What is the difference between assault and battery?
So it’s important to understand that in some states, assault and battery are used interchangeably, but in Florida, they mean very different things. In Florida, you commit the crime of assault if you threaten to hit somebody. You commit the crime of battery if you actually hit them.
Simple assault and simple battery are both considered misdemeanor offenses in the state of Florida. Simple battery is a 1st degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. Simple assault is a 2nd degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Things get a lot more serious if there’s any allegation that a weapon was used to either commit the battery or the assault. If you use a weapon to threaten someone with great bodily harm, the potential charge that you would face is aggravated assault with a weapon or firearm. That charge is a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
If you actually hit someone with a deadly weapon or hit someone or hit someone and cause great bodily harm, you could be charged with aggravated battery. Aggravated battery is a 2nd degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It’s also a charge that requires a mandatory adjudication of guilt, which means that if the judge the jury find you guilty of this offense, it will be a permanent felony conviction on your record.
As you can see, these charges can escalate very quickly and can become very serious. If you’re facing a charge of either assault of batter, call Flaherty Defense Firm today and get the help you need.