Assault and Battery Attorney Miami, FL
What is Culpable Negligence?
Assault and battery are often grouped together and used interchangeably to describe a physical attack. However, assault and battery are two separate offenses which have very different meanings.
Florida statute §784.011 explains that "An '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, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent." This can also include intimidating someone to the point where they genuinely believe they may be at risk of harm being done to them.
Florida statute §784.03 defines battery as any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person without that person’s will, including intentionally causing them bodily harm. Battery is different from assault in that it is defined as the intentional touching of another, against their consent. Battery may involve hitting, striking, slapping, groping or any other form of physical contact.
They are considered separate offenses because the severity of the actual altercation may be different. An assault charge may be waged even if physical contact had not been made, but a battery charge must involve intentional contact. This type of charge may be considered "culpable negligence," which is a reckless act that puts another person at risk of injury or death.
Assault and Battery Charges in Florida
There are a number of specific offenses relating to assault and/or battery in Florida, and the varying types of offenses carry different penalties, as well. Florida Statutes Title XLVI, Chapter 784 details the various types of assault & battery charges.
Our Miami assault and battery lawyers represent the following:
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Assault with the Intent of Committing a Felony
- Aggravated Battery
- Battery with a Deadly Weapon
- Sexual Battery
- Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm
- Assault or Battery against a Police Officer
The penalties for these crimes can range from a misdemeanor and a few hundred dollars in fines to a felony with $10,000 in fines and 15 years in prison. For more information, read below or visit Florida’s legislative website here.
Simple Assault Charges in FL
Simple assault, which is assault with no aggravating or mitigating factors such as the use of a deadly weapon, against a protected class, or done in the commission of another offense, is generally considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which means you may face up to 60 days in jail, up to six months’ probation, and a fine of up to $500.
Aggravated Assault Charges in FL
Aggravated assault, according to Chapter 784.021, involves a deadly weapon but does not involve intent to kill. This could also include the intent to commit a felony. This is an example of an assault charge that is punishable as a felony (third degree). There are two statutes for sexual battery that are detailed in 784.046 and 784.074 of the Florida Statutes. The former involves dating violence or a history of sexual violence while the latter primarily involves sexual predators. An assault or battery charge can also result in a restraining order or domestic violence injunction.
Injunctions (restraining orders), while not a criminal charge, will bar a person from any form of contact with the filer. All a person is required to do to obtain this kind of restraining order is to prove or claim that they were the victim of violence or are at a reasonable risk for violence. A violation of a restraining order can result in additional criminal charges. With the right help, an injunction can be appealed and possibly even stopped.
Simple Battery & Aggravated Battery Charges in FL
A battery occurs when you touch someone without their consent or intentionally cause physical harm to another. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to one year in prison or up to a year of probation. If the crime causes injuries, the victim may also seek restitution.
However, if the unconsented touching causes great bodily harm, permanent disability and/disfigurement and/or a weapon was used, it can be charged as an aggravated battery, which is a second-degree felony, which carries up to 15 years in prison or probation, plus up to $10,000 in fines. Aggravated Battery can also be charged when the unconsented touching is on a pregnant woman, regardless of extent of injury, as long as the person accused knew or should have known of the pregnancy.
However, “mutual combat,” such as a fist fight where both parties were willingly engaged in the altercation, is a valid defense to battery charges under Florida law.
Felony Battery and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in FL
According to Florida statute §784.041, felony batter occurs when unconsented touching causes great bodily harm, permanent disability and/or disfigurement. This offense is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. Under §784.07, battery on a law enforcement officer is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five (5) year in prison if the unconsented touching is on a law enforcement officer such as police, fireman, security guard.
Penalties of an Assault Conviction in Miami-Dade County
The ways in which these charges are defined and/or punished include several different circumstantial factors, like the presence of a weapon, inflicted harm, type of contact, etc. Accordingly, they are punishable by different degrees. An assault is punished as a misdemeanor of the second degree, but if charged as an aggravated assault, it becomes a felony of the third degree. Similarly, a battery charge is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree, while an aggravated battery charge is considered a felony of the second degree.
Common Defenses for Assault & Battery Charges in FL
While an arrest can make you feel as if your life will be forever changed, that’s rarely the case, if handled properly.
The first thing you should do following an arrest for assault or battery is to discuss your situation with an experienced legal team. Speaking with a team of experienced Miami assault and battery attorneys gives you the opportunity to discuss your situation and work together to build a strong case to defend yourself.
Our team is ready to help you put your charges behind you by building a compelling defense. Some of the most common defenses for assault and battery charges include:
- Acting to defend yourself (self-defense)
- Acting to defend others
- Acting to defend property
- A lack of evidence or conflict in the evidence
- Mutual force
A Brighter Future Ahead
If you’ve been arrested on assault or battery charges, our team is here to help. The sooner you get started, the better your chances are of getting your charges lessened or dropped completely. The legal process starts moving at an incredibly fast speed (within days of your arrest) which means that you need the help of a Miami assault & battery attorney.
Call us for a consultationat (305) 330-1360and our Miami assault and battery lawyer can speak with you about a line of defense for your case that could possibly get your charges lessened or dropped completely.
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