Understanding the law for assault and battery in Florida

| Jul 11, 2020 | Criminal Defense

In Florida, there is often confusion about charges related to assault and battery. While they seem to be linked, there are fundamental differences that are critical to the allegations. After being arrested, it is important to understand the distinction. This can be essential when determining how to lodge an effective defense.

There are three levels of assault and battery: simple, aggravated and felony. For there to be a conviction on assault charges, it must be shown that the defendant threatened the victim intentionally, made the victim experience fear, or perpetrated violence. The defendant must also have the capability to carry out the threat.

Battery involves intentional physical contact between the defendant and the victim that occurred without the victim’s consent. For simple battery, there must be contact of some kind and it must be on purpose and unwanted. The charges can rise to felony battery if there was a prior conviction. If the accused used a deadly weapon in the incident or intended to cause a serious injury, it can be aggravated battery.

A conviction for simple assault carries with it a fine of as much as $500 and 60 days in jail. Aggravated assault carries up to $5,000 in fines with five years in prison. Simple battery could have a fine of $1,000 and a year in prison. Felony battery can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and five years in prison. Aggravated battery may have $10,000 in fines and as much as 15 years in prison. While these charges and penalties are serious, there are strategies to combat them including self-defense, an accident, or lack of intent. There could be a reduction in charges or an acquittal. A legal professional experienced in assault and battery defense may be able to help.