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Battery and Assault Are Two Distinct Crimes, Even Though They Are Often Discussed Under One Group

Bill DiRenzo Nov. 2, 2021

Battery and assault are two distinct crimes, even though they are often discussed under one group. Assault is mainly a threat that results in the victim fearing imminent harm, and there is no physical contact. On the other hand, when there is actual contact resulting in bodily harm, it is considered battery. In a battery case, the prosecution has to prove the perpetrator willfully, physically touched or struck the victim against his or her will. Florida law distinguishes different types of battery by considering the level of bodily harm caused, the use of a weapon and other aspects of the case. –Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer William Direnzo

Simple Battery

In simple battery, the perpetrator intentionally makes physical contact with the victim, against his or her wish. There is no serious bodily harm done, and it could be just an unwanted touch or a push. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor offence punishable with a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. –Florida Criminal Statutes

Felony Battery

In felony battery, the bodily harm done is much more serious than simple battery, or this charge can also be made against a perpetrator who is facing a battery offense for the second time. According to Florida Statute 784.041, in felony battery the perpetrator strikes another person without his or her consent, causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability in the victim. Felony battery charges are applied even when the serious injuries were not intended by the perpetrator. This is a third degree felony offense punishable with up to $5,000 fine, up five years in prison, or any combination of these penalties depending on the case. Florida Criminal Statutes

Florida Criminal Statute Reference

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney William Direnzo explains that the most common defense to battery is self-defense, or in rare circumstances that the altercation was mutually agreed to, otherwise known as a “mutual combatants” defense. According to Direnzo, these cases are usually disposed in one of two ways.

“Often, victims to battery recant after they have cooled down and the case is dismissed, if not, these cases often proceed to trial where the defendant does not wish to negotiate a plea. Fortunately, battery cases are highly defendable.” –Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer William Direnzo