Defending Assault or Battery Charges and Offenses in Florida:
In Florida, any threat of violence through words or actions created intentionally by one person upon another in a manner that invokes a fear of being in eminent danger is defined as assault.
Assault is slightly different than battery because you can be charged with assault even if the threat is not carried out or attempted.
Battery occurs when another person is struck, hit, or attacked intentionally and against that person's will.
In the majority of cases we've seen over the years, defendants are commonly charged with both assault and battery. However, what many don't realize is that these are both specific offenses that each carry their own separate penalties. Assault and battery are two distinct types of individual charges.
When it comes to assault charges, here in Tampa you will typically be facing either simple assault or aggravated assault.
Even just being charged with simple assault can result in a misdemeanor charge with a jail sentence of up to sixty (60) days and fines up to $500.
These charges can be picked up very easy just by verbally threatening someone, often starting through a simple disagreement that escalates into a heated argument.
Aggravated assault is more serious and can result in a third-degree felony, a prison sentence of up to five (5) years and up to $5,000 in fines.
Additionally, enhanced penalties may be handed down by the court which can increase the fines and sentencing. The use of a firearm or deadly weapon will also result in additional charges leading to increased penalties. In Tampa, it is very common for second-degree felony charges to be brought against a defendant when firearms are used in crimes of assault.
Battery occurs when a defendant makes physical contact with the victim. There are a few additional factors the prosecution is going to need to prove in order convict a defendant for battery. These include:
- Whether or not the defendant intentionally touched, struck, shoved, or kicked a victim.
- Whether or not the physical contact was against the victim's will or done without consent.
There are several different types of battery in Florida:
In order to be charged with simple battery, all that is required is for the defendant to intentionally subject a victim to unwanted physical contact.
Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor in which you would be looking at a prison sentence of up to one (1) year and up to $1,000 in fines here in Florida.
The prosecutor can also charge a defendant with felony battery if this is a subsequent offense.
Felony battery is a third-degree felony. In Florida, the sentence is typically up to five (5) years in prison along with up to $5,000 in fines.
If a defendant used a deadly weapon or intended to cause serious bodily injury to the victim, then the prosecution will be able to prove aggravated battery.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony. This is the most serious of all battery charges, and in Florida a typical sentence could be imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) years and fines up to $10,000.
There are several factors to consider when forming your defense for assault and battery charges.
- Was the assault or battery committed in the act of self-defense?
- Was the assault or battery committed in the act of self-defense of another person?
- Was the assault or battery committed in the defense of your property?
- Was the defendant given consent to make physical contact with the victim?
- Were your Constitutional rights violated?
- Does the prosecution lack sufficient evidence?
- Did law enforcement commit any procedural violations?
- Was the defendant advised of their Miranda rights?
- Was the assault committed as a result of an accident?
- What other factors could demonstrate or prove there was no criminal intent to commit harm?
The attorneys at Fernandez Law Group have many years of experience in defending clients who were charged with assault or battery. What many people tend to overlook is the fact that these charges almost always arise as the result of two people getting into a disagreement.
You could end up being the only one charged with assault if your criminal defense attorney is not experienced in dealing specifically with these types of charges. You need an experienced attorney who will be able to show the court that mutual fighting was involved, and the confrontation was not just one-sided.
Why should I choose Fernandez Law Group to represent me if I am charged with the manufacture of a controlled substance?
At the Fernandez Law Group, we have more than 43 years experience handling many different types of cases involving assault or battery charges. We provide you with a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys to aggressively represent and provide you with the best possible defense.
Regardless of which type of assault charges you're facing, you should proceed with caution and hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience specifically dealing with assault charges as soon as possible. Not all criminal defense attorneys have the necessary experience in and out of the courtroom. These charges are very serious in Florida and the penalties can be rather severe.
When you come to Fernandez Law Group, you'll gain an instant advantage in your case as we provide you with a team of attorneys working on your defense.
We can help you understand the crime you've been charged with along with any and all possible defenses or options available to you.
Not only that, our team of attorneys includes a former prosecutor who has over 20 years experience working on that side of the courtroom. Because of that insight we are able to better communicate with the prosecution on your behalf, often reducing charges, bail amounts, and sentencing before a trial date is even discussed.
Our attorneys are ready to fight aggressively on your behalf and help you get the best possible outcome and with our FREE consultation, you can begin getting the advice and guidance you need right away.
What factors can lead to a conviction for assault?
In order to be convicted for assault, the prosecutor is going to have to prove several factors, including:
- The defendant intended to threaten the victim
- The defendant intended to cause the victim to feel fear
- The defendant intended to carry out a violent act against the victim
- The defendant demonstrated the threat through words
- The defendant demonstrated the threat through a gesture
- The defendant demonstrated the threat through an intimidating act
- The defendant demonstrated the ability to carry out the threat
- The victim must have been in fear of imminent danger or harm
It is important to remember that in addition to the maximum penalties and sentences imposed here in Florida for each type of assault and battery, the prosecution is also permitted by state law to request increased sanctions and penalties for:
- any defendant who has prior felony convictions,
- any defendant who has prior assault or battery charges,
- any defendant who has committed the act with a firearm or weapon,
- or any defendant who has been found to be a career criminal by the courts.
If you have been charged with assault or battery in Florida, you should contact an experienced assault or battery defense attorney immediately. These charges come with serious penalties and the consequences can last for a lifetime.
Take advantage of our FREE consultation so you can begin understanding the severity of the charges you are facing. Learn what penalties may be applied along with some defense strategies and potential outcomes. You'll be confident in your decision to call us once you speak with us.
Call us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and find out what we can do to begin helping you with your defense immediately before you spend a dime!
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Content authored by Gaston Fernandez