Defense Attorney Melbourne, FL
Many people are unaware that the words “assault” and “battery” are not interchangeable when it comes to criminal law. In fact, under Florida law, there is a significant difference between the two, resulting in different types of criminal sentences if you are convicted. The following is a brief overview of the charges. For more details, if you have been arrested and charged, contact a defense attorney in Melbourne, FL.
What is the legal definition of battery?
Under Florida law, battery is defined as any act that causes bodily harm to an individual. The law requires that the person who is performing the act and causing the harm must be aware they are doing it, but also have no legal grounds to do so.
In the many cases that a Melbourne, FL defense attorney has handled, some of the most common acts that result in the charge of battery include hitting, slapping, punching, or any other harmful physical act.
A person can also be charged with battery if they have committed an act involving offensive touching. One example is if the offender grabbed the victim’s purse.
A person may face a more serious charge of aggravated battery if any of the following factors apply:
- The act resulted in great bodily harm to the victim, left the victim with a permanent disability, or left the victim with permanent disfigurement.
- The offender used a deadly weapon during the act
- The offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant
- The victim is 65 years or older
- The victim is a police officer, emergency responder, or a member of another protected class under Florida law
What is the legal definition of assault?
It may come as a surprise to learn that a person can be charged with assault even if there was no physical contact made between the offender and the victim. The only element that needs to be present is that the victim believed that the battery (physical contact) was imminent.
For example, if the offender raised their fist as if to punch or strike the victim, even if they never touched the victim, can result in an assault charge. A person can also be arrested for assault for just verbally threatening the victim that they are going to hurt them.
A person may face a more serious charge of aggravated assault if any of the following factors apply:
- The offender had a deadly weapon during the assault
- The assault took place during the commission of a felony
- The victim was a police officer, emergency responder, or a member of another protected class under Florida law
Call Our Office Today
If you are facing assault or battery charges, you could also be facing stiff penalties if convicted. You need a skilled and aggressive Melbourne, FL defense attorney advocating for you against these charges. Call the Law Office of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC to find out how we can help.