Man about to commit assault or battery, possibly aggravated battery, against another man on the ground. He is not acting in self defense. He is not entitled to stand your ground


While people think about conflicts as arguments and fights, the law thinks in the terms Assault and Battery. In the simplest sense, Battery means you touched someone. Assaults put someone in fear without contact. Here’s a little introduction to Assault and Battery.

Assault and Battery

Batteries require proof that you actually and intentionally touched or struck another against that person’s will. Additionally, they include the intentional causing of bodily harm to another. Unlike Battery, an Assault occurs when someone isn’t touched. Assault is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

While Assault and Battery are both misdemeanors, they become felonies in four ways: weapons, victim injury, victim status and your history.

Assault and Battery with Weapons

First, using a weapon makes Assaults and Batteries felonies. Assaults becomes Aggravated Assault when you use a knife, bat, car or any other deadly weapon. Although Assaults become a third degree felony, Aggravated Battery is a second degree felony.

The law treats guns differently than other weapons. The crimes become more serious. Firearms add mandatory minimum sentences of 10, 20 and 25 years. You must serve these minimum mandatory sentences day for day. Check out the page explaining penalties for Firearm Offenses by clicking here.

Assault and Battery Causing Victim Injury

Second, the victim injury influences these charges. When you cause more damage, you face a greater charge. Causing great bodily harm or permanent injury changes a misdemeanor Battery to a third degree felony. Intending the great bodily harm turn the third degree Felony Battery into second degree Aggravated Battery. You don’t even need to use a weapon. You can use your fists.

Victim Status

Third, victim status matters. Florida treats some groups of people differently. The law protects people 65 or older. If you slap a 20 year old, you face up to 1 year in jail. If you slap a 70 year old, you face up to 5 years in prison. Additionally, the law protects police. If you slap a police officer, you face up to 5 years in prison. Also, you commit Aggravated Battery if you hit a pregnant women.

Past History

Fourth, if you have been convicted of a past Battery, you may be charged with felony Battery based on your prior. Your prior can be a misdemeanor Battery or a more serious felony Battery. Your sentence for the prior doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether your adjudication was withheld, meaning you weren’t technically convicted of the crime. So if the crime is on your record, it counts against you. Then the State of Florida can file the new arrest as a felony.

Self Defense Through Stand Your Ground

The most common defense to Assault and Battery is self-defense. Just because you’re in a fight, doesn’t mean you’re at fault. Just because you won the fight doesn’t mean you’re at fault. Since 2005, Florida lets you Stand Your Ground. Now, you no longer have a duty to retreat. While you’re here, check out this post from my blog discussing a new opinion on Florida Stand Your Ground law. Stand Your Ground immunity extends to people charged with Assault and Battery. It’s the most common way to protect yourself from prosecution.

Talk to an Experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney!

But it doesn’t mean you’re guilty if you’ve been charged with one of these offenses. You have the right to Stand Your Ground in Florida and Jared can’t wait to discuss this with you. He has handled Assaults and Batteries from the simple to severe. As an prosecutor, he worked in a special unit where he prosecuted Aggravated Assaults and Batteries committed with firearms. He’s tried Batteries punishable by a year in jail to first degree felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The criminal defense firm Brown Legal PLLC operates from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but regularly handles cases throughout South Florida and the rest of the state. Before it’s too late, talk to Jared and see if he can help you best defend yourself! Reach out over the phone at (954) 524-6700 or through the Contact Page if you have any questions.

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