Fort Walton Beach Assault and Battery Attorneys
Flaherty Defense Firm defends locals, military members, and vacationers who have been arrested for an Assault or Battery offense in Fort Walton Beach.
Any act that involved either actual physical harm or the threat of it is going to be aggressively pursued by both law enforcement and prosecutors. Aside from the possibility of serving a prison term, you may be perceived as a dangerous and unstable person to potential employers or landlords if you are convicted of Assault or Battery.
Also, some assault and battery offenses are impossible to expunge or seal from your criminal record, meaning that this can stick with you for the rest of your life, even if the charges against you are completely false.
My name is Tim Flaherty. I have been defending clients accused of Assault or Battery in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. Criminal Defense is our only area of practice. Call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097 and let us help you.
What is the definition of Assault under Florida law?
Florida Statute 784.021 defines Assault as
“an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to someone else, along with the apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which created a well-founded fear in the other person that such violence is imminent.”
Misdemeanor Assault is a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
What is the definition of Battery under Florida law?
Florida Statute 784.03 defines Battery as
“the actual and intentional touching or striking of a person against their will or with the intent to cause bodily harm.”
Misdemeanor Battery is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000.00 fine.
Assault and Battery Crimes in Fort Walton Beach
Brandy and I defend locals, military personnel, and vacationers who have been accused of the following Assault and Battery crimes in Fort Walton Beach:
Florida Statute 784.021 defines Aggravated Assault as
“an assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, or with an intent to commit a felony.”
Aggravated Assault is a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5000.00 fine, and a permanent felony conviction.
Defending an Aggravated Assault Case
Aggravated Assault is the type of case where an effective defense strategy can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
While every case is different, here are a few of the issues we will look at in order to develop the most effective legal strategy to win your case:
- Whether we can argue self-defense. If so, this could lead to a dismissal or a win at trial.
- Assault requires the State to prove that the victim was in fear. In other words, if the alleged victim doesn’t want to prosecute, the State may not have a choice but to dismiss the case.
- The State must be able to prove that you had the ability to carry out the threat. For example, if you threaten someone in an email, you can’t be convicted of Aggravated Assault because it is impossible to carry out a physical threat through the computer.
- The State will be required to produce the item they are claiming is a deadly weapon.
Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman
If you have been arrested in Fort Walton Beach for Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman, you are facing a mandatory prison sentence if you are convicted. This charge is called Aggravated Battery because of the victim being pregnant, not because the battery itself was aggravated. In other words, even if the battery was minor enough to only be a misdemeanor under normal circumstances, if the alleged victim was pregnant, the State will charge you with felony Aggravated Battery.
Elements of Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman under Florida Law
The State will be required to prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against their will or intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim; and
- The victim was pregnant at the time; and
- The defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant at the time.
Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman is a 2nd degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Under Florida’s sentencing guidelines, the charge is a Level 7 offense which requires a minimum sentence of 21 months in prison if you are convicted.
Defending an Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Woman case in Fort Walton Beach
Every case is different, but here are three issues we will look at:
- We will contact the alleged victim to see if they would be willing to sign a drop-charge request. If they are, the State may or may not continue with prosecution, but it increases the chances of a successful outcome.
- We will review whether it is possible to argue self-defense.
- We will review whether we can make an argument that you didn’t know the victim was pregnant. Obviously, this is very case-specific. If the victim was someone you just met, it might be a viable argument. If it was your wife or girlfriend, we probably can’t claim you didn’t know she was pregnant.
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon in Fort Walton Beach
I hate to be so blunt about this, but if you are charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, the State is going to roll right over you and send you to prison without an attorney to fight for you. Cases this serious require an experienced defense team.
A deadly weapon can be any object capable of causing great bodily harm. Common examples include firearms, baseball bats, clubs, knives, etc.
Penalty for Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
This charge is a 2nd degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Under Florida sentencing guidelines, it is a Level 7 offense which scores a minimum of 21 months in prison.
Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, the State can add additional points to the scoresheet. In those scenarios, the sentence would be calculated as follows:
With Slight Injury
56 points + 4 injury points = 60. 60 – 28 = 32. 32 x 0.75 = 24 months in prison.
With Moderate Injury
56 points + 18 injury points = 74. 74 – 28 = 46. 46 x 0.75 = 34.5 months in prison
With Severe Injury
56 points + 40 injury points = 96. 96 – 28 = 68. 68 x 0.75 = 51 months in prison.
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|
Additional Assault or Battery cases we defend at Flaherty Defense Firm
My team and I at Flaherty Defense Firm have many years of experience defending locals, military personnel, and vacationers who have been accused of Assault and Battery crimes in Fort Walton Beach. Some of the other charges we can help you with include:
- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
- Domestic Violence
- Battery on the Elderly
- Burglary with Battery
- Child Abuse
- False Imprisonment
- Resisting an Officer
If you have been charged with Assault, Battery, Domestic Violence, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault, Battery on Law Enforcement, Battery on the Elderly, Burglary with Battery, False Imprisonment, Child Abuse, Domestic Battery by Strangulation, or Resisting an Officer in Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097.