The Law in Plain English ➪ Jupiter ➪ West Palm Beach ➪ Boca Raton ➪
Assault and Battery Attorney Josh LeRoy discusses:

Assault, Battery, and Related Charges

Need help? Use the form below, or read more about West Palm Beach Assault & Battery Attorney Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

Contents

An experienced West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence – potentially years of your life.  A few of the most common charges that fall in the Assault and Battery category are detailed below.

What Should I Know about Assault and Battery before Hiring a West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney?

Assault and battery charges are not the same, but are also not mutually exclusive. They can often occur at the same time, but one or the other can happen on its own. Sentencing for these offenses is given accordingly, and range from misdemeanor to felony charges.

West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney
West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney

What is the difference between assault and battery?

Assault is a threat of violence that creates fear in the alleged victim. Battery is a physical touching of another person against their will. For instance, an assault is warning someone that you are about to hit them, while a battery is actually hitting them.

What are the penalties for assault and battery in Palm Beach County?

The two are sentenced separately. Assaults range from second degree misdemeanors, 60 days in jail, to third degree felonies, 5 years in prison, depending on the allegations. On the other hand, batteries range from first degree misdemeanors, 1 year in jail, to second degree felonies, which can be enhanced to be punishable by life imprisonment.

Are there more than one degrees of assault or battery?

Yes. There are varying degrees of battery or assault, depending on the allegations. Aggravated assault is a third degree felony, which includes use of a deadly weapon. Felony battery is the striking of someone which causes serious bodily harm or permanent disability, and is a third degree felony. Aggravated battery is the intentional infliction of serious bodily harm or permanent disability to another, and is a second degree felony. If a firearm is used in either an assault or a battery, mandatory prison sentences of 3 years or 10 years respectively apply. If a firearm is discharged in either an assault or battery case the mandatory penalties continue to increase.

How will a West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney help me with Misdemeanor Assault: F.S. 784.011?

In Florida, a Misdemeanor Assault is an intentional threat to do immediate harm to another person. An assault includes actions or words that make a person afraid of possible violence. Threats of violence, spoken in an angry tone, can constitute assault, while actual physical contact, including violence (punching, kicking, slapping, or even touching) is defined as the crime of battery. Sometimes in the heat of a disagreement a person says things that he/she does not mean. Anger or emotions can sometimes take over.

West Palm Beach Assault & Battery Attorney
West Palm Beach Assault & Battery Attorney

The Penalties for assault, a second degree misdemeanor, is up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, or probation up to 180 days.

If the victim of the assault is a “special victims” the possible punishment is increased. Some of these “special victims” include law enforcement officers, medical providers, security officers, and employees at detention facilities. In most cases, these victims must be currently performing those employment duties in order for them to be constituted as a special victim in the case. Furthermore, if the victim is over the age of 65, an employee of the Department of Children and Family (DCF), a school employee, an elected official, or visitors in a jail, and the defendant had reason to know of the victim’s employment status, they are also considered “special victims.”

Often verbal disputes are mistaken for assaults. In those cases law enforcement is called and routinely misinterprets the facts, resulting in a criminal charge of assault for one person.

When a client is charged with simple assault, depending on a client’s history and the particular facts of the case, a dismissal of the charges is possible. It is possible for a similar outcome for felony charges, but typically much more difficult to obtain.

What should I know about Aggravated Assault (F.S. 784.021+) before contacting a West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney?

An Assault charge is an action or verbal threat meant to make someone fearful of violence. Simply verbally threatening to immediately harm someone is an assault. You don’t have to lay a finger on them! Its true sticks and stones may break their bones, and your words won’t hurt them, but they can certainly hurt you.

Aggravated Assault - F.S. 784.021+
Aggravated Assault – F.S. 784.021+

A simple assault, meaning an assault not involving a deadly weapon or gun, is a second degree misdemeanor. (click here for detailed info on simple assault) Aggravated assault takes that one step further, and involves using a deadly weapon to threaten someone or make them afraid – i.e. holding a knife out at someone to make them afraid.

In an aggravated assault, the defendant’s intent to commit a felony is what it boils down to. It must be proven by the circumstances involved, or verbal statements made by the defendant, that that was the case. The consequences for aggravated assault are a maximum of 5 years imprisonment, or probation, and a maximum of $5k fine. If a firearm is fired, there is a mandatory maximum 20 year sentence. If the firearm is not discharged, but still present, there is a mandatory 3 year jail sentence.

A possible defense in a charge of aggravated assault is self-defense, or defense of another person. It is difficult to prove the mindset of either the defendant or alleged victims during the incident (i.e. whether or not the victims had a reason to feel afraid, or whether the defendant had intentionally committed the felony).

