Brandon, FL Lawyers Defend Clients on Assault and Battery Charges
Skilled and determined representation throughout the Tampa Bay area
We live in times of great stress and polarization, where chance encounters, arguments, or altercations can quickly escalate to physical violence. If you are arrested and charged with assault or battery, the criminal defense attorneys at Faught & Faught, P.A. can protect your rights and work to resolve your case on favorable terms. A conviction for assault and/or battery can mean steep fines and jail time or even a prison sentence. But the prosecution must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are viable defenses in many cases. When your future is on the line, you can trust Faught and Faught to work skillfully and tirelessly on your behalf.
What is assault and battery in Florida?
In some jurisdictions, assault and battery is one offense, but under Florida law they are separate charges. The basic assault and battery charges under the Florida Statutes are as follows:
- Assault — “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.” Simple assault as described above is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- Aggravated assault — This is assault (a threat to do violence) either with a deadly weapon or with intent to commit a felony. The offense is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- Battery — Battery occurs when one person actually and intentionally touches another against the second person’s will or intentionally causes bodily harm to another. Simple battery as described here is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the defendant already has one or more convictions for assault or battery, this offense is a felony of the third degree, like aggravated assault.
- Felony battery — Actual and intentional touching that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. This offense is a felony of the third degree, like aggravated assault.
- Domestic battery by strangulation — When a person who is or has been in a domestic or dating relationship with another commits battery that impedes the victim’s normal breathing or circulation, the offense is a felony of the third degree, like aggravated assault.
- Aggravated battery — This is battery that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement, or is accomplished through use of a deadly weapon. It is also aggravated battery when a victim of simple battery was pregnant at the time and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant. Aggravated battery is a felony of the second degree punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
When you retain our services, our criminal defense attorneys scrutinize the evidence and interview witnesses to find grounds to challenge the prosecution’s version of events. We attempt to identify discrepancies that might persuade a judge to dismiss charges or the prosecutor to decline to pursue the case. When the facts are against our client, we seek the minimum possible punishment in plea bargain negotiations to limit the damage to our client.
Viable defenses to assault and battery in Florida
The mere fact that threatening words or physical blows were exchanged is not enough to convict a defendant of assault and/or battery. Several viable defenses may be available, depending on the facts of the case, including:
- Reasonable defense of a third party
- Defense of property
- Lack of intent to do harm
Additionally, if an alleged victim is claiming specific injuries, but the harm was not evident at the time, there may be a subsequent cause of the injuries, which we could discover on further investigation. When we undertake a case, we pursue all reasonable avenues that could help deliver a positive result for our client.
Contact our Brandon, FL lawyers for skilled defense to assault and battery charges in the Tampa Bay area
Don’t allow a sudden incident to rob you of your future. Call Faught & Faught, P.A. today at 813-681-4246 or contact our Brandon, FL office online to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Please be advised there may be a consultation fee for initial jailhouse visits.