According to The Florida Times-Union, a man pulled a gun recently in a traffic incident, leading to charges of aggravated assault and auto theft against an 18-year-old.
The use of weapons in crimes can be dangerous and they can turn arguments into years-long prison sentences and fights into homicides. And in an effort to cut down on the crime, lawmakers have boosted penalties against people convicted of committing gun crimes in Jacksonville and throughout Florida. These charges carry steep penalties that can include up to a life sentence in Florida, so consulting with an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney, who can defend the charges and seek a good resolution is imperative.
In this case, according to the newspaper, a white Acura cut off a truck on Busch Drive, leading the truck driver to yell out to the driver of the Acura that’s how “accidents happen and people get hurt,” according to sheriff’s deputies.
According to investigators, the driver of the Acura pulled out a silver revolver and yelled back, “Oh, people gonna get hurt?”
When the victim saw the gun, he wrote down the license plate number and called police. Detectives found the Acura and trailed it after discovering it had been stolen. After the driver and passenger abandoned the car, officers tracked down the pair and arrested them, though a gun wasn’t found. The unnamed passenger was also arrested on a charge of auto theft.
This is a disturbing case because authorities have charged a man with aggravated assault, which is a serious crime, despite no evidence he had a gun. The driver of the truck could have made up the part about the gun simply to get back at the driver he was mad at for cutting him off in traffic.
Now, an 18-year-old faces up to five years in prison, according to Florida Statute 784.021. Aggravated assault can mean beating someone with a deadly weapon or simply waving it around in an intimidating manner. In this case, it appears the charge comes from the latter definition.
In any aggravated assault charge, it is essential that the state prove the defendant was using or carrying a weapon and used it in an intimidating way. Without proof of a weapon, the charge becomes a simple assault, which is defined in Florida Statute 784.011. Under that law, it is a second-degree misdemeanor, which is much less serious.
In Florida there are ways prosecutors can enhance the possible penalties in any given crime if a weapon is involved and that’s the way lawmakers have sought to end the problem of violent crimes. For that reason, immediately consulting with an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney is critical. Don’t make a statement to detectives without first asking to speak with a lawyer, who can determine whether or not talking is a good idea.
Don’t surrender any rights without first consulting with an attorney to determine the best course of action. These charges are serious and can put a person away in prison for years and sometimes decades. Don’t take them lightly.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide constitutionally guaranteed criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.
Gun drawn in Jacksonville traffic incident, by Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union