West Palm Beach Assault & Battery Lawyer
Assault and battery are separate crimes and carry separate penalties. A person can be charged with assault when they threaten to harm another person and appear to be able to carry out that threat. A battery occurs where one person actually touches or strikes another person. It is not necessary to cause harm to the other person for a battery to occur; rather the simple act of intentionally touching another person against their will can suffice. Domestic battery occurs where the people involved are related (by blood or marriage), have children in common, live together as a family or have lived together as a family in the past.
Assault is a second degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail or 6 months of probation. Battery is a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in the county jail.
The crimes of assault and battery can become more serious depending on the exact circumstances of each case. For instance, when an assault or battery is committed with a deadly weapon or when the victim is a police officer, pregnant or over 65 years of age, the crime becomes a felony and a prison sentence may be imposed. A previous conviction for battery can also enhance the severity of the crime. Contact our West Palm Beach assault & battery lawyers today, we can help.
Florida Statute, Section 784.011 Assault
(1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Florida Statute, Section 784.03 Battery
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
Aggravated Battery Statute
Florida Statute, Section 784.045 Aggravated Battery
(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
2. Uses a deadly weapon.
(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.