WHAT ARE ASSAULT & BATTERY CRIME PENALTIES IN FLORIDA?: Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Explains

In the image, a man and woman are fighting in their fort Lauderdale home, and the man is grabbing the womans arm which could be considered a battery crime in South Florida

First of all: What is an Assault & Battery Crime in South Florida?

An assault crime happens in Florida  when someone intentionally threatens to harm somebody else. The threat can be either threatening words or threatening actions, and to count as an assault crime, the person has to have the apparent ability to carry out the threat - which means it must appear they can actually do what they’re threatening to do - and they have to make the victim fear violence or harm. 

 

A battery crime happens when there is actual offensive, harmful physical contact. A Florida Battery Crime happens when one of either two things occurs:

  1. When someone actually touches or hits someone else against their will or 
  2. Injures⏤causes bodily harm to⏤another person. 

Legally speaking, Assault is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, in order to create a well-founded fear in any reasonable person that harm or violence is imminent (Fla. Sta. § 784.011). Assault can be classified as either “simple assault” or “aggravated assault.” The difference between the two is that aggravated assault carries a heftier sentence in Florida as it is basically a simple assault crime PLUS the added use of a deadly weapon.

 

Battery, legally, is the actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against that person’s will, or the deliberate causing of bodily harm to another person (Fla. Sta. § 784.03). The penalties incurred under such a charge differs according to whether battery, felony battery or aggravated battery is carried out and whether the person convicted has a prior battery charge.

 

COMMON ASSAULT & BATTERY CRIME PENALTIES & CONSEQUENCES IN FLORIDA

The penalties for assault and battery crimes in Florida depend on the severity of the crime committed, as well as prior convictions. Either of the crimes have the potential of being either misdemeanors or felonies in Florida.

Simple Assault in South Florida (Fla. Sta. §§784.011)

  • In Florida, Simple Assault is a deliberate and unlawful threat made by one person towards another which, joined by the ability to do so, and doing the act creates a reasonable fear that violence or injury is imminent.
  • Minimum & Maximum Penalty For Simple Assault in Florida (Fla. Sta. § 775.082). 
    • Anyone who commits simple assault may be guilty of committing a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a maximum of 60 days in jail, up to 6 months of probation and a fine. It is possible that someone could get a sentence lower of fewer days in jail or on probation. 
    • Upgraded convictions of assault (Fla. Sta. § 784.07): If someone commits the crime of Simple Assault, but the victim of the assault is: a public servant, a staff member of a sexually violent predators detention or commitment facility, a person age 65 years or older or a specified official or employee, and if the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or position or employment of the victim -- then the assault penalties can be upgraded if the defendant is found guilty.
  • Assault on law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers
    • An assault carried out on a public servant, such as those mentioned above, carry a more severe conviction. No matter the type of assault or battery charge, you’ll get what’s known as an enhancement - basically, a harsher sentence - in Florida if one of those people are the victim of the crime.
  • Minimum & Maximum Penalty For Simple Assault on a public servant in Florida
    • Anyone who commits assault on a public servant may be guilty of committing a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, up to 1 year of probation and a maximum fine of $1,000. Lesser consequences are possible (such as a shorter jail sentence and smaller fine). 

Aggravated Assault in South Florida (Fla. Stat. §§ 784.021

Simple Battery in South Florida (Fla. Sta. § 877.03)

  • Simple Battery in Florida involves actual harmful contact between 2 people. It’s the actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against that person’s will, or the deliberate causing of bodily harm to another person.
  • Minimum & Maximum Penalty For Simple Battery in Florida

  • Anyone who commits simple battery may be guilty of committing a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or 12 months of probation and a fine. Lesser punishment is possible.

Felony Battery in South Florida (Fla. Sta. § 784.03)

Aggravated Battery in South Florida (Fla. Sta. § 784.045)

Battery on a Police Officer in South Florida (Fla. Sta. § 784.07)

Resisting Arrest with Violence in South Florida (Fla. Sta. § 843.01)

FINES & FEE PENALTIES ASSOCIATED WITH ASSAULT & BATTERY CONVICTIONS IN FLORIDA  

CONCLUSION: Assault and Battery Crimes have Serious Consequences in South Florida

The consequences of Assault and battery crimes vary in Florida depending on the severity of the crime, someone’s prior criminal convictions and who the victim affected by the crime is. 

 

There are two main types of assault crime classifications in Florida:

  1. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 60 days in jail or 6 months probation, and a fine of $500
  2. Aggravated Assault is a third-degree felony in Florida with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years probation, and a $5,000 fine
  • Charges for assault may be increased to include a mandatory prison sentence of up to 20 years, if a firearm is actually possessed and discharged during the course of an incident. Charges are also increased if an assault is carried out on a public servant.

There are two main types of battery crime classifications in Florida:

  1. In Florida, Simple Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of  jail or probation, and a fine of up to $1,000. 
  2. Felony Battery (including domestic battery by strangulation). 
    1. Aggravated Battery is generally classified as a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation, and up to $10,000 in fines. The penalties for Aggravated Battery increase significantly if the crime includes possession or discharge of a firearm.
    2. Battery on a Police Officer, and Resisting Arrest with Violence are third-degree felonies with maximum penalties of up to 5 years of imprisonment or 5 years of probation, and fines reaching $5,000.

If you or someone you know is facing assault or battery charges in Florida, give our office a call. We’ll listen to your story and discuss the best course of action for you. 

 

One mistake shouldn’t have the power to ruin your life, and we’re here to help ensure that’s true for you. 

 

We have ample experience working on assault and battery cases and will provide you with the best quality service and defense to help fight your case. 

Give us a call today at one of our three offices:

Don’t believe us? Read some of the ways in which we have helped previous clients:

 

HOW WE WIN ASSAULT AND BATTERY CRIME CASES IN SOUTH FLORIDA