Osceola County Officers Arrest Man for Drawing Gun on Car Accident Victim
What began as a minor vehicle accident ended with criminal charges for aggravated assault and grand theft auto. Carlos Luis Mercado was involved in a minor collision yet failed to stop to exchange information. After pulling into a Publix parking lot followed by the other driver involved in the crash, Mercado exited his vehicle and approached the other driver with a gun drawn and pointed. When Mercado realized the other driving was recording him, he returned to his vehicle and drove away. A news report regarding the incident led to an individual calling in and providing the police with Mercado’s home address where he was later arrested. Upon investigating the incident, the police found Mercado’s vehicle was not his and had been reported stolen in March. He now faces charges for aggravated assault due to his threatening the other driver with a deadly weapon and with grand theft auto for possessing another person’s vehicle without consent.
Aggravated Assault in Florida
Under Florida statute section 784.021, aggravated assault is an assault that takes place with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill or with the intent to commit a felony. An assault is defined by section 784.011 as an intentional, unlawful threat by word or conduct to do violence to another person with the apparent ability to do so, and some action that creates a well-founded fear of imminent violence in the other person. It is important to realize that an assault under Florida law does not require any physical contact between people, actual violence, or an injury. An assault is a purposeful and believable threat of violence.
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill is charged as a third-degree felony. If convicted of this crime, Mercado faces up to 5 years in prison, 5 years on probation, and a fine up to $5,000.
Grand Theft Auto
Florida defines theft in section 812.014 as knowingly obtaining or using the property of another with the intent to, temporarily or permanently, deprive the owner of their right to or benefit from property or appropriate the property for their use or the use of another person who is not entitled to the property. Grand theft occurs in a number of circumstances, including when the stolen property is a motor vehicle. This is often charged as a third-degree felony.
Defending Against Criminal Charges
When an individual faces multiple criminal charges, it is crucial to work with an experienced and well-rounded attorney like those of Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. We have years of experience defending clients in Central Florida from a wide range of misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. We are prepared to represent you in multiple cases. We will review your circumstances and build you the strongest defense possible under the law. If a conviction is likely, we can discuss the pros and cons of a plea deal, and if you want to proceed, negotiate an advantageous plea bargain for you.
For more information on how we may be able to help, call us at 407-483-0500.