What are Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are two distinct yet similar crimes which share a common element: they involve intentional harm by one person to another. Crimes involving verbal or physical attack (or a threat) are labeled as assault, battery or a combination of the two. The difference between assault and battery is how a person is harmed during the crime. Using a weapon or causing severe injury are major game changers in defining assault and battery in Kissimmee, and these factors determine whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony crime.
Assault is the crime of inflicting or threatening physical harm/unwanted physical contact upon a victim. The Florida penal code (784.011) mandates a minimum second degree misdemeanor charge for offenders under s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. To prove assault in Kissimmee, the prosecution must establish several things:
- Act or Conduct Intended to Create – The defendant must have had an intent to create fear in the course of their threats or actions.
- Reasonable Apprehension – The victim must have had reason to believe they would be harmed by the defendant.
- Imminent Harm – The victim’s fear must have been a response to an imminent or immediate threat of harm and physical danger by the defendant.
- Considered Either Harmful or Offensive – The defendant’s actions must have actually involved a physical threat or offensive behavior.
The prosecution must demonstrate all four factors to meet their burden of proof in an assault case.
Types of Assault and Penalties
While some courts may get technical about the details of the attack (bar fight, rape, mugging, etc.), assault is generally classified in one of two ways: simple and aggravated. Each carries unique penalties for the guilty party.
- Simple Assault – Simple assault is a physical attack on an individual in which the offender does not use a weapon. Simple assaults may cause minor injuries, but these attacks do not result in significant injury like broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries or loss of consciousness. It’s a second degree misdemeanor, and offenders face up to sixty days in prison and a fine up to $500.
- Aggravated Assault – Aggravated assault is a physical attack on an individual by an offender in which the offender does use a weapon or the victim experiences severe injury like broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries or loss of consciousness. It’s a third degree felony, and offenders face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
If you or a loved one has been accused of assault in Kissimmee, contact Smith & Eulo Law Firm to discuss your legal options.
Under the Florida penal code (784.03), battery is intentionally touching or striking another person against their will or intentionally causing the victim bodily harm. It is a minimum first degree misdemeanor under s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. After the first offense, subsequent battery crimes result in a minimum third degree felony under s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084. To prove battery in Kissimmee, a prosecutor must demonstrate that:
- The defendant instigated a harmful or offensive act toward the victim
- The defendant touched or used force against the victim
- The offense was committed without the victim’s consent
The prosecution must show that all three conditions were present to prove that an individual has committed battery, regardless of the severity of the attack in question.
Types of Battery and Penalties
- Simple Battery – Simple battery occurs when a perpetrator touches or strikes a victim without their consent and/or with the goal of causing bodily injury. It is a first degree misdemeanor, and offenders face up to one year in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
- Aggravated Battery – Aggravated battery occurs when in the course of an attack a perpetrator causes severe bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement; uses a deadly weapon or the victim was pregnant. It is a second degree felony and offenders face up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- Felony Battery – Felony battery occurs when a perpetrator inflicts severe bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to the victim regardless of intent. It is a third degree felony and offenders face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Battery is a serious offense and can land you in prison for several years. Ask your attorney for necessary details about possible outcomes before heading into trial.
Get the Best Available Assault and Battery Defense
If you’ve been accused of assault, battery or even both, don’t go it alone. Smith & Eulo Law Firm provides defense services for assault and battery in Kissimmee when you need to tell your side of the story. Talk to an expert attorney to get the help you need.