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Assault and Battery - Very Different Meanings in Florida Criminal Law

Words mean things.  In Florida criminal law the words "assault" and "battery" have completely different meanings. Both are criminal. Many times, in movies or television, the word assault and the words "assault and battery" are used to describe what is actually a battery in Florida. In essence, an assault is a credible threat and a battery is an unlicensed touching.

In addition to a threat, an "assault" requires the accused to have an apparent ability to do violence and do some act which creates a well-founded fear that the violence is imminent. There are several types of enhanced or aggravated assaults categorized under Florida law.

A "battery" is an intentional touch or strike of another person against the will of the other person; or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person. In a battery case, the State can charge varying degrees of felonies depending on the facts. A simple battery or a simple domestic battery are first degree misdemeanors, unless the accused has a prior, then it is a "felony battery". There are many enhanced or aggravated battery provisions.

The elements to determine whether an assault or battery is an aggravated assault or an aggravated battery include whether an accused used a deadly weapon, such as a vehicle, or a firearm. Other elements depend on the alleged victim of the assault or battery, such as domestic violence, being pregnant, being over 65, being a law enforcement officer, or being one of several other listed government employees. Whether a defendant has a prior battery, the nature of the intent and the extent of the injuries are also taken into account in aggravated battery cases.

Some defenses such as to the extent of the injuries may require expert testimony. If you or a loved one is facing any kind of assault or battery, then click or call to hire an attorney today.

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