ORLANDO ASSAULT & BATTERY ATTORNEY

Defending Assault & Battery Charges in Florida

People often confuse the terms assault and battery. An assault happens when someone is put in reasonable fear that they are about to have a battery committed on them. A battery occurs when someone actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against that person’s will. 

As a top-rated Orlando law firm with expert criminal defense team, Longwell Lawyers provides exceptional legal counsel for individuals in need of representation for assault and battery charges. Established in 1993, the Orlando law firm of Longwell Lawyers understands how to effectively handle any criminal charge.

Whether you are facing assault, aggravated assault, battery, felony battery, or aggravated battery charges, it is important to speak with an Orlando assault attorney who knows how to help you. Contact Longwell Lawyers for a free consultation.

Talk to an Orlando bond hearing attorney at Longwell Lawyers. We offer a free initial consultation, reasonable fees, and payment plans. Contact us online or at (407) 553-9599. We are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. 

Assault and Aggravated Assault 

An assault is when a person says or does something that creates a well-founded fear in another person that they are about to suffer an act of violence.  Taking a swing at someone or lunging at someone are both examples of simple/second degree misdemeanor assault. 

When a person commits an assault with a deadly weapon (such as trying to hit someone with a motor vehicle, raising a bat or weapon at someone, or pointing a firearm at someone), or with the intent of committing a felony, it is an aggravated assault, which is a felony.

To prove the crime of assault, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim.
  2. At the time, the defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.
  3. The act of the defendant created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place.

To prove the crime of Aggravated Assault, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The first three elements define assault.

  1. The Defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim.
  2. At the time, the defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.
  3. The act of the defendant created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place. AND
  4. The Assault was made with:
    1. A deadly weapon OR
    2. A fully formed, conscious intent to commit the crime charged upon the victim.

*It is not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant had intent to kill. *

A weapon is a "deadly weapon" if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. 

Battery, Felony Battery, and Aggravated Battery

A Battery (First Degree Misdemeanor) is when a person intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will. A person must intend to touch the other person, and not just do so accidentally.  The touching must be against the will of the other person (without consent to the touching).  Pushing, grabbing, hitting, slapping, or even spitting on someone intentionally and without consent, all constitute a battery. 

A battery can become a Felony Battery (Third Degree Felony) if the person has a prior conviction for battery, if the battery causes great bodily harm, or if the battery is a Domestic Battery by Strangulation, meaning it took place in a domestic setting and involved strangulation of the victim. 

An Aggravated Battery (Second Degree Felony) is a battery in which the person intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or it involves the use of a deadly weapon, or if the victim was known to be pregnant. An Aggravated Battery with a Pregnant Victim is a battery where the victim was pregnant at the time of the battery and the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant

ORLANDO ASSAULT & BATTERY ATTORNEY

Florida Penalties for Assault and Aggravated Assault

Criminal charges are designated as varying degrees of misdemeanors and felonies, according to the Florida Criminal Code.  Each offense is further categorized into levels according to an “Offense Severity Ranking Chart” and assigned a corresponding point value. The points are calculated and form the basis for the guideline sentence that the court should impose, according to the Florida [Criminal Punishment Code], [Chapter 921 of the Florida Statutes]. 

The range of penalties that may be imposed for Assault and Aggravated Assault are:

Assault (Second Degree Misdemeanor):

  1. Up to 60 days in jail.
  2. Up to 6 months of probation.
  3. Up to a $500 fine.

Aggravated Assault (Third Degree Felony/Level 6):

  1. Up to 5 years in prison.
  2. Up to 5 years of probation.
  3. Up to a $5,000 fine.

The range of penalties that may be imposed for Battery, Felony Battery, and Aggravated Battery are:

Battery (First Degree Misdemeanor): 

  1. Up to one year in jail.
  2. Up to one year of probation.  
  3. Up to a $1,000 fine.

Felony Battery (Third Degree Felony/Level 6): 

  1. Up to 5 years in prison.  
  2. Up to 5 years of probation.  
  3. Up to a $5,000 fine.

Aggravated Battery (Second Degree Felony/Level 7):

  1. Up to 15 years in prison.
  2. Up to 15 years of probation.
  3. Up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, the court may order community service and classes/counseling, among other reasonable penalties, as part of the sentence.  The court and/or the laws of Florida may also require the suspension of your driver’s license and registration as a felon. 

A person may also face secondary consequences due to a criminal sentence, such as deportation (if not a U.S. Citizen), the loss of civil rights (such as the right to vote, possess a firearm, or to serve on a jury), and the loss of employment and educational opportunities, among others.

If a firearm is used or if the alleged victim is a law enforcement officer, firefighter or EMT, then the offense qualifies for a 3-year minimum mandatory prison sentence, if convicted.

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a qualifying offense for a defendant to be sentenced as a Prison Releasee Reoffender (PRR)Violent Career Criminal/Habitual Felony Offender…

Typical Defenses

A person cannot be sentenced or have penalties imposed if found not guilty or the case is dropped or dismissed.  The law affords every accused person the right to due process, including the right to have the court prohibit or limit the use of evidence that was not lawfully or fairly obtained.  Ultimately, an accused has the right to be presumed innocent and to require, through a jury trial, that the government must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In addition to the many [Pre-Trial Motions and Defenses] available in most criminal cases, including justifiable use of force/self-defense/Stand Your Ground, there are the following specific defenses for Assault and Battery charges:

Assault and Aggravated Assault 

  • Conditional Threat –A threat to commit a violent act in the future that is conditional on some possible future event is not an assault.
  • Lack of apparent ability to carry out threat – a person who is not in a position to actually carry out the threat of harm does not commit assault
  • Unreasonable fear of alleged victim – When there is an unreasonable fear of harm an assault is not committed
  • Not a Deadly Weapon – If a jury isn’t convinced that the facts establish the use of a deadly weapon, a felony is not proven.

Battery 

  • Unintentional touching – if the touching is accidental, it is not a crime.
  • Consent – If the victim consents or engages in mutual combat, or otherwise agrees to participate in physical contact (such as sport), it is not a crime.

Felony Battery 

  • Lack of prior qualifying criminal history
  • Battery did not cause great bodily harm

Aggravated Battery 

  • Defendant did not intentionally or knowingly cause great bodily harm
  • Battery did not involve the use of a deadly weapon

Aggravated Battery of a Pregnant Victim

  • Battery did not involve a pregnant person, or the person was not reasonably known to the defendant to have been pregnant.

For any type of criminal charge in Orlando and all Central Florida, including Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Sumter, Polk, and Volusia Counties, the attorneys at Longwell Lawyers know how to help you.  We have attorneys and staff available who are fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and English.  Please contact Longwell Lawyers for a free consultation, at 407-426-5757.

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