It is important to acknowledge that there is a distinction between the terms assault and battery and the two are handled as separate offenses in the courts in Florida. Assault requires the threat and fear of an imminent force and harm on a victim, while battery is unwelcome or unwanted touching, typically resulting in bodily injury to the victim, but also could be of a sexual nature as well.
Specifically, someone accused of assault must have made an intimating act or gesture that invokes fear or intended threat on a victim. There are three levels of assault in the Florida courts including simple assault, aggravated assault and felony assault. State prosecutors will look at the specifics of the case to make a determination on which offense they will charge.
When physical contact is made with a victim without the victim’s consent, the Florida courts may charge the accused with battery. Battery also has different levels as well, with the courts possibly charging a suspect with felony battery if there have been previous convictions for battery. The courts may also charge someone with aggravated battery if it can be proven that there was an intention to cause serious bodily harm on the victim or if a deadly weapon was used in the attack.
Both assault or assault and battery charges come with serious long-term consequences including fines, possibly time in prison and additions to your criminal record. It is important to take these charges seriously to protect your rights as well as your future. If you find yourself facing assault or assault and battery charges, you may want to speak with a criminal defense lawyer to fight the charges.
Source: FindLaw, “Florida Assault and Battery Laws,” Accessed on July 21, 2017