Assault and Battery are unfortunately very common crimes in the state of Florid, especially in the South Florida area. They are also very serious crimes which involves a great number of the daily arrest and jail bookings by local authorities. Assault and Battery cases are discussed every day in the local papers such as the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel. You will also see them on television on the local news stations, judge shows, reality shows and talk shows. Many people do not realize that what they perceive as just a fight is actually a crime and could result in very serious penalties for said crime. What to some may be just a simple fight at the grade school level, is in most cases a first degree misdemeanor and if weapons or seriously injuries are involved it indeed maybe charged as a felony. The lawyers at the Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Criminal Law Firm of Berman & Tsombanakis LLC, have over 25 years of combined experience handling Assault and Battery cases.
Assault and Battery are often used interchangeably, however they are separate crimes and can be charged at both the misdemeanor and felony levels. The major difference is that a charge of Battery involves someone being hit or struck with something, where as assault is a threat by word or action to harm someone. One of the most common types of cases involving assault and battery are domestic violence cases. These cases may result in not just criminal charges, but a Temporary or Permanent Injunction. An injunction is filed in civil court and is a totally separate case from any pending criminal charges that a defendant may have. If the injunction, or restraining order as it often called, is violated then the party who violates it may be charged in criminal court. In many cases, the conditions of a person’s probation may include some language that mirrors that of the injunction order. This language may prohibit the defendant from going within so many feet of the victim, not going to their home. or place of business.
FLORIDA LAW DEFINES ASSAULT AND BATTERY AS FOLLOWS:
Assault as defined by Florida Statute 784.011 as 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. Simple Assaults are second degree misdemeanors and are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.
Aggravated Assault as defined by Florida Statute 784.021as an assault:
- With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
- With an intent to commit a felony.
Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Battery , often referred to as simple battery or misdemeanor battery, is defined by Florida Statute as actually or intentionally striking another person against their will or intentionally causing bodily harm to the other person. Misdemeanor Battery is a first degree misdemeanor and it is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Many first time offenders receive probation followed by monthly counseling, drug test and probations cost, fines and court cost. In some first time cases, if the facts were more gruesome than others but they did not warrant a felony charge, than the State Attorney’s Office may ask for some jail time.
Battery (misdemeanor/simple) often involves domestic violence cases. When the term domestic violence is used, the battery is usually between husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend, same sex relationships and parent/child disputes. With the change of child abuse laws over the years, there have been more arrest of parents for domestic violence against their children. Many of these cases are handled by the Department of Children & Families in civil court and some cases are referred to Criminal Court for charging by the State Attorney’s Office.
Aggravated battery as defined by Florida Statute 784.045 is if one commits a battery as defined above and they intentionally or knowingly causes great harm or permanent disability or permanent disfigurement or uses a weapon. Aggravated Battery is second degree felony, and is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Felony Battery as defined by Florida Statute 784.03 occurs when someone has a prior conviction of battery, aggravated battery or felony battery or a subsequent battery commit’s a third degree felony.
BATTERY CASES IN SCHOOLS
Fighting in grade school has probably been around since children first began going to schools in a group setting. Over the past 20 years, it has become increasingly common for public and private schools to not only suspend students for fighting, but to have them arrested as well. After they are arrested, they are then charged in juvenile court with battery, or assault, or a related charge. Other very common charges that stem from these arrest that are made at schools are resisting officer with or without violence, weapons charge, gang related charges, drug possession charges and many other charges as well.
If you or a family member has been arrested for Assault and Battery case or any other criminal charges, please call one of the lawyers at the Fort Lauderdale Law Firm of Berman & Tsombanakis LLC. at (954) 764-6099 or (954) 728-8885. We will be happy to discuss your case with you at length and chart the best course of action and put forth the best and most aggressive legal defense.