In Florida, an assault is considered a violent crime, and violent crimes are aggressively prosecuted. Anyone convicted of assault could face harsh legal penalties. So, it is important to contact a lawyer right away after investigation, arrest or charge.
The criminal legal procedure can be confusing and overwhelming. The impact of a conviction could have far-reaching consequences on an individual’s future reputation and opportunities.
A Florida assault lawyer can help you navigate the legal process answering all your questions along the way. Contacting a defense attorney in Florida is your best chance at avoiding conviction.
Our assault defense attorneys will fight hard to defend you in court and do our best to help you avoid conviction when possible. We will protect your rights in and out of court, so you can focus on moving forward.
Assault vs. Battery
The phrase “assault and battery” is a common one, and often leads to confusion about these charges. Under Florida state law, assault is a separate crime from battery. Here is how the law defines each charge:
- Assault: “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 other person that such violence is imminent.” (Florida Statutes Section 784.011)
- Battery: “an actual and intentional touch or strike of another person against their will; or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.” (Florida Statutes Section 784.03)
Essentially, this means that an assault occurs when someone intentionally threatens someone else, and the victim believes the aggressor can and will follow through on that threat. Battery occurs when someone actually touches another against their will, or intends to hurt them.
Unlike battery, an assault can occur even if no physical contact is made. Though assault and battery are different crimes, someone could face both charges stemming from the same incident.
Even if someone believes they are acting in self-defense, they could face these charges. Our Florida assault lawyers are ready to defend those facing assault, battery and related charges.
Penalties for Assault Convictions
Generally, simple assault charges as defined above are charged as second-degree misdemeanors. Anyone convicted of a first assault offense, could face penalties including:
- A jail sentence up to 60 days
- Fines up to $500
State law also defines certain felony-level assault charges. Whether an assault is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the unique facts of the situation.
Related Crimes in Florida
One felony-level assault charge in Florida is aggravated assault. According to Florida Statutes Section 784.021, aggravated assault occurs when someone commits an assault with a deadly weapon, or commits assault with the intent to commit a felony. For example, if someone uses a gun to commit an assault, they could face this charge.
In some cases, someone could face an aggravated assault charge in addition to other charges stemming from the same events. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. Those convicted could face a prison sentence up to five years and a $5,000 fine.
Contact a Florida Assault Attorney Today
If you are facing an assault or related charge, contact our Florida assault lawyers today. We will work closely with you during your case while defending you in court.
Our defense attorneys will do their best to help you avoid conviction when possible. Contact us today to learn how we can help.