In the heat of a disagreement we all may say things that we do not mean. Anger or emotions can sometimes take over. In stressful situations ‘losing your cool’ is a natural human reaction – and we are all human. It is a mistake we make.. Just don’t aggravate that mistake with aggravated assault on your record! Any assault is considered a crime of violence, you do not want a conviction for it.

There are many defenses to an aggravated assault case, and if you have been charged, it is important you say nothing until you have consulted with a good criminal lawyer. There are harsh consequences for a conviction if the proper steps are not taken to ensure you present the best possible defense.

What’s the Statute of Limitations to record a claim for aggravated assault in Florida?

Four years.

What’s “permanent disability” and “great bodily harm”?

Bodily harm is any damage more serious than minor or slight damage, for example, small wounds, and could incorporate injuries that have bled seriously and need suturing, injured bones, and wounds needing surgery.

What’s a Deadly Weapon?

An item that is innately destructive or hazardous, for example, a gun, blade, or unsafe toxic substance, is a deadly weapon. An article that is not characteristically dangerous but rather that a guilty party uses or deliberates to use in a way liable to bring about death or great bodily harm likewise is viewed as a dangerous weapon. If a boot is big and steel-toed, for instance, and the individual wearing the boots kicks or intends to kick somebody in outrage, the activity could be charged as a battery or an attack with a dangerous weapon in light of the fact that the wrongdoer utilized the boots as a part of a way that could bring about genuine damage or even murder the victim.

Should I hire a West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney for a Misdemeanor Battery charge (F.S. 784.03)?

A battery is defined as the intentionally touching of another person against his/her will, or intentionally causing physical harm to another person. Battery is a first degree misdemeanor. Battery is charged as a “Domestic Battery” when the parties involved in the case are family members, spouses, former spouses, persons with children in common, persons who live together like a family, and persons dating. Despite also being a first degree misdemeanor, “Domestic Battery” is a crime that prosecutors take very seriously and is prosecuted more harshly than a simple battery.

Misdemeanor Battery – F.S. 784.03
Misdemeanor Battery – F.S. 784.03

If a person has a prior conviction for battery, a misdemeanor battery can be charged as a third degree felony, FELONY BATTERY.

Is it still considered a “battery” if the other person was not hurt in Palm Beach County?

Yes. A battery charge only requires an allegation of the touching of another person, or “victim,” against his/her will. Whether the “victim” is actually injured or hurt is not a necessary element of the misdemeanor charge. The question is simple, “was the victim touched and did he/sher want to be touched.” The question regarding the severity of the injuries suffered by “the victim” differentiates a misdemeanor battery charge from the felony charges of AGGRAVATED BATTERY or FELONY BATTERY. The key to defending a misdemeanor battery charge is to examine the whether the touching was intentional as opposed to accidental, and/or was the touching justified, i.e. an act of self-defense.

Additionally, throwing objects and/or spitting at “the victim” can also be considered a battery.

Are the charges the same regardless of who the victim is?

Similar to an assault charge, a battery charge can be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony if the battery was toward certain “special victims.” These victims include law enforcement, those over 65 years of age, and children.

What is the difference between a “simple battery” and a “domestic battery”?

The relationship between the two parties involved in the battery determines whether it is charged as a battery or a domestic battery. A domestic battery has far reaching consequences beyond the immediate punishment, including prevention from ever being able to own a firearm.

What are the consequences of a misdemeanor battery charge?

In Florida, battery is a misdemeanor of the first degree. The penalties include up to twelve (12) months in the county jail or on probation, in addition to a $1,000 fine.

How serious is an Aggravated Battery charge (F.S. 784.045)?

An Aggravated battery charge differs from regular misdemeanor battery in that battery is touching or striking another person without them wanting you to. Aggravated battery is caused when the person who was hit suffers a disability, disfigurement, or serious bodily harm, because of your action. Use of a deadly weapon, or hitting a woman who is pregnant also constitutes aggravated battery.

To get an aggravated battery conviction, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim was caused harm by the defendant intentionally. Aggravated battery is a 2nd degree felony, consequences of which are a maximum of 15 years jail time and a maximum of $10k in fines. If a firearm is used there is a minimum of 10 years sentence, if the firearm is discharged there is up to 20 years jail time, and if the firearm discharged and caused injury to the victim, there is up to a 25 year imprisonment.

The best defense to an aggravated battery charge is self-defense. If you felt that your life or someone else’s life was threatened, that the altercation was mutual, and subsequently attempted to defend yourself or others, that may be a justifiable defense. Intent to harm another person is difficult to prove in a court, without substantial evidence.

