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Assault and Battery Charges in Florida

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In Florida, assault and battery are two separate but often related crimes. Additionally, assault and battery charges are further broken up into two categories: simple assault and battery and aggravated assault and battery. The nature and circumstance surrounding your arrest will determine whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges but, in any case, you face harsh penalties if you are convicted.

At First Coast Criminal Defense, our Jacksonville assault and battery lawyers provide aggressive legal representation for those accused of assault and/or battery in Jacksonville and throughout Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties. Our Jacksonville assault & battery attorneys have a proven track record of success in the courtroom; we are well-equipped and fully prepared to fight for you and your rights.

Arrested for assault or battery in FL? Get a FREE consultation with our Jacksonville assault and battery defense lawyers today by calling (904) 474-3115!

What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

Many people mistakenly believe that “assault” and “battery” are the same thing. However, in Florida, these are two distinct crimes. While battery involves actual physical contact between two individuals, assault merely involves the threat of harm/violent contact. This means that you can be arrested for and charged with assault even if you never touch the other person. Additionally, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, your charges could be elevated from simple assault/battery to aggravated assault/battery.

What Is Assault in Florida?

In Florida, an assault involves the intentional threat and apparent ability to commit violence to someone else as well as creating a fear that this attack is imminent.

This includes physical attacks, but it can also encompass verbal threats or gestures that suggest an attack is imminent. A failed attempt at striking a person can also be defined as assault.

Simple Assault Florida

Simple assault in Florida is defined as a less severe threat of violence made against another person (e.g. threatening to punch someone) when the person believed the other person could and would cause them harm. This is a second-degree misdemeanor and may result in:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $500

However, assault done against someone who has been identified as a "special victim" is a first-degree misdemeanor. Examples of these individuals are law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers and public transport employees. The possible penalties for those convicted of this increase to these maximums: one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Note that a previous criminal record, particularly if it includes assault or battery convictions, can result in extensions of these maximums.

Aggravated Assault Florida

In Florida, an aggravated assault is an assault that involves more significant elements. Examples include making the threat while armed with a deadly weapon or showing intent to kill the person targeted. An aggravated assault conviction in Florida, a third-degree felony, can result in:

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000

What is Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

Florida Statute 784.021 defines assault with a deadly weapon as an assault committed with a firearm, knife, or other deadly weapon without the intent to kill.

To convict someone of assault with a deadly weapon in Florida, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened, by word or act, to do violence to the victim.
  2. The defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat at the time.
  3. The defendant's act created a well-founded fear in the victim that violence was about to take place.
  4. The assault was made with a deadly weapon.

Assault with a deadly weapon is also a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years.

If you've been charged with assault or aggravated assault, contact our Jacksonville assault and battery lawyers today!

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