St. Johns County Assault & Battery Attorneys
Aggressive Defense for Violent Crime Charges in St. Johns County, FL
Assault and battery are two of the most common violent crimes in Florida. They are also two of the most misunderstood. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they are actually two separate offenses. Both are serious, however, and a conviction can result in severe penalties.
If you have been charged with assault or battery, you need to take the situation seriously. First Coast Criminal Defense can help. Our Jacksonville assault and battery lawyers know how to build a strong defense on your behalf and will fight tirelessly for you in and out of the courtroom.
What is Assault?
Assault is defined as intentionally threatening to harm someone, combined with the apparent ability to do so. In other words, you can be charged with assault even if you never actually touched the alleged victim. The key is that the victim believed you were going to harm them and that you had the ability to do so.
Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
What is Battery?
Battery is defined as intentionally touching or striking someone against their will. Unlike assault, battery requires actual physical contact. The contact can be as simple as a light tap on the shoulder or as severe as a punch to the face. The key is that the contact was made without the victim’s consent.
Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
What is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault. It is defined as intentionally threatening to harm someone, combined with the apparent ability to do so, with a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon is any object that is used or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. This can include a gun, knife, baseball bat, or even a car.
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
What is Aggravated Battery?
Aggravated battery is a more serious form of battery. It is defined as intentionally touching or striking someone against their will, with the intent to cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. It is also defined as using a deadly weapon to intentionally touch or strike someone against their will, regardless of the intent.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Defending Against Assault & Battery Charges
Being charged with assault or battery can be a frightening experience. You may be unsure of what to do next or how to protect yourself. The good news is that you do not have to face the criminal justice system alone. Our St. Johns County assault and battery attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.
Our team will also work to build a strong defense on your behalf. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to argue that:
- Self-Defense: If the accused can demonstrate that they reasonably believed they were in imminent danger of harm and used force to protect themselves, it may be considered self-defense.
- Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, this defense involves protecting another person from harm when it is believed to be necessary.
- Consent: If the alleged victim consented to the physical contact, it may be a defense against assault or battery charges. However, this defense might not be applicable in all situations.
- Defense of Property: In some cases, a person may use force to protect their property. However, the use of force must be reasonable and proportionate to the threat.
- Mistaken Identity: If there is a case of mistaken identity, and the accused was not the person who committed the alleged assault or battery, it could serve as a defense.
- Lack of Intent: Assault and battery charges often require proof of intent. If the accused can show that the actions were accidental or lacked the necessary intent, it may be a valid defense.
- Alibi: Providing evidence that the accused was not present at the location of the alleged assault or battery during the time in question can be a defense.
- Insanity or Diminished Capacity: In some cases, mental health issues or diminished capacity may be raised as a defense, but these defenses are complex and require expert testimony.