Because of the high rate of aggravated battery charges, there are serious consequences to a conviction of aggravated battery. The involvement of a weapon, your true intent, and whether you have been convicted of previous similar crimes, play a large role in your case. In order to receive the defenses you deserve, contact a criminal lawyer to find out your possible courses of action, and all possible defenses to an aggravated battery charge.

Did the object used to create the offense constitute a “dangerous weapon”?

Aggravated Battery – F.S. 784.045+
Aggravated Battery – F.S. 784.045+

Florida Juries express that “A weapon is a ‘dangerous weapon’ on the off chance that it is utilized or threatened to be utilized as a part of a plan liable to create demise or great bodily harm.” In any case, each case is distinctive. For instance, the courts have held that a broom, a fork, an immobilizer, a BB weapon, a skateboard tossed at a vehicle, a window box loaded with dirt or a blockade tossed at a victim.

If there is a damage endured by the victim, does it correspond to the standards needed by Florida law?

Courts have stated that “great bodily harm ought to be recognized from slight, unimportant, minor or even small damage.” The state should demonstrate “more than the alleged victim endured some injury.” It is imperative for our team to examine whether or not the victim looked for or obliged medicinal treatment and to explore the degree or nature of the damage.

Did the object used to create the offense constitute a “dangerous weapon”?

Florida Juries express that “A weapon is a ‘dangerous weapon’ on the off chance that it is utilized or threatened to be utilized as a part of a plan liable to create demise or great bodily harm.” In any case, each case is distinctive. For instance, the courts have held that a broom, a fork, an immobilizer, a BB weapon, a skateboard tossed at a vehicle, a window box loaded with dirt or a blockade tossed at a victim.

If there is a damage endured by the victim, does it correspond to the standards needed by Florida law?

Courts have stated that “great bodily harm ought to be recognized from slight, unimportant, minor or even small damage.” The state should demonstrate “more than the alleged victim endured some injury.” It is imperative for our team to examine whether or not the victim looked for or obliged medicinal treatment and to explore the degree or nature of the damage.

What if you were acting in self-preservation or with regards to another?

It is absolutely suitable to defend yourself against someone else’s unlawful assault. It is additionally lawful to shield someone else from injury. Self preservation is an agreed defense and it likewise constitutes a true defense to a aggravated battery charge. Now and again, our office can show that the assumed victim was really the starting assailant in the occurrence. You require an accomplished Florida criminal defense lawyer to consider the criminal history of the victim. Occasionally, it is additionally necessary to raise an issue with respect to the uniqueness in size and shape between the two.

Could you declare Florida’s “Stand your Ground” Law?

Various statutes took away the previous obligation to withdraw and legitimizes the utilization of lethal force in specific situations. This zone of the law is complicated and has been deciphered contrastingly all through Florida. It is necessary to counsel with an accomplished Florida criminal defense lawyer, keeping in mind the end goal to figure out whether this protection is necessary in your specific case.

Will the episode be described as “mutual combat”?

If both persons deliberately consent to participate in a battle or a fight, we can call attention to the fact that neither one of the individuals is qualified for complaint about the subsequent contact or damage. At the end of the day, generally as in a round of football, the parties had each assented to the contact. We may have the capacity to persuade a jury or judge to see your case in a substantially better light, in the event that the incident was created from an invitation to fight.

It is absolutely suitable to defend yourself against someone else’s unlawful assault. It is additionally lawful to shield someone else from injury. Self-preservation is an agreed defense and it likewise constitutes a true defense to a aggravated battery charge. Now and again, our office can show that the assumed victim was really the starting assailant in the occurrence. You require an accomplished Florida criminal defense lawyer to consider the criminal history of the victim. Occasionally, it is additionally necessary to raise an issue with respect to the uniqueness in size and shape between the two.

What can a West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney do for a Battery on a Pregnant Person charge?

Florida law describes the crime of Battery on a Pregnant Person as the commission of a battery on a woman who is pregnant, who the perpetrator knew, or should have known, that the woman was pregnant. (“Battery” is the intentional touching or striking of a person against his or her will).

Battery on a Pregnant Person is regarded by Florida law as a form of aggravated battery, a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A defendant convicted of this offense faces a mandatory minimum sentence of a year and a half in state prison. The term only increases if the perpetrator has any prior convictions. However, if the defendant’s lawyer can prove certain “mitigating” factors, the judge may be able to “depart” from the mandatory term and impose a lesser sentence.

Battery on a Pregnant Person, F.S. 784.945(2)(b)
Battery on a Pregnant Person, F.S. 784.945(2)(b)

Is it a defense if I did not know the victim was pregnant?

