We have addressed assault and battery before, but without much emphasis on whether they are essentially the same offense or completely different. While often related in criminal defense cases, assault and battery in Florida are two separate charges.
A criminal battery charge is graver than assault, but a conviction on either typically results in a jail sentence and costly fines. As is the case with other crimes, the severity of your situation depends upon the details of the alleged offense.
The differences between battery and assault
Battery involves making unwanted physical contact with another person. With assault, the defendant must threaten bodily harm against another, and the alleged victim must believe that this threat could lead to an attack.
Though still complex, battery charges are less complicated than assault charges in some ways. For example, in a battery case, the defendant makes unwanted contact with another and then gets arrested and charged with battery.
Assault charges are often more complicated because there are additional elements to consider. For example, the person accused of assault must demonstrate the threat of physical harm with words, intimidation or gestures. However, they must also show that they can act on the threat (with weapons or raised fists, for example) and cause physical harm to the other person.
How are assault and battery charged?
Both assault and battery can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. In most situations, prosecutors will charge either crime as a misdemeanor if it is the first offense. For subsequent offenses, prosecutors usually charge them as felonies.
There is much more to learn about Florida assault and battery. If you are facing either charge, it is wise to expand your knowledge and have a strong criminal defense to avoid the potentially harsh consequences of a conviction.