One of the most common problems that criminal defendants in Florida face involves assault and/or battery charges. There are different degrees to each of these charges, and each can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Florida Crime Statistics show that over 100,000 people are arrested and charged with assault and battery every year in Florida, and those numbers continue to increase.
If you have been arrested and charged with assault and/or battery, you need to contact the criminal defense attorneys at Schiller, Kessler & Gomez immediately for a free consultation.
Although having the word “aggravated” attached to an assault charge may seem insignificant, nothing could be further from the truth. Below are definitions of each charge and the consequences that they carry in the State of Florida:
Florida Assault and Aggravated Assault
Assault is sometimes referred to as “simple” assault, and it is defined as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another”. That threat must include an apparent ability to do so from the victim’s point of view, and the defendant must also act in some way that creates a reasonable fear in the victim that the violence threatened is imminent. “Simple” assault can either be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts that surround the situation.
Aggravated assault involves a similar threat made to a victim, but aggravated assault describes an assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. Aggravated assault can also occur when an assault is committed with an attempt to commit an additional felony. Aggravated assault is considered a third-degree felony that carries potentially long-term prison terms if the defendant is convicted.
Battery is also a criminal charge that has several degrees. The same concept of “simple” battery and “aggravated” battery exists, and below are brief explanations of each charge.
Florida Battery Charge:
The battery statute in Florida states that a defendant is guilty of battery if he or she actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against that person’s will or if he or she intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Aggravated battery is a more serious form of battery, and aggravated battery is alleged when a person, in the course of committing a battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement on a victim. Aggravated battery is also the charge when the defendant uses a deadly weapon to commit a battery. A battery is also automatically labeled as “aggravated” if the defendant knew that the victim of a battery was pregnant at the time the offense occurred.
If you’ve been charged with assault and/or battery in Florida, the first thing you need to do is secure a lawyer in order to protect your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Schiller, Kessler & Gomez today to make sure that you have a strong defense to fight these serious charges.