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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Assault > How Assault On A Victim In A Protected Class In Florida Elevates Criminal Penalties

How Assault On A Victim In A Protected Class In Florida Elevates Criminal Penalties


Florida is not lenient on those that commit crimes, including assault. There are severe penalties that come when one person is found guilty of assaulting another. Though in some instances, the type of person that was victimized could impact the penalties, making them much harsher. When assault happens on a person deemed to be in a protected class, these individuals warrant the steepest penalties and punishments for those that are found guilty.

When it comes to assault in Florida, the details matter. The person you may have allegedly assaulted could be in a protected group and, therefore, you will have more significant repercussions. You could be looking at years behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines. The Orlando assault lawyers at Joshi Law Firm, PA, understand how significant these charges can be. Our legal team also has extensive experience defending against them, and we can assist you if you were arrested for assault.

What People Are Considered Protected in Florida?

Protected individuals encompass various professionals and individuals in the most vulnerable demographics. In Florida, assaulting a person who falls in any of the following categories means that the assault was done on a person in a protected class.

  • Disabled individuals
  • Elderly individuals over the age of 65
  • Teachers, professors, or other school personnel
  • First responders
  • Law enforcement
  • Security guards and other safety specialists
  • Paid and volunteer healthcare workers
  • Individuals employed in public transit positions
  • Certain railroad officers

At a minimum, an assault on an individual in a protected class in Florida can leave you with as long as one year behind bars and a $1,000 fine. However, a second-degree felony assault on a person in a protected class makes the fines skyrocket to as much as $10,000 with up to 15 years in prison. To put things in perspective, in the latter instance, if the assault were not on a person in a protected class, then the maximum prison sentence would be five years. That is a big difference.

Now, there is one caveat to those in a protected class due to their profession. Only when engaging in the duties of their job are they considered protected. When they are not at work, and an assault happens, the crimes and penalties are not enhanced.

It is illegal to commit crimes of assault on another party. But, when the party who suffered the violent acts is a protected class member, the penalties that may be faced if a conviction happens are elevated and much more brutal.

Speak to a Florida Assault Defense Attorney Today

Coming in to see a Florida criminal defense attorney at Joshi Law Firm, PA, can be advantageous if you have been arrested for assault. The sooner you connect with a legal professional, the better. When you meet with your attorney, you can discuss your case and determine the best way to approach a strong defense strategy to help you overcome your charges and refute the accusations made against you.

Call the Joshi Law Firm, PA, today to schedule a free initial consultation at (407) 661-1109. Our experienced legal team has helped numerous individuals successfully defend against their criminal charges, and we are prepared to do the same for you.



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