Although assault and battery are often related crimes and discussed together, the two are actually distinct offenses. Florida state laws define the two crimes separately and there are several levels and variations of the crime of assault.
A simple assault is the intentional, unlawful threat to do violence to another person while having the apparent ability to carry out the threat and as a result, creating a well-founded fear in the other person. Simple assault, usually charged as a misdemeanor, is the least serious form of assault. An assault can be by word or by an act. Where assault is a physical attack, pushing someone or slapping someone in an argument are instances of simple assault. Penalties for Assault. Florida law classifies Simple Assault as a second-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 60 days in jail or 6 months probation, and a $500.00 fine.
If a deadly weapon or firearm is used during the assault you may be charged with aggravated assault which is a felony in the state of Florida. By contrast, the crime of Aggravated Assault is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment.
In either case, be smart and get an experienced attorney involved early on in an assault case. A conviction can have serious consequences for your life, now and in the future. Even in small cases, you need a lawyer. Often, information can be submitted to the state attorney’s office that was not previously given during the investigation. Mitigating circumstances can be explained early on in an effort to encourage the state attorney’s office to drop the charges.
Mitigating circumstances can be explained early on in an effort to encourage the state attorney’s office to drop the charges.
A battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of that person or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. In Florida, battery is governed by Section 784.03 of the state’s statutes. You can only be convicted of misdemeanor battery if the prosecution can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that each element of battery was present in your actions. The prosecution must prove actual, and intentional, touching or striking of another person; and that no consent had been given for the contact in question.
While misdemeanor charges are less serious than felony charges, the penalties for a conviction can still cause major damage to your life. In Florida, simple battery is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. This means that you could be facing a maximum penalty of one year in jail in the event that you are convicted. Florida prosecutors tend to be especially harsh on those charged with battery. If you have been charged, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect your legal rights.
If you have a prior conviction (or withhold of adjudication) on any battery related offense, you can be charged with Felony Battery. Additionally, if the victim sustains great bodily injury or, a deadly weapon is used, you may be charged with Aggravated Battery. Aggravated battery is a 2nd-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Even as a first-time offender, a battery conviction can lead to a jail sentence. Powers Sellers & Finkelstein PLC has over 16 years of combined experience defending clients charged with all levels of Assault and Battery. Call us for a free evaluation at (727) 531-2926 anytime, 24-7!
As soon as possible. It is much more beneficial to get an experienced attorney involved early on in assault and battery. A conviction can have serious consequences for your life, now and in the future. Even in small cases, you need a lawyer. Your case matters and you should get the best legal advice you can. Often times, information can be submitted to the state attorney’s office that was not previously given during the investigation. Mitigating circumstances can be explained early on in an effort to encourage the state attorney’s office to drop the charges.
Even as a first-time offender, a battery conviction can lead to a jail sentence. At Powers Sellers & Finkelstein PLC, we have over 20 years of combined experience defending clients charged with all levels of Assault and Battery. We will begin investigating your case immediately. We will advise what steps you can take to minimize or even eliminate the stress involved in defending this type of case. Call us for a free evaluation at (727) 531-2926 and let our team put our knowledge of the criminal justice system to work for you.
There are many defenses that an Assault and Battery Lawyer can provide.
There are many defenses that an Assault and Battery Lawyer can provide. The most common defense is self-defense. In other words, you were defending yourself during the commission of what the state attorney has charged as an assault or battery. You may have been defending another person. Many factors must be evaluated before you settle for any offer the state attorney’s office has given to resolve your case, including but not limited to:
- Is the charge a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
- Is the charge filed in a way that qualifies for Sealing or Expunction?
- Will the charge have any effect on your living arrangements? It is important to know that most rental agencies and apartment companies do a background check. If you are currently living in an apartment will entering a plea to the charge initiate an eviction notice? Will you be able to rent in the future if you are convicted as charged?
- Does the victim wish to prosecute?
- Was the victim a family member?