Destin Assault & Battery Lawyer
It usually happens in a moment of anger. Frequently, the individual who has been arrested didn’t even start the incident. Assault and battery are considered violent crimes in the state of Florida, and frequently, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, the consequences can be serious.
If you’ve been charged with assault, battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, or a crime that’s categorized as domestic violence, you need to take your case seriously. Criminal cases like these can lead to jail time, probation, fines, court-mandated courses, and a criminal record. The Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group stands out as the top choice among criminal defense law firms in Destin, Florida. Call today to speak to an attorney about your assault or battery charge.
The Difference Between Assault and Battery
While the terms assault and battery are frequently used together, they are closely related but different crimes under Florida law.
Elements of Assault
784.011 – Assault is defined as an intentional unlawful threat by word or act with the apparent ability to do violence to the victim. The threat must be imminent, and it must be convincing enough for the victim to believe that it is likely to happen. No physical contact or harm is necessary. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
Elements of Battery
784.03 – Battery is defined as either the intentional touching or striking of another person or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person. Unlike assault, which does not require contact as an element, battery generally involves physical contact between the offender and victim. This is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida in the absence of aggravating circumstances.
Variations of Assault and Battery
While the law only requires minimal action on the part of the defendant to charge the offender with the misdemeanor crimes of assault and battery, there are many variations of these crimes that can result in felony charges.
Often referred to as assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault occurs when a person uses a deadly weapon to commit an assault or as part of an intentional threat to commit another crime, like a robbery or kidnapping. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony.
Aggravated battery occurs when the subject commits battery, and one of these three elements also exists:
- They use a deadly weapon.
- The battery results in serious bodily injury.
- The victim was pregnant, and the offender knew or should have known she was pregnant.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony.
Domestic Violence and Spousal Abuse
Domestic crimes are not specific charges but rather a classification that police will apply to a violent crime committed against a family member, a mutual parent, or another type of relationship defined by statute.
Penalties for Assault and Battery
Penalties for assault or battery can range from probation to a few months of jail time to years in prison. Here are the crime and penalty levels for each type of offense:
- Simple Assault – Second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in a county jail and up to $500 in fines.
- Simple Battery – First-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in a county jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Aggravated Assault – Third-degree felony, punishable by up to a maximum penalty of 5 years in state prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Aggravated Battery – Second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
All crimes are also subject to additional penalties, including probation, community service, mandatory participation in an anger management program, and more. Also, assault or battery charges can result in a criminal record, even if you are acquitted.
Why You Need a Battery Attorney
Regardless of the circumstances leading up to your arrest, it’s essential that you have a lawyer who understands the criminal justice system to represent you in your assault or battery case. Battery attorneys are adept at dismantling prosecutorial cases against their clients. If you retain the services of one of these criminal defense lawyers, they can review the police evidence against you, depose witnesses and the alleged victim, and, if necessary, negotiate a plea. If you are served with a no-contact order, your attorney can represent you during the administrative hearing and potentially have the order lifted.
If you reside in Destin, FL, contact the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group to represent you. A skilled attorney will fight for your rights as the accused. Call today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Assault and Battery
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions by individuals who have been charged with battery and assault in FL. For legal advice about your case, schedule an appointment with the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group.
Is assault or battery a misdemeanor?
Both simple assault and simple battery are misdemeanors. Aggravated assault and aggravated battery are felonies. Regardless of the level of violation you’ve been charged with, you need to take the matter seriously.
How will you defend me if I am charged with assault or battery in Destin?
Your attorney will review the prosecutorial case against you. This involves reviewing the police report, probable cause affidavit, photographs, victim testimony, and witness testimony. They will also depose witnesses, police officers, and the victim. Oftentimes, these early phases yield information that could help your case. For example, if the police coerced your statement, illegally searched your property, or committed a violation of your rights in some other way, it could lead to a dismissal.
On the other hand, if the case against you is solid, your attorney may be able to have your penalties reduced from jail or prison to probation or community service.
Why can’t I just use a public defender?
While many public defenders are dedicated civil servants, they are often saddled with more cases than they can diligently handle. This forces them into a position where they have to plead cases that they are unprepared to fight in court. If possible, you should invest in a private criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Criminal Defense Law Firm in Destin, FL
If you’ve been arrested for a violent criminal offense in Destin, FL, you need the best defense available to you. Contact the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group as soon as possible. All information you provide is confidential, so call now.