9th Nov 2015

Like most states, Florida has a separate criminal statute for assault and battery.  However, a criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain that there are also special statutes and rules that apply to aggravated assault and aggravated battery.  These offenses are very serious in nature and can cause life-altering consequences if convicted.  A criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain the differences between these charges and how these differences may affect your case.

Legal Definition

The first difference is the legal definition of each offense.  The legal definition includes specific elements that the prosecution must prove in order for a criminal defendant to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assault is defined as using the threat of force or violence in such a manner that it causes the victim to have a reasonable fear that he or she will be assaulted.  To be convicted of this crime, there does not have to be any actual contact between the assailant and the victim.

Battery is defined under Florida law as actually making contact with another person or intentionally injuring that individual.

Aggravated assault or battery consists of the same elements mentioned above.  However, it involves the use of a firearm, knife or other deadly weapon.  Additionally, it is committed with the intent to cause serious bodily harm to the victim.

Potential Punishment

Another area where these crimes differ is in their potential punishment.  Assault is typically prosecuted as second degree misdemeanor while battery is often charged as a third degree felony.  A second degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and imposition of a $500 fine.  Aggravated assault is an upgrade of the simple assault charge and is usually a third degree felony.  A third degree felony carries a maximum sentence of up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.  Aggravated battery is usually a second degree felony.  A second degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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