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Effective Defense Against Violent Crime Charges
Florida vigorously prosecutes defendants charged with violent crimes. Significant punishment is the state’s answer to violence, which is why anyone charged with assault and battery should reach out to an experienced Tampa assault and battery lawyer to defend them against the prosecution.
If you are facing a charge of assault, battery, or both, your liberty is at stake, and you deserve a robust defense. Taracks and Associates has an assault and battery lawyer in Tampa ready to mount a vigorous defense against the state’s charges and fight to win you a favorable disposition. Call (813) 990-0559 to start working on your defense today.
Assault and Battery Charges in Florida
Understanding the Important Distinctions
The terms assault and battery are two separate criminal charges in Florida, but they are often used interchangeably or together in the general population.
In many instances, the crimes occur together, but not always. For a basic distinction between the two, suppose one man raises a fist to strike another. He then strikes the man. The act of raising his fist is assault (creating a reasonable fear of battery), but actually striking the blow is battery. Under Florida law, both crimes have a few different manifestations.
FSS 784.011 – Assault.— (1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
Although assault is associated with violence, the charge does not include inflicted violence but threatened violence. There are two basic types of assault in Florida: simple and aggravated.
Simple assault has three components in Florida. The alleged aggressor must:
- Intentionally threaten to do physical violence against someone
- Possess the ability to commit the violence
- Cause the victim to reasonably be in fear of the imminent reality of the threat.
Simple assault usually does not involve the use of a weapon and is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor.
FSS784.021(1) – An “aggravated assault” is an assault: (a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or. (b) With an intent to commit a felony. (2) A person who commits aggravated assault commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082
Aggravated assault is a more severe form of simple assault. Florida law classifies the crime as a third-degree felony.
FSS784.03(1)(a) – The offense of battery occurs when a person: 1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or. 2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Battery often follows assault. As with assault, battery is also divided into two categories. Although injury is often the result, charges of battery do not always require it. Any unwelcome / uninvited intentional touch can be classified as a battery.
Simple battery occurs when a person touches or hits someone else without consent. It also occurs when someone intentionally causes another to experience bodily harm. It is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor but can be bumped up to a third-degree felony with a previous battery conviction.
Felony battery (FSS784.01(1)) occurs when one person intentionally touches or hits another person without that person’s consent, resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or disability. As stated, felony battery can also be charged when the aggressor has a prior battery conviction. Florida criminal law classifies this crime as a third-degree felony.
Domestic battery by strangulation (FSS784.02(a)) is a crime that occurs when one person intentionally prevents the natural flow or circulation of air or blood of a person close to them, such as a member of their family or household or a romantic partner, by covering their nose and mouth or with pressure to the throat or neck. The act requires that the strangulation occur against the victim’s will and be of such a force that it creates a risk of serious harm. It is a third-degree felony.
Aggravated battery (FSS784.045 (1)(a)) – A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery: Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or. 2. Uses a deadly weapon.
Aggravated battery is the most serious battery distinction. It is a second-degree felony in Florida and occurs when someone causes great bodily injury, disfigurement, or disability that is permanent. It can also be charged when an individual uses a deadly weapon to carry out the battery.
Why Choose Taracks and Associates for Your Assault and Battery Case?
We’ve Earned a Reputation for Fiercely Defending Our Clients
Nothing can take the place of experience, and nothing inspires more confidence in potential clients than a winning track record. Taracks and Associates has both, as well as a deep concern for clients.
Every attorney in our office, including our founder Barry Taracks, treats each case as if it were their own, meaning our clients get peace of mind that their assault and battery defense attorney in Tampa will do everything they can to fight the charges.
When you choose Taracks and Associates, you get the benefit of representation from a firm that:
- Has vigorously represented clients successfully for over three decades
- Has former prosecutors who know how to defend against the state
- Has helped over 10,000 people
- Has a robust motions practice
- Has defended clients in over 185 jury trials
- Has the respect of peers
- Comes highly recommended by former clients
- Reviews your case during a free initial consultation.
Our reputation precedes us in every case we defend because we fight hard for our clients, employing whatever legal means are available to defend them. Visit our office so we can take a look at your case and give you an idea of what you might be facing.
To learn more about how we can help with your charges, call (813) 990-0599 to speak with an award-winning assault and battery lawyer in Tampa today.
Whatever the charge, you can rely on our team at Taracks and Associates to fight against the prosecution’s attempts against your liberties. Call (813) 990-0599 to set up a free consultation today.
Punishment for Assault and Battery Charges in Florida
Serious Penalties Require a Vigorous Defense
Heavy-handed law enforcement crackdowns have been employed in the past years and have led to the overcharging of people and the charging of innocent individuals. If you are facing an assault and battery charge, the state may seek the highest penalties possible, depending on your situation. As you can imagine, more serious circumstances of assault and battery coupled with a repeat offender status will fetch the most severe criminal penalties.
