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Assault and Battery Lawyer Tampa, FL

Assault & Battery Laws in Florida

Every criminal case has a multitude of variables to consider. That's why you need an Tampa assault and battery lawyer who is familiar with the ins and outs of court proceedings and defense strategies. Florida law takes assault and battery charges very seriously. If you've been accused, let an attorney from our firm give you the legal assistance you need.

Been accused of assault or battery? Schedule a consultation with our Tampa assault and battery attorney from Taracks & Associates to discuss your defense options.

What's the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

Although assault and battery are commonly used together, they are two distinct types of conduct. Florida distinguishes between the acts and has different statutes concerning each kind of offense. The state also further separates assault and battery by the severity of the crime and has laws for aggravated and felony offenses.

Assault is when another person causes someone to fear that they are in imminent danger of violence. Essentially, this means that an individual may be charged with assault even though they didn't make physical contact with the alleged victim. Using words or actions to threaten the other person is enough to bring criminal charges.

Battery occurs when an individual intentionally strikes or touches another person. For the conduct to be considered a crime, it must have been done without the other person's consent. An individual may also be said to have committed battery if they intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim.

To illustrate the difference between assault and battery, take, for example, the act of punching another person. When the actor pulls their hand back to prepare for the offense, that's considered assault. When they swing the punch and make contact with the victim, that's battery.

What Is Simple Assault in FL?

Simple assault occurs when a person threatens to physically harm another individual.

Specifically, under Florida Statute § 784.011, a person may be accused of this crime if they:

  • Intentionally and unlawfully verbally or physically threaten to do violence against another;
  • Have the ability to fulfill the threat; and
  • Make the victim reasonably fear they are in imminent danger of violence.

Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • Up to 60 days in jail,
  • Up to 6 months of probation, and/or
  • Up to $500 in fines

What Is Aggravated Assault in FL?

The word "aggravated" means to make something worse. Thus, when an assault is charged as an aggravated offense, that means the alleged offender did something that elevated the severity of the crime.

Florida Statute § 784.021provides that aggravated assault occurs when:

  • A person commits an assault, and they did so with either;
    • A deadly weapon, but did not intend to kill the victim; or
    • The intent to commit a felony upon the victim.

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony.

A conviction may result in:

  • Up to 5 years in prison,
  • Up to 5 years of probation, and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

What Is Simple Battery in FL?

Battery is when a person actually and intentionally makes violent, physical contact with another.

Florida Statute § 784.03defines it as:

  • Touching or striking an individual without their consent or
  • Causing another person bodily harm.

For a first offense, simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor penalized by:

  • Up to 1 year in prison,
  • Up to 1 year of probation,
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

If the defendant has a previous battery conviction, they may be charged with a third-degree felony, with punishments including:

  • Up to 5 years in prison,
  • Up to 5 years of probation, and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

What Is Aggravated Battery in FL?

Aggravated battery is a serious offense.

Under Florida Statute § 784.045, it occurs when someone commits simple battery and:

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement; or
  • They used a weapon during the offense.

A person may also be accused of this crime if they committed battery on someone they knew was pregnant at the time of the offense.

Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony.

Conviction penalties include:

  • Up to 15 years in prison,
  • Up to 15 years of probation, and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

What Is Felony Battery in FL?

Under Florida Statute § 784.041, felony battery occurs when a person intentionally strikes another and causes great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement or disability.

The offense is a third-degree felony, which carries the following penalties:

  • Up to 5 years in prison,
  • Up to 5 years of probation, and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Aggressive Assault and Battery Lawyer Tampa, FL

Physical force is the dividing line between assault and battery. Threatening another person is never okay, but convicting an innocent person of a crime they didn't commit is wrong, too. In the middle of a heated argument, it could be easy for someone to make a wild accusation.

If you've been accused of committing assault or battery, talk to a Tampa assault and battery attorney from the firm today. We are ready to fight for your rights in court. Under Florida law, certain elements (such as the presence of children) can elevate the severity of the charge to aggravated assault.

Learn how our criminal defense firm can help you. Call (813) 990-0599 today to schedule your initial consultation.

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With more than 30 years of experience on both sides of the law, Attorney Barry Taracks has the knowledge and insight needed to build an effective defense for you. 

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