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The Florida Bar

Assault and Battery Arrests

Florida criminal attorney answers questions on assault and battery arrests as well as defining differences between the two.

Q. “What is the difference between assault & battery?”

A. “Assault involves no contact where battery does” explains Florida criminal attorney. “People facing charges of assault or battery, or people injured due to assault or battery can seek the services of Florida assault attorneys to build a solid defense or bring the culprits to justice.” – Ft. Lauderdale assault and battery attorney William Moore

It is first important to understand how Florida statutes define and punish the different charges following assault and battery arrests.

When filing an assault charge Florida criminal law requires the victim to prove the following took place;

  • An individual unlawfully and willfully threatened to do violence to another individual by either words or actions, which instilled fear in the victim
  • The accused at that time had the ability to carry out such threats
  • The threatening act created fear in the victim’s mind of a violent act about to take place

By Criminal Attorney William Moore

Evidence For Assault and Battery Arrests

“The important aspects of this statute are the intent of the accused in causing fear in the mind of the victim, and the alleged offender’s ability during that time to carry out the threat.”

“Hence, assault cannot be a threat that is going to be carried out in the future, or which does not create fear. In Florida, simple assault is considered a misdemeanor charge, punishable by $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail. Alternatively, the offender can also attain six months’ probation with or without the fine.” –Ft. Lauderdale assault lawyer

In battery cases, Florida law requires the prosecution to prove:

  • The alleged offender willfully struck or touched the victim without his or her consent
  • The actions of the accused caused bodily harm to the victim

“Therefore, battery can be a simple poke or a push and need not be punch or a kick. The bodily harm does not need to be visible, the victim can claim that the actions hurt. Consequently, only the testimony of the victim may be enough to convict the alleged offender, as physical evidence of injuries is not required.” –Florida battery attorney

“The punishment for battery is much more severe than assault, since battery implies actually touching or striking someone. If convicted of battery, the offender can be fined up to $1,000, and/or put in jail for a year, or one year probation with or without the fine.” –criminal law reference

“Aggravated Assault charges can escalate to felony charges if the accused had used deadly weapon while committing the crime.” –Broward County criminal defense attorney William Moore

Aggravated assault is a third degree felony offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, and/or five years jail time, or five years’ probation. If the accused used a firearm, then there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of three years.

“Aggravated battery is a second degree felony offense and this crime is committed when:

The accused has caused severe bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or disability in the victim knowingly and intentionally

Or when the accused uses a deadly weapon

Or when the victim is a pregnant woman at that time of the offense and the accused knew of her pregnant condition

Aggravated battery is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000, and/or 15 years in jail, or 15 years’ probation. Using a deadly weapon carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years jail time.” –

“When facing assault and battery charges the penalties can be very severe, it is important to hire a experienced criminal defense attorney who has significant history in ligating violent crime charges. According to the circumstances surrounding the case, an accomplished assault and battery lawyer will be able to work out a defense strategy. Most common defense in assault or battery cases is self-defense.” – former Assistant State Attorney, Broward County prosecutor and now Florida criminal defense attorney

“The law allows a person to use sufficient threat or force to protect oneself or others from harm. If in this process the attacker alleges battery or assault, the defendant can claim self-defense.”

By William Moore

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