In the state of Florida, the charges of assault and battery represent two different situations, even though they are often used together. Also, these charges, which are usually misdemeanors, can also be more serious offenses, such as aggravated battery and aggravated assault, which are felonies.
If you are charged with either or both of these you need to understand what it means and the difference in the two. Due to the degrees and severity of assault and battery charges, it is highly advisable to seek representation from a criminal defense lawyer in Florida.
Assault and Battery
The charge of assault is when a threat of harm is issued to the victim, which causes the victim to fear for their safety. There is no need for there to be any physical contact for an assault charge to be given.
During the court proceedings, it is the job of the prosecutor to prove there was an intent to threaten the victim and that the individual believed that physical violence would follow. Also, the prosecutor in the case has to present evidence that the alleged perpetrator made a threat using words or some type of intimidating gesture.
Battery in Florida is a charge that occurs when there is actual, physical contact with the victim. In these situations, the prosecution has to prove that the individual intentionally made violent contact with the victim and that it was done without the victim’s consent.
Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery
A charge of aggravated assault takes place when the threat has been made with the use of a deadly weapon. This includes actions, such as brandishing a knife or gun. A charge of aggravated battery takes place when there is significant bodily harm or cases of permanent disfigurement to the victim or if a deadly weapon was used to commit the act of battery.
In Florida, simple assault is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. It carries a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor and has a $1,000 file with up to a year in prison.
Aggravated assault is charged as a third-degree felony, and carries a $5,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to five years. Aggravated battery is charged as a second-degree felony. It has a $10,000 fine and the possibility of a 15-year prison sentence.
Get in Touch with Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today
As you can see, if you are charged with assault and battery in Florida, you are facing serious penalties. If you are facing this charge, you need the help of a criminal defense attorney. They can help protect your rights and in some cases may be able to have the charges reduced or thrown out altogether.
Don’t try to handle assault and battery charges – of any degree – alone. You need the help and experience offered by a quality attorney. If you want more information or have questions, you can contact us.