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Understanding the serious nature of assault and battery charges

Assault charges and battery charges are serious criminal charges it is important for accused individuals to understand. Assault and battery charges are oftentimes referred to together or sometimes referred to interchangeably but they are two separate charges which can result in serious penalties and consequences to accused individuals.

Assault charges and battery charges can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony charges and the possible penalties and consequences increase in severity depending on the charge. Under Florida law, assault is a threat, which can be verbal or with action, of violence against another person. Assault committed with a deadly weapon or the intent to commit a felony such as a robbery is a felony itself. For an assault charge, the person threatened must be in fear of imminent violence.

Battery includes touching or striking another person without their consent or causing another person bodily harm. If the accused individual has a prior conviction for battery, a subsequent battery charge may be charged as a 3rd degree felony. In some circumstances, such as committing a battery with a deadly weapon, the battery may be charged as a 2nd degree felony. Felony charges, of course, carry more significant potential penalties and consequences than misdemeanor criminal charges.

In some circumstances, it may be possible, through the criminal defense process, to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge or to reduce the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing. A strong criminal defense will take into account the situation, circumstances of the accused individual and their criminal defense rights and protections which is why it is important for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and how those rights apply to their situation and circumstances to achieve the best outcome possible.

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