Assault and battery are defined as two separate crimes in Florida.
Assault refers to a threat of harm that leads to the victim’s fear of imminent harm. This offense does not include physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim.
A prosecutor must first show that the defendant intended to threaten the victim, cause the victim to feel fear, or carry out a violent act. A defendant may want to try to show a lack of criminal intent claiming the act was an accident or a joke.
The prosecutor must also show that the defendant demonstrated the threat through words, a gesture, or an intimidating act. The defendant must have shown an ability to carry out the threat and the victim must have feared imminent harm.
Florida statutes establish specific offenses for simple assault, aggravated assault, and felony assault. Severity of the offense and potential punishment depends on the type of assault charged by the state prosecutor.
Florida state laws allow for prosecution of the act of battery when the defendant makes physical contact with the victim. In order to prove a battery case, the prosecutor must show that the defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim. Physical contact must have been against the victim’s will and done without the victim’s consent.
Florida law establishes several types of battery. Simple battery only requires an intentional, unwanted physical contact between the defendant and the victim. If the defendant has a previous conviction for battery, state laws permit the prosecutor to charge the defendant with felony battery for a subsequent offense.
In order to prove aggravated battery, the prosecutor must show that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury to the victim or that the defendant used a deadly weapon.
Penalties and sentences for an assault and battery conviction depend on the specific charge pursued by the Florida state prosecutor. Each offense includes a sentence requirement set by state law.
If you are in need of an Assault and Battery defense attorney in West Palm Beach, please contact Atterbury, Goldberger & Weiss, P.A. today.