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Although assault and battery are related crimes and the terms are often used simultaneously, the two are separate offenses under Florida law. Assault generally means the threat of imminent force, while battery refers to the unwanted touching of another person that causes bodily injury, including sexual assault.
If you are facing an assault or battery charge in Florida, you need reliable legal representation. Vero Beach Florida Attorney Susan Chesnutt has the experience to protect your constitutional rights and provide you with the most vigorous defense possible.
An assault is a credible threat of harm that causes a person to fear imminent harm but does not include actual physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim. Florida law establishes specific offenses for assault, depending on the severity of the crime:
Under Florida law, when one person makes physical contact with another by intentionally touching or striking them without their consent, the crime of battery has been committed. As with assault, there are several degrees of battery in Florida:
A threat combined with unwanted contact can be both assault and battery, and the offenses can also be charged separately. Whether an assault & battery charge is a misdemeanor or a felon depends on whether a deadly weapon was used, the extent of the harm caused, and the perpetrator’s prior criminal record.
Just because someone is facing assault & battery charges in Florida does not mean that they will be found guilty. Some defenses to assault & battery charges in the state include:
Under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, a defendant is immune from prosecution if they were not engaged in an unlawful activity when attacked by another. This law gives defendants the right to stand their ground and use justifiable force (including deadly force) to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another person to prevent a forcible felony. Under the law, there is no duty to retreat before using deadly force and applies even if the person could have gotten away from the situation safely.
Whether you are facing assault or battery charges or both, you need skilled legal representation. Vero Beach Florida Attorney Susan Chesnutt, a lifelong Florida resident and former prosecutor has extensive knowledge of Florida criminal law. If you need help building a convincing assault and battery defense, contact our firm online or call 772-242-0524 today.