Note that separate multiple convictions for burglary of dwelling with assault or battery while armed and masked, aggravated assault with deadly weapon while masked, and attempted sexual battery using great force or deadly weapon, committed during same criminal episode, do not violate double jeopardy. Tambriz-Ramirez v. State, 213 So. 3d 920 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017). The State can and does break down a criminal act into constituent parts to find all possible criminal charges.
Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor and comes with a punishment of between 60 days and six months in jail plus up to $500 in fines. For aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, a guilty plea or conviction could net up to five years of prison or probation and up to $5,000 in fines.
Battery comes with much harsher penalties.
Simple battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, nets up to one year in prison or probation and the possibility of up to $1,000 in fines. As stated, a previous battery conviction can lead to a charge enhancement from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, with a potential sentence of five years of prison or probation plus potentially $5,000 in fines.
Felony battery and domestic battery by strangulation are also third-degree felonies and carry the same punishment as a bumped-up battery charge. Aggravated battery is punished the most severely. As a second-degree felony, it can lead to 15 years of prison or probation plus up to $15,000 in fines.
How We Can Help You Defend Against Battery Charges
Let Our Seasoned Assault and Battery Defense Attorney in Tampa Fight for You
Depending on the facts of your case, there may be various defenses we can mount against the charges you are facing. Our assault and battery lawyer handling your case will determine which of the various defenses available are applicable and plan accordingly.
With some of our lawyers and our founder having experience as prosecutors, we know what to expect from the state. We understand their tactics, which is why we have a consistent track record of winning favorable outcomes for our clients.
Self-defense is a strong rebuttal to assault and battery charges. The law allows individuals to use non-lethal force when they reasonably believe it to be necessary for protection against the unlawful use of force.
Additionally, there is no duty to retreat. When asserting this defense, your assault and battery lawyer must have evidence that you were justified in believing you were in danger.
Defense of Another
You may defend another person with non-lethal force and escape an assault and battery charge in Florida if you reasonably believe that doing so will protect them from the use of unlawful force. Once again, your assault and battery defense lawyer must be able to successfully argue that you were justified in your belief of imminent harm.
Accidental Use of Force
Successful prosecution of an assault or battery charge requires the prosecution to prove that you intended to commit the offense. If you injured a person accidentally, then your assault and battery defense lawyer can use the defense of accidental use of force.
Mutual combat is a defense against battery when two or more parties consent to be touched, such as during a consensual fight. If both parties are at fault for the touching, and the person asserting the defense is not the principal instigator, this defense may be viable.
Whether either of these is true is a question the jury will answer based on the evidence presented at trial — if the case proceeds that far.
Whatever the facts of your case, we will employ the appropriate strategies to provide you with a strong defense against your charges. Call (813) 990-0599 today to get help from a caring criminal defense lawyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our clients regularly contact us to get answers, but you don’t have to be a client to discuss your concerns with one of our lawyers. Please call (813) 990-0599 today with questions and an assault and battery lawyer in Tampa will provide you with the answers.
We’re Here to Help You Understand
If you have lingering questions, you are not alone. Assault and battery charges can be confusing to understand. Please read through the following common questions to learn more about assault and battery charges in Florida.
Yes. Most crimes in Florida have a statute of limitations that sets a time limit for prosecution.With assault and battery charges, the degree of the crime dictates the time limit.
For example, misdemeanors have either a one- or two-year time limit, meaning misdemeanor assault and battery prosecutions must begin within this time period. Felony assault and battery and aggravated battery, however, have three-year time limits.
It depends. Every person is entitled to exercise their right to trial. However, as you might know, most criminal cases do not end up at trial. Oftentimes, a skilled assault and battery defense attorney in Tampa can get the cases dismissed or arrange for a favorable plea deal for their client.
Most likely. The state usually prefers to resolve criminal cases outside of expensive and time- consuming trials. However, you are not obligated to take the deal if it is not to your liking. Trial by jury is the right of every defendant facing criminal charges.
Charge reduction is common in Florida criminal cases but not guaranteed. When an assault and battery lawyer handles your case, you can expect them to either fight to get the charges dropped or negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges.
Evidence has much to do with charges being reduced. When the prosecutor seemingly has a slam-dunk case, they are less likely to agree to any reductions.
Yes. After a jury verdict, however, you may appeal. When you have a qualified assault and battery defense lawyer representing you, they will make sure you are fully aware of your rights to appeal and the repercussions of any decisions you make.
However, if you take a plea deal, then the terms of the agreement usually require you to waive your right to appeal, but you can agree to other terms which may not block you from appealing.
In either case, you will benefit greatly from having a Tampa assault and battery lawyer defending you. Taracks and Associates at (813) 990-0599 is ready to discuss your assault and battery case and help you determine how to proceed.
Assault and battery charges are serious and can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Unfortunately, disagreements turn into heated arguments, and unfounded accusations are sometimes made against innocent parties — or prosecutors get overzealous and pursue unreasonable charges.
Contact Us to Get Help with Your Battery Charges, Call (813) 990-0599 to set up a free consultation today. A Tampa Assault and Battery Lawyer Is Ready to Take Your Call.