Assault and Battery Attorney in Tampa, Florida

Assault and battery is a type of violent crime that is really a combination of two separate crimes. Assault is the crime of threatening to cause bodily harm to another person, whereas battery is causing bodily harm. Therefore, when a person commits assault and battery, they have threatened a person and then caused that person physical harm through the use of violence.

Explanation of Assault

Defined under Florida Statutes §784.011 (2011), assault is considered to be the intentional and knowing threat of committing violence against another person. This may be a verbal or physical threat, but to be considered assault, it must be clear that the defendant could carry out the threat so that the victim suffered from reasonable fear for injury or death. This is considered to be a second-degree misdemeanor. Should the defendant have a deadly weapon or have the intentions to commit a felony while committing assault, it will elevated to aggravated assault under §784.021 and will become a third-degree felony.

Explanation of Battery

Pursuant to §784.03, battery is the actual causing of intentional bodily harm to another person through intentional actions, such as striking. This is typically considered a first degree misdemeanor, although there are some circumstances where it will be considered a felony. A felony charge will stem from having prior battery convictions. Battery, like assault, can also be elevated should the subject cause bodily harm with the use of a deadly weapon or should the defendant know that the victim is pregnant at the time of the offense. This is considered to be a second-degree felony under §784.045 of the Florida Code.

When does assault become aggravated?

Assault may be defined as an attempt or threat of violence to another person, with the apparent or actual ability to carry out this threat. Aggravated assault is a more serious version of this crime and involves assault with a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony offense. Aggravated assault is a third degree felony and an adult offender may face a state prison sentence of up to 5 years. For a minor tried in juvenile court, the penalties will be different. Generally speaking, the juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation and counseling rather than strict punishment. This means that a minor may face detention in a juvenile correctional facility and may also face counseling, community service, or probation.

Contact Thomas & Paulk today!

Like all violent crimes, assault and battery is vigorously prosecuted by Florida law enforcement. This is because this crime involves the injury of a third party and may even lead to death. For this reason, any person who has been charged needs to consult with a skilled defense attorney. Our firm knows what is on the line with criminal cases of this nature and will go above and beyond in my efforts to ensure that our clients have the reliable legal assistance that they deserve. Call today to learn more.

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