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Aggravated Assault With a Firearm

1A Broward County court bailiff was arrested Monday night in St. Lucie County and charged with armed kidnapping, two counts of sexual battery and aggravated assault with a firearm.

Garrett Cunningham, 62, is assigned to the Broward courthouse and usually works in the courtroom of Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson. Bailiffs are unarmed civilian employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office. He has worked for the agency since 1999.

Cunningham was booked into the Port St. Lucie jail at 2 a.m. Tuesday. The arrest was on a warrant issued by the Plantation Police Department.

Source, full details

From a legal standpoint, assault and battery often form one charge against a suspect. However, some suspects may merely be charged with assault. Anyone who is charged with battery, however, is essentially also guilty of assault.

The difference between assault and battery lies in the definition of the terms. In legalese, assault is any reasonable threat to a person. The person who is committing the assault does not have to actually touch a person. But a reasonable and immediate threat to the person being assaulted must exist for a claim of assault. Battery, on the other hand, requires contact.

A few things are considered automatic assault without being considered assault and battery. Pointing a gun at someone, or waving a weapon like a knife, or a potential weapon like a baseball bat is assault. At that moment, anyone who is being threatened is being assaulted.

For assault and battery to both be present, one must wave a weapon, or one’s fists, or threaten physical harm, and then commit physical harm. The difference lies in whether the supposed criminal ever touched the victim. As soon as a threat becomes a blow, the crime is then assault and battery.

Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program On Aggravated Assault

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.  The UCR Program further specifies that this type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.  Attempted aggravated assault that involves the display of—or threat to use—a gun, knife, or other weapon is included in this crime category because serious personal injury would likely result if the assault were completed.  When aggravated assault and larceny-theft occur together, the offense falls under the category of robbery.


The 2013 Florida Statutes

784.021Aggravated assault.—

(1)An “aggravated assault” is an assault:

(a)With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or

(b)With an intent to commit a felony.

(2)Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.—s. 2, ch. 3275, 1881; RS 2402; GS 3228; RGS 5061; CGL 7163; s. 1, ch. 29709, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-345; s. 731, ch. 71-136; s. 18, ch. 74-383; s. 8, ch. 75-298.

Note.—Former s. 784.04.


Depending on the nature of the offense, a person accused of assault could face a range of criminal charges. In less severe cases, the charge may be classified as a misdemeanor offense, a category reserved for minor criminal acts. If the alleged assault involved a weapon or the victim was seriously injured, however, felony charges may apply. In many cases, the punishment for an assault conviction may also include expensive legal fines, probation, and/or community service. Due to these consequences, assault attorneys are often helpful to individuals who find themselves facing criminal assault charges.

Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | West Palm Beach Weapons and Firearm Charges Lawyer

If you are facing a gun or weapon charge in Greenacres, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Boca Raton, or the surrounding areas, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Attorney Stine is an experienced defense attorney who will analyze the facts of your case and find any errors made by law enforcement that could potentially lead to dismissal of your charges.

Contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561-832-1170 to set up a consultation on your gun charges. Your initial consultation is free and is an essential part of planning your defense.

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