Assault and battery are two different crimes in the state of Florida. If you are in need of a Tampa assault and battery lawyer, contact Robert Zlatkin today.
Florida Statute 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 another person that such violence is imminent.”
This means that under Florida law it is not necessary to actually have physical contact with a victim for the offense to reach the level of assault. It is only necessary to create an impression that violence is imminent, in such a way that the victim has a genuine fear that they are about to be, or are being attacked.
Simple Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor in Tampa, and punishable by up to 60 days in jail, six months’ probation.
Aggravated assault is also known as felony assault, and it refers to the expression of a threat of immediate physical violence against a victim, using a deadly weapon, or if the assault occurs during the commission of a felony.
Threatening to kill someone while holding a knife to the victim’s throat while robbing them of their valuables is an example of aggravated assault. Hurling a glass bottle at a victim’s head is an aggravated assault even if the bottle doesn’t get anywhere near the victim.
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony, and punishable by up to five years in prison, five years’ probation and $5000 in fines.
Under Florida Statute 784.03, battery is defined as “actually and intentionally touch(ing) or strik(ing) another person against the will of the other; or intentionally caus(ing) bodily harm to another person.”
Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, one years’ probation, and $1000 in fines.
If the accused person has a prior conviction for battery, any subsequent battery charges will automatically rise to the level of felony battery.
Felony battery, aside from a prior conviction, is a third-degree felony offense defined as unwanted, physical contact in such a way that causes great bodily harm. It is punishable by as many as five years in prison.
Penalties for battery conviction are enhanced if the victim is an officer of the law, emergency medical personnel, a Family and Child Services investigator or a public transit operator engaged in the performance of their duty.
Aggravated battery is the intentional touching of another person with a deadly weapon, or with the intention of inflicting great bodily harm. A weapon is considered deadly if used, or threatened to be used in a way likely to cause death or grievous bodily injury.
In the state of Florida, an aggravated battery conviction carries a prison sentence for up to fifteen years.
Penalties for battery conviction are enhanced if the victim is an officer of the law, emergency medical personnel, a Family and Child Services investigator or a public transit operator engaged in the performance of their duty. Battery against a victim 65 years of age or older will also result in additional aggravated battery charges.
Simply put, any crime that rises to the level of assault and/or battery, can be escalated to a charge of domestic violence if the victim is a spouse, another family member, or household member. For an assault and/or battery to meet the standard of domestic violence, several conditions must be met.
Penalties for assault and/or battery of any sort are increased when the victim meets the standard for a domestic violence attack.
Among the many arguments used, self-defense is the most common defense for assault and battery charges, and the burden of proof for conviction rests on the shoulders of the prosecution.
In order to establish justifiable self-defense, a person accused of assault and battery must prove:
It should also be noted that even justifiable self-defense must still fall within the boundaries of reasonable action. Conditions that can affect a successful self-defense argument include:
If you have been accused of assault and battery in Tampa, you cannot afford to wait. Robert Zlatkin is a top Tampa criminal defense attorney and has the expertise and years of courtroom experience you need when your freedom is on the line. Call Robert Zlatkin today.