Weapon in a Threatening Manner

In virtually every instance, the use of a deadly weapon in a threatening manner is a felony. With a felony, law enforcement officers have no discretion and an arrest is mandatory. Merely brandishing a firearm is not a felony, but if a brandisher would then go on to threaten people with that same weapon, the consequences would be enhanced.

The following penalties are possible under Florida law if convicted of using a weapon in a threatening manner:

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Up to 5 years of probation

If accused of aggravated assault, a criminal defense attorney is necessary. Too often, defendants are wrongly accused when they were simply trying to defend themselves.

Hire an Aggravated Assault Attorney in Orlando

You defended yourself with a deadly weapon and were wrongly accused. Now let us defend you and fight for your case in court. The Umansky Law FIrm has dedicated itself to 100 combined years of loyal service to our clients in the state of Florida. We have extensive experience handling cases just like yours, and we can mount a sturdy defense in no time at all.

If you’d like a free case evaluation and quote, our attorneys and team are standing by. Give us a call at (407) 228-3838 or visit our contact page for a free consultation today.