Understanding Florida Assault and Battery Charges

Being convicted of assault or battery can affect the rest of your life. Assault and battery charges are serious, so it is crucial to have a criminal defense attorney such as Alison M. Lopes fight for you when facing an assault or battery charge. Learn more about assault and battery penalties below.   

What is Assault?

According to Florida Statute 784.011, assault is the intentional threat of violence by word or action between two people, with the ability to commit the act in a way that makes the alleged victim believe bodily harm is imminent. No violent act is committed, only the threat of one. 

Penalties for Assault Convictions 

Simple assault carries a second-degree misdemeanor conviction. If the assault occurred during an aggravated riot, as determined by Florida Statute 870.01, you could face a first-degree misdemeanor. You may face up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. You could also be sentenced to six months’ probation and be required to take anger management classes. 

What is Battery?

Battery is when someone intentionally strikes or touches another against their will, causing bodily harm. Unlike assault, which only deals with a threat of violence, a battery charge means you committed a violent act that caused an injury. 

Penalties for Battery Convictions

Battery convictions face steeper penalties than assault convictions. Battery sentences include a first-degree misdemeanor, a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and one year of probation. 

Felony Battery 

A first-time battery charge could come with a felony conviction in some situations, such as when the violent act resulted in a permanent disability or disfigurement. You may also face felony battery if you were charged with domestic battery with strangulation. 

What is the Difference Between Simple and Aggravated Assault or Battery?

Simple assault and battery charges are defined and listed above. Aggravated assault or battery is when someone uses a deadly weapon. In addition to guns or knives, deadly weapons may include rocks, bricks, glass bottles, or baseball bats. If convicted of aggravated assault, you could receive a third-degree felony and up to five years in prison. Aggravated battery charges carry a second-degree felony sentence with up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

Prior Convictions & Harsher Sentencing

If you have been convicted of assault or battery more than once, you will face steeper consequences with each new charge. For instance, you could receive a third-degree felony if convicted of battery more than once. You could also face harsher sentencing if you commit assault or battery on someone in a “protected class,” such as a law enforcement officer. 

What to Do When Faced with Assault or Battery Charges 

To be convicted of an assault in Florida, the prosecutor must prove the defendant intentionally threatened the victim and could carry out the threat at that exact moment. The victim must have feared violence would occur, regardless of whether the defendant intended to carry out the act. To be convicted of battery, the victim must have suffered significant injuries or bodily harm. 

Alison M. Lopes: Criminal Defense Attorney 

Assault and battery charges are serious offenses. Seeking legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney like Alison M. Lopes is vital. Call our office at 407-442-2724 for a consultation to discuss your case.