1. #1
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    Someone getting in your face

    I've been having a debate with a co-worker who said getting in someones face angrily isn't assault under florida law I think it is who is right?

    I believe that getting in someones face meets the 3 prongs of assault under fl law.
    For the following reasons: Coming toward someone aggressively is an act that threatens violence, there is an ability to do violence when you are up close to a person and someone getting in your face is usually followed by them using some type of force toward you.

  2. #2
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    LawlSTi's Avatar
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    The three precursors you are looking for are:

    Ability
    Opportunity
    Intent

    Meet those and you could have a case for assault. I'm sure one of the local PD guys or Deputies could fill you in better.
    ~Nobody wins....
    when everyone's losing~

  3. #3
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    The word you may be looking for is elements. The elements of the crime.
    The crime of Simple Assault has three elements:

    An intentional and unlawful threat - by word or act - to commit violence against another person;
    The apparent ability to carry through with the threat at the time it was made; and
    The threat created a genuine fear in the intended victim that the violence was imminent.
    Notably, an Assault is not the same thing as an Attempted Battery. An Assault is a threat to commit a violent act - an Attempted Battery is the actual commission of the violent act; albeit unsuccessfully.

    SO, you can argue it if the person has a well founded fear while they are in their face.

  4. #4
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    I can get in your face and scream angrily all I want... that's not assault. I have to specify exactly what I'm going to do to you and then have a means and intent of doing so. Sure, the "threat" of violence is inferred by a raised voice and being "in your face" but nobody is going to jail over a simple verbal altercation.

    If I stand in front of you and put you in a reasonable fear for your safety and well being (legitimately in fear... not "I thought he might punch me" but "I seriously thought that dude was going to rip my head off") and give a threat that you can articulate as intent *balling up a fist and pulling back as if to punch you while having you pinned in a corner* and stating "I'm gonna hit you so hard you'll be *****tin teeth" Then, you might have something.

    Or you could just not be a little girl about it and get on with your life, happy that the person didn't actually follow through. There are exceptions (domestic situations, etc) but... usually a good cup of "suck it up and get over it" handles these types of situations.
    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
    - Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by security1 View Post
    when you are up close to a person and someone getting in your face is usually followed by them using some type of force toward you.
    Says who? You need a lot more than that to prove an assault. ArmyDiver posted exactly what would constitute an assault. In order for an assault to occur there must be a WELL FOUNDED fear that violence was going to occur. That means it has to be a lot more than a hunch or just because you think when someone yells at you they're going to hit you.

    I've been standing on the line at protests before having people in my face screaming, and I can't go and arrest them for assault on a LEO just because they're standing near me and yelling. There has to be some sort of action...not just loud words being said in close proximity to you...that puts you in fear that violence is going to occur.

    I've never heard of anyone making an arrest for assault for what you have proposed, nor do I think that if such an arrest was ever made the SAO would even go forward with prosecution. Arresting people for yelling at you isn't what the statute was intended for.

  6. #6
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    Usually, assault on LEO either occurs because someone truly went for the fight but either 1) missed because they're drunk or 2) we see that they're bring a fight and we beat them to it. If someone has a problem with a person simply being close and yelling (assuming it isn't interrupting an investigation or causing a dangerous situation), the need is for thicker skin, not a bad arrest.

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    For a second I thought we we're talking about someone doing this to an officer. I think the elements have been covered and every situation is different. For the most part I'd say no though.

  8. #8
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    Not assault. disturbing the peace, perhaps.

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