is there a difference between assault and battery in florida?

Is There a Difference Between Assault and Battery in Florida?

While it is common for people to assume that assault and battery are the same crime because these two words are commonly used together, there are differences between the two in the state of Florida. Despite being different crimes, being charged with either is a serious matter that may permanently affect your personal and professional prospects should you be convicted. The potential penalties vary entirely on the circumstances of the crime and offense committed.

If you are facing either of these charges, it is important to understand the differences between them and how someone could end up with charges for aggravated battery Florida, along with additional charges for assault. A quick and easy way to remember the difference between the two crimes: battery requires touching of some kind whereas assault does not. 

The Robert Foley Law Firm provides details on the differences between these charges and what to expect when dealing with those charges.

What Types of Actions Are Considered Assault?

Someone is usually charged with assault when they threaten another person, whether by word or action, causing a well-founded fear in another person that imminent bodily harm would take place. If those elements are present, a law enforcement officer would have probable cause to arrest and charge an alleged perpetrator with assault. Even if a perpetrator has the means and ability to cause harm, but does not cause a well-founded fear in a victim, the elements to develop probable cause are no longer present, meaning, it is no longer the crime of assault. 

assault florida

Contrary to popular belief, if a perpetrator threatened to cause bodily harm to another person over the phone, or in a message on social media, these actions do not constitute the crime of assault under the letter of the law. Threats by phone or internet could still be used to obtain an injunction or protective order, however, additional elements would be needed for these actions to be considered criminal.

What Types of Actions Are Considered Battery?

On the other hand, an individual may be charged with battery when they have willfully and intentionally touched another person, even if they did so without an intent to cause harm. The reason that many people are charged with both assault and battery is that they started with threats against the victim that eventually turned into a physical attack against the victim.

Some people are charged with aggravated battery Florida. Those charged with aggravated battery are believed to have intentionally attacked another person with a deadly weapon, resulting in permanent disability, great bodily harm, or death. When the battery is committed with a deadly weapon, such as a blade, firearm, or even a vehicle, these instances of battery constitute aggravated offenses. Those convicted of aggravated battery are looking at the possibility of spending up to 15 years in prison for their actions. 

Facing Charges of Assault and Battery in Florida? Robert Foley Law is Here for You

Are you facing charges of assault, battery, or a combination of both? You are likely concerned about what could happen to you and what types of consequences you could face as a result of such serious charges. If the battery Florida statute of limitations has not passed yet, the victim involved in the incident has the right to file charges against you. 

When you are facing serious charges and not sure what to do, it is always best to have a criminal defense lawyer by your side to defend you. The Robert Foley Law Firm would like to help you overcome these legal woes. Call our office today at 239-690-6080 to speak to one of our legal experts today!