Assault and battery are two crimes that are often related, but they are different. Assault involves the use of threats toward another person. No physical contact is involved.
When a person touches another person without his or her consent, it becomes battery. Battery can range in severity from the first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. You may be forced to spend time in jail and pay hefty fines, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Types of Battery in Florida
Battery charges vary from state to state. Florida recognizes three types of battery: simple battery, aggravated battery and felony battery. Under Florida Statutes Section 784.03, battery occurs when a person touches or strikes another person without consent, or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Simple battery is the least serious form of battery. It involves offense touching o physical contact that has resulted in minor injuries. It is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Simple battery is the only form of battery that is charged as a misdemeanor.
Felony battery occurs when you hit or strike someone and cause serious injury, or when you have previously been convicted of battery. It is a third degree felony, punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Aggravated battery is the most serious form of battery, as it often involves serious injury with a deadly weapon. It is a second degree felony. Penalties include a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
Defenses to Battery
If you have been accused of battery, there are several defenses you can possibly use. The most common one is self-defense. If another person hit you first, you can claim that you hit the person because he or she initiated the physical contact.
You can also claim that you were defending another person or property. For example, if you assaulted a person who was trying to kill your dog or steal your car, you might get the charges dropped.
If you accidentally hit the person—for example, you bumped into the person—you did not intend to harm the person and therefore you would not face charges. Another defense is that you were given consent to touch the person. For example, if your girlfriend gave you permission to kiss her, she cannot accuse you of battery.
Contact an Orlando, Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
While simple battery is only a misdemeanor, there are situations in which a battery charge can become a felony. A felony charge which comes with many consequences and could affect you for the rest of your life. That’s why you shouldn’t handle such a charge on your own.
You need a solid defense to reduce your charges and penalties. The aggressive Orlando, Florida criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can provide solid criminal defense for those accused of simple battery and other crimes. Contact us today at (407) 377-0150 to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24/7 to assist you.