In the state of Florida, assault and battery are two separate crimes. Assault is defined as an intentional threat or act of violence, while battery is any intentional physical contact that results in harm to another person. Both of these crimes can be charged together or separately depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you are the victim of assault or battery in Florida, you may be overwhelmed with what to do next. The Law Offices of Robert H. Hanaford can help guide you through the legal process so you can focus on healing during this stressful time. We will also tirelessly represent you in court if needed.
What Is Assault?
Assault is defined as an intentional act or threat of violence that places someone in reasonable fear of imminent harm or injury. This includes verbal threats, such as threatening to punch someone, as well as physical acts, such as actually swinging a fist at someone.
To be convicted of assault in Florida, the defendant must have acted with the intent to cause fear of physical harm or injury.
What Is Battery?
Battery, on the other hand, is defined as any intentional touching that causes physical harm or injuries to another person. This includes everything from pushing and shoving to punching and kicking. Unlike assault, however, a battery charge does not include the intention to cause fear or harm, only that they intended and followed through on the physical contact itself.
Penalties for Assault in Florida
The penalties for assault in Florida depend on the severity of the offense, along with if the individual has a past record. Since assault charges in Florida are generally second-degree misdemeanors, they can result in up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
If the assault is considered aggravated or involves deadly weapons or serious bodily harm, it may be upgraded to a felony and can carry higher penalties, including longer jail sentences and larger fines.
Penalties for Battery in Florida
The penalties for battery in Florida are similar to those for assault, but whereas most assault charges are second-degree misdemeanors, battery charges are usually first-degree misdemeanors. As such, battery charges in Florida can result in up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
As with assault offenses, battery charges can also be upgraded to felonies if they involve the use of a deadly weapon or when serious bodily harm occurs.
Other Potential Consequences for Assault or Battery
In addition to the potential jail time and fines associated with assault and battery charges, those convicted may also face other consequences, including revocation of driving privileges or the right to possess a firearm. Furthermore, in certain cases, those accused may face additional penalties prescribed by law, such as mandatory counseling or community service.
Given the potential consequences of assault and battery charges, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with either offense in Florida. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and work to have them dropped or reduced.
You should never attempt to handle a criminal matter on your own. Contact an experienced attorney today the moment you are charged with assault or battery and get the help you need to protect your rights.
Call the Law Offices of Robert H. Hanaford for an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Florida
If you have been charged with assault or battery in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Robert H. Hanaford today for a confidential consultation.
Robert H. Hanaford has nearly 40 years of experience helping people in Florida fight criminal charges, and he can use his extensive knowledge and experience to fight your case as well.