Yes. It is a defense to the charge if you did not know the victim was pregnant at the time of the incident. Unless the defendant knew the victim (and so, should have known she was pregnant), or the victim was showing visible signs of her pregnancy at the time, then it can be difficult for the State to successfully prosecute this offense. In other words, if you did not know the victim was pregnant, the legal question becomes, should you have known?

Are there lesser offenses that I could plead to in order to avoid a prison sentence?

As with many criminal offenses under Florida law, sometimes the State will allow a defendant charged with aggravated battery to plead guilty to a lesser charge to resolve the case. In the way, the State obtains a desired conviction, yet eliminates the extraordinary work, and risk of losing, that a trial imposes. Whether the State does so or not depends upon certain variables: the facts of the particular case, as well as the disposition of the assistant state attorney assigned to prosecute the case. Aggravated battery, at the choice of the State, can be reduced to felony batter, a third-degree felony, or misdemeanor battery, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Related Cases

FELONY BURGLARY, ARMED ROBBERY & AGGRAVATED BATTERY

    • The Incident: The client allegedly robbed a pain clinic, where, after he was denied medication.
    • The Accused: The client signed into the clinic as a patient that morning, and paid the visitation fee in cash. After waiting to be seen, the clinic refused to see him, as he had been accused of doctor shopping, alleging that my client attempted to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same pain medicine from multiple clinics. After an extended period of time, he left swearing that he would get his money back.
    • The Evidence: The Incident was captured on video. My client was clearly present on the video in the waiting room before the robbery. He repeatedly approached the front counter to inquire into the delay of being seen by the doctor. The client left the clinic. A short time later, the video surveillance shows that a man wearing a dark sweatshirt and carrying a revolver entered the clinic. He kicked down the door separating the waiting room from the examination rooms. He fought with the doctor, hitting him repeatedly with the gun, and even pointing it at him and pulling the trigger; the gun did not fire. The man entered the front office, where a nurse was hiding behind the door, and grabbed a pile of cash and a bank deposit bag before fleeing. The man ran out the back door and into a trailer park located behind the business. Thereupon, 2 women standing in their kitchen watched as the man removed the hoodie and hid it under an abandoned trailer, before being picked up by a silver car. The women called 911 and gave the license plate information. The car was tracked to a local apartment building, where soon after a SWAT team surrounded the building and ordered the occupants of the apartment out. When ordered out by SWAT the other males complied but my client refused. However, eventually he was taken into custody. The women from the trailer park were brought to the scene, and identified the client as the man who removed and hid the hoodie earlier. The nurse also identified my client as the man she saw in the office taking the money. Inside the apartment, police located the bank deposit bag from the clinic, cash, and a revolver.
  • The Charges: Robbery with a Firearm, Burglary while Armed with a Firearm, Aggravated Battery with a Firearm
  • My Counsel & Defense: I argued before the jury that the client was obviously upset that he was refused medical care, but had no part in the crimes, which were committed by another person.
  • The VERDICT: Upon the jury returning The VERDICT of Not Guilty, the remaining charge of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm was dismissed. – NOT GUILTY

related laws:
Robbery
Burglary
Aggravated Battery

CASE: DISCHARGING A FIREARM & AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

  • The Incident: Client’s third offense when a firearm was discharged at a home.
  • The Accused: I was hired late in the case to take over for the client. He was clearly the driver of the car involved in the shooting and may have fired a gun as well.
  • The Charges: Aggravated Assault with Discharge and Shooting into a Building. He was facing a mandatory sentence of twenty (20) years in prison, because the case involved the discharging of a firearm.
  • My Counsel & Defense: Within months of taking over, I negotiated a settlement agreement, whereby my client plead to the lessor charges of Aggravated Assault with a Weapon and Discharging a Firearm in Public.
  • The VERDICT: My Client was sentenced to a total of 365 days in the Palm Beach County Jail, leaving him about 2 weeks to serve from the date of the plea.

related laws:
Discharging a Firearm in Public

If You Have Been Charged Call West Palm Beach Assault Battery Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?

If you, or someone you know, are in need of a Assault and Battery Attorney in Palm Beach County (from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas use the form below to drop me a note. Let me know a bit about yourself, what’s happened, and a good time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

Looking for details on the law firm? click here

    Contact West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney Josh LeRoy









    This Criminal Defense Firm is managed by a West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Delray Beach Criminal Defense Attorney experienced in defending Assault and Battery cases.

    West Palm Beach Assault and Battery Attorney Joshua LeRoy, Esq. is dedicated to providing his clients with personalized, honest, and aggressive representation in any and all areas of criminal law in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, Jupiter & the surrounding areas of Palm Beach County in the State of Florida.

    View our other Top Resource Pages

    [/column]