It is common to get the terms assault and battery confused. Different states define each term differently. In the State of Florida, assault is committed if you threaten to hit someone. A threat can be verbal, or it can be a physical action. Battery is committed if you actually hit them.
Assault and Battery are crimes of violence, and a conviction can devastate your future.
My name is Tim Flaherty. I have been defending Crestview clients accused of Assault or Battery since 2001. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. Call us at (850) 398-8098 if you are ready to get help from experienced Crestview assault and battery defense lawyers.
Overview of Assault and Battery in Crestview
Battery and Assault are both misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine.
In some situations, an assault or battery case can be filed as a felony offense. Here is a list of some common felony assault or battery crimes:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman
- Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
- Battery on Law Enforcement
Florida Statue 784.011 defines assault as “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.”
This means that assault generally occurs when a person threatens harm to someone and they are actually capable of going through with the threat.
Florida Statue 784.021 defines aggravated assault as an assault that is committed with a deadly weapon. Aggravated Assault is a 3rd degree felony with a potential sentence of 5 years in prison.
Florida Statute 784.03 defines Battery as: “The offense of battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other.”
So what does that mean? Battery occurs when a person touches another person against their will with the intent to strike them.
Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman
If a battery is committed against a woman that the defendant knew, or should have known, was pregnant, the charge is elevated to Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman, a second degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
When a battery is committed with a deadly weapon, the charge is probably going to be Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. A weapon is considered deadly when the purpose for using it is to cause serious harm. Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
A person is guilty of Battery on Law Enforcement if it is proven that the person hit or touched the victim against their will, the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, EMT, or other protected public safety official, the suspect knew or should have known that the victim was such an official, and when the battery was committed, the victim was working in their official capacity.
Maximum Assault and Battery Penalties by Charge
A table outlining various Florida assault and battery charges as well as their maximum penalties.
|Charge||Statute||Misdemeanor or Felony||Degree||Maximum Penalty|
|Simple Battery / Misdemeanor Battery||784.03(2)||M||1st||1 year jail and $1,000 fine|
|Simple Assault||784.011||M||2nd||60 days jail and $500 fine|
|Domestic Violence||741.28||M||1st||1 year jail and $1,000 fine|
|Aggravated Assault with a Weapon or Firearm||784.045(1)(b)||F||3rd||5 years prison and $5,000 fine|
|Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer||784.07(2)(b)||F||3rd||5 years prison and $5,000 fine|
|Domestic Violence by Strangulation||784.041(2)(a)||F||3rd||5 years prison and $5,000 fine|
|False Imprisonment||787.02(2)||F||3rd||5 years prison and $5,000 fine|
|Child Abuse||827.03(2)(c)||F||3rd||5 years prison and $5,000 fine|
|Battery on the Elderly||784.08||F||3rd||5 years prison and $5,000 fine|
|Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Person||784.045(1)(b)||F||2nd||15 year prison and $10,000 fine|
|Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon||784.045(1)(a)1||F||2nd||15 year prison and $10,000 fine|
|Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer||784.07(2)(d)||F||1st||30 years prison and $10,000 fine|
|Burglary with Battery||810.02(2)(a)||F||1st||Punishable by Life in prison and $15,000 fine|
Contact a Crestview Assault and Battery Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with assault or battery in Crestview, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 398-8098 for a free consultation.