How does Florida law define the crimes of assault and battery?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Sometimes fights between two people in the Bartow area get out of hand, and it is not long before punches are thrown by both parties to the dispute and injuries occur. However, such situations may constitute assault or battery under Florida law.

What is assault under Florida law?

Under Florida law, assault takes place when a person intentionally and unlawfully threatens another person, either verbally or through actions, to commit some act of violence against that person and is apparently able to do so. To be considered assault, the other person must have a well-founded fear that violence is imminent. Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor crime.

This crime is elevated to aggravated assault if the above elements are met and the actor has a deadly weapon (even without the intent to kill) or if the actor has the intention of committing a felony. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony crime.

What is battery under Florida law?

Under Florida law, battery takes place when a person actually and with intent touches another person against their will, for example, by striking them. Battery also takes place if a person intentionally causes physical harm against another. With some exceptions, battery is a first-degree misdemeanor crime.

This crime is elevated to felony battery if the above elements are met, and the actor causes the other person to suffer great bodily injuries, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. Domestic battery by strangulation is also a felony battery crime.

Aggravated battery occurs when the actor meets the elements of battery or felony battery of uses a deadly weapon in the commission of the battery. Aggravated battery also occurs when it is committed against a person who the actor knows or should know is pregnant. Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony crime.

Learn more about criminal defense in Florida

Assault and battery are serious crimes, and those accused of them will need to develop a solid defense strategy with the help of a professional. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on criminal defense may be a useful resource to those who want to learn more about their rights.