Assault / Battery
Assault and battery are two very different offenses in Florida, and yet they are often confused as the same offense. Most commonly, assault is directly confused with battery, despite the fact that legally assault is only the threat of violence while battery is the actual commission of the violence. When charged with a crime like assault or battery, it is important to know the difference between the offenses, as each crime comes with radically different penalties. An experienced Hernando County violent crime defense lawyer can help you sort out your charges and build a strong defense against them.
Assault and Battery Defense Attorney in Brooksville, FL
When facing an assault or battery charge in the Hernando County area, it is important to be educated on your offense. Contact Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. if you have been arrested for assault or battery in Hernando County, Citrus County, Sumter County, and Pasco County area, including Brooksville, Spring Hill, Timber Pines, Brookridge, High Point, Hernando Beach, Inverness, Inverness Highlands, Beverly Hills, Hernando, Center Hill, Webster, the Villages, Dade City, Shady Hills, and Hudson. Ashley Aulls will educate you on your case while keeping open communication lines and building a strong, customized defense against your charges.
With a family history of successful legal professionals and over 15 years of his own experience serving criminal defense clients like you, Ashley Aulls knows what it takes to win an assault or battery case in Brooksville while treating you with the dignity and respect you deserve. To find out what Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. can do for your assault or battery case, call (352) 593-4115 today and schedule your initial case consultation.
Florida Assault Definition and Penalties
The confusion concerning the definition of assault is because the general definition as it is used in the dictionary and other everyday functions can include an act of violence being committed. The legal definition of assault in Florida as designated in Fla. Stat. § 784.011, however, is quite different. According to the legal definition, assault is an intentional and unlawful threat to do violence to another person communicated through word or action. This threat must be present with an apparent ability of the alleged offender to follow through, and an action which creates a justified fear that violence is imminent in the person allegedly being assaulted.
Aggravated assault is when a person commits assault with a deadly weapon, but without the intent to kill, or with the intent to commit a felony. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, while aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. Second-degree misdemeanor assault carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Third-degree felony aggravated assault is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The knowledgeable counsel of an experienced Spring Hill area violent crime defense lawyer is highly recommended to defense against any assault charge in Hernando County or the surrounding areas.
Definition of Battery in Florida and Penalties
Battery is the legal name for the offense that occurs when violence is actually committed, with or without assault. According to Florida law, battery is defined by Fla. Stat. § 784.03 as when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against that person's will, or when a person intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Felony battery is the offense that occurs when the act of simple battery results in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. Aggravated battery is when the offender commits battery and also does one of the following:
- Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement
- Uses a deadly weapon
- Victimizes a pregnant woman when the person knew or should have known the woman was pregnant
Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. Both felony battery and aggravated battery are felonies. Felony battery is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, while aggravated battery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
When determining whether a battery charge is a subsequent conviction, all determinations of guilt due to a plea or trial will be considered as valid priors, including no contest pleas and situations involving withheld adjudication. Battery is a very serious charge; it is highly recommended you contract with an experienced Homosassa Springs area theft defense lawyer to begin your defense immediately.
Florida Penalties for Specific Assault and Battery Circumstances
Some cases of battery or assault may fall under circumstances specifically outlined in the statutes and thus be reclassified as a higher offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney serving Hernando County assault or battery cases can defend against any of the following charges stemming from these specific circumstances in the Florida statutes:
- Assault or battery of a law enforcement officer: Fla. Stat. § 784.07 – When a person commits assault or battery on a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), or other law enforcement or emergency personnel, it is considered a separate, upgraded offense. Under these circumstances, the following apply:
- Assault is a first-degree misdemeanor
- Battery is a third-degree felony
- Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony with a mandatory minimum prison term of three years
- Aggravated battery is a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum prison term of five years
- Battery with a firearm has a mandatory minimum prison term of three years
- Battery with a semiautomatic weapon or machine gun
- Assault or battery on a sex offender detention facility staff member: Fla. Stat. § 784.074 – When a staff member of a detention or commitment facility for sex offenders is engaged in his or her duties and a person commits assault or battery, the offense is upgraded. Assault becomes a first-degree misdemeanor, battery becomes a third-degree felony, aggravated assault becomes a felony of the second degree, and aggravated battery becomes a felony of the first degree.
- Battery on juvenile probation officer, detention center staff, or heath services personnel: Fla. Stat. § 784.075 – When a person commits battery on a juvenile probation officer or staff member of a juvenile detention center it is a third-degree felony. This includes battery on health services personnel such as drug or alcohol treatment counselors, psychiatrists, or psychologists.
- Battery of corrections officer or other employee with bodily fluid: Fla. Stat. § 784 – It is a third-degree felony battery offense for any person detained in prison or jail to annoy with, threaten with, alarm with, or cause an employee of the jail or prison to come into contact with blood, partially digested food, saliva, semen, urine, or feces through any means, including throwing or expelling. This includes prison guards or any other staff that the offender knows or should know is a jail or prison employee.
- Assault or battery on persons 65 or older: Fla. Stat. § 784.08 – When it comes to assault or battery of the elderly, that is persons aged 65 or older, assault is reclassified as a first-degree misdemeanor and battery is reclassified as a third-degree felony. Aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an elderly person are reclassified as a second-degree felony and a first-degree felony, respectively. The mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated assault or battery of the elderly is three years, and a fine of up to $10,000 will also be ordered. Addtionally, restitution to the victim and up to 500 hours of community service will also be handed down by the judge.
- Assault or battery on specific officials or employees: Fla. Stat. § 784.081 – Assault, battery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery are all upgraded one degree to a first-degree misdemeanor, a third-degree felony, a second-degree felony, and a first-degree felony if the victim is an official or employee specified in this statute, including:
- School Counselors
- DCFS Investigators
- Health inspectors
- Assault or battery by a prison detainee on a visitor or other detainee: Fla. Stat. § 784.082 – The offense of assault or battery or aggravated assault or battery is reclassified up a degree if the crime is committed by a prisoner or inmate of a jail or prison on a visitor to the jail or prison or on another prisoner or inmate of the jail or prison. Assault becomes a first-degree misdemeanor, battery a third-degree felony, aggravated assault a second-degree felony, and aggravated battery a first-degree felony.
- Assault or battery on code inspectors: Fla. Stat. § 784.083 – A code inspector is any authorized agent or employee of the county or municipality whose job is to ensure code compliance, such as a building code inspector or safety code inspector. Assault or battery on a code inspector increases the classification of the offense a degree. Assault becomes a first-degree misdemeanor, battery a third-degree felony, aggravated assault a second-degree felony, and aggravated battery a first-degree felony.
- Battery of a child or minor with bodily fluid: Fla. Stat. § 784.085 – It is a third-degree felony to commit battery of a child or minor under 18 years of age through the causing of or attempting to cause that child to come into contact with blood, semen, urine, or feces by throwing, tossing, projecting, or expelling it at or on the child.
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Defense Lawyer for Assault or Battery in Hernando County
If you have been arrested and charged with assault or battery in Hernando, Citrus, or Sumter County or the surrounding areas, including Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, High Point, Hernando Beach, Hill 'n Dale, Inverness Highlands, Sugarmill Woods, Lecanto, Wildwood, Lake Panasoffkee, or Bushnell, contact experienced violent crime defense lawyer Ashley Aulls to begin your defense today. He will educate you on your offense while fighting hard against your assault or battery charges at court. To find out what Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. can do for your assault, battery, or related charges in Hernando County, call (352) 593-4115 today and schedule your initial case consultation.