Fort Walton Beach Assault & Battery Lawyer
Being convicted of assault and battery could mean facing severe legal consequences, including time incarcerated and fines. It’s advisable to consult with a Fort Walton Beach assault and battery attorney if you’ve been arrested for this crime.
Assault and battery criminal proceedings can be overwhelming. The Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group can help you navigate the legal process, answer your questions, and fight to help you avoid a criminal conviction.
Fort Walton Battery Crimes
There are different levels of battery depending on the circumstances of the case. Florida laws define a simple battery as physical harm against a victim, typically via violent physical contact. Simple battery is generally a misdemeanor unless it involves a special victim.
Aggravated battery is a more severe form of physical violence, typically involving weapons. Aggravated battery is a felony charge and can lead to harsher penalties. Under Florida Statute Section 784.041, felony battery involves someone intentionally striking a person with the purpose of causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
Subsequent Battery Offenses
In Florida, you may face a third-degree felony if you were previously convicted of a battery offense. Florida Statute Section 784.03 states that if a person with one prior conviction for battery commits a second or subsequent battery crime, it can be upgraded to a felony of the third degree.
Felony Battery Penalties
Being convicted of felony battery could lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison or probation and fines of up $5,000.00. Other Battery penalties may include, but are not limited to:
- Community service
- Domestic violence Batterer’s Intervention Program
- Psychological evaluations and treatment
- Restitution awards for medical bills and other losses caused
- Substance abuse evaluations and treatment
Felony Battery Crime Defenses
Each battery case is different. Many battery law specialists recommend working with a criminal defense attorney like those at the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group. They have experience using the following strategies to defend their clients from felony battery convictions:
- Factual disputes about how the incident occurred
- Injuries do not constitute “great bodily harm”
- Mutual combat
- Self-defense and Stand Your Ground
- Use of force in defense of others or property
Fort Walton Beach Assault Crimes
In Florida, assault can be defined as a simple misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group can help you differentiate between each charge and help defend against an assault conviction.
Section 784.011 of the Florida Statutes defines assault as an intentional threat that is perceived to be dangerous. These threats make others reasonably fearful of an act of violence.
Simple assault is the most basic form of assault. According to section 784.011(2), an assault is a second-degree misdemeanor. Simple assault requires criminal intent. If you harm someone without criminal intent, then that’s not simple assault according to Florida laws.
Simple assault leads to relatively minor penalties. A simple assault conviction could lead to a penalty of up to 60 days in jail, six months of probation, and a fine of up to $500. The Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group can offer assistance to those who’ve been charged with an assault crime.
Florida law categorizes aggravated assault as a harsher crime compared to simple assault. Assault with a deadly weapon is considered aggravated assault. Assault during the commission of another felony is considered aggravated assault as well.
Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony, carrying penalties of up to five years imprisonment, five years probation, and fines of up $5,000. Committing assault with a firearm or a deadly weapon could lead to a mandatory minimum three-year sentence. That’s why protecting yourself with an experienced Fort Walton Beach Assault attorney is of utter importance.
If you commit an assault while brandishing a deadly weapon, then the threat created is more severe, with harsher penalties. However, carrying a deadly weapon does not automatically mean you’re guilty of aggravated assault. Having a concealed carry license and keeping your weapon out of sight are common defenses against elevating a charge to aggravated assault.
An assault conviction will depend on a few factors. The Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group has experience protecting Fort Walton Beach citizens from assault charges. Some of the common defenses raised in assault prosecutions include:
- Absence of intent to threaten the alleged victim
- Absence of a well-founded fear on part of the alleged victim
- Circumstances indicating that the threat was not imminent
- Conditional threats
- Defense of others
- Factual disputes
- False allegations
- No present apparent ability to carry out the alleged threat
- Property defense
- Provocation by the alleged victim
- Stand Your Ground
- Vague or idle threats
Why You May Need to Hire an Assault & Battery Attorney
Many individuals believe that assault and battery are the same crime or that they are linked. That’s not always the case. Though assault and battery often appear together, they are two separate and independent crimes. The Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group has experience defending its clients from both.
Assault refers to a threat of violence. Battery refers to intentional, non-consensual physical contact. Your assault defense attorney can fight to defend you in court, negotiate plea deals, and help you avoid a conviction when possible. Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group can protect your rights in and out of court and help you focus on moving forward. Contact us today.