St. Petersburg Assault and Battery Attorney
Determined defense for people accused of violent crime in the St. Petersburg, FL area
A case of mistaken identity or a police officer who misunderstands the situation can lead to charges of assault and/or battery. At Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A. in St. Petersburg, I defend clients who are being accused of physically attacking someone else. My firm takes decisive steps to resolve criminal matters successfully so accused individuals can avoid or minimize negative consequences resulting from the incident. In many situations, cases can be resolved promptly and fairly, but when justice requires going to trial, I am fully prepared to challenge authorities and fight for a dismissal or acquittal.
What is the difference between assault and battery in Florida?
For most people, the terms assault and battery run together and are indistinguishable. However, they are different and distinct offenses within the Florida Statutes. The relevant language defines assault as “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.” Accordingly, assault does not require any unwanted touching but is committed through words or movements.
By contrast, battery is the offense that involves actually physical contact. Florida law says battery happens when someone “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other… or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”
What is considered assault in Florida?
A person can commit assault several ways, including:
- Shouting threats
- Shaking a fist or brandishing a weapon
- Pantomiming a threat, such as slitting a throat or firing a gun
- Taking a threatening stance in close proximity to a targeted person
Whether words and/or actions constitute a threat depend on a number of factors, including the mindset of the accused and their ability to actually make good on the threat.
What is considered battery in Florida?
Battery consists of unwanted touching and force that causes bodily harm. That’s covers a wide range of acts, such as:
- Touching someone who doesn’t want to be touched
- Grabbing hold of someone or grappling with them
- Punching and kicking
- Causing bodily harm with a weapon or a firearm
- Sexual contact without consent
- Domestic violence
While people often associate battery with street altercations or bar fights, the crime can occur in various settings, including private residences and nursing homes.
Are assault and battery offenses felonies or misdemeanors in Florida?
Depending on the seriousness of the offense, authorities can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony, with specific counts that include:
- Simple assault — This is a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Aggravated assault — An assault becomes a third-degree felony when committed with a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony.
- Simple battery — Unwanted touching without serious bodily injury is a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Felony battery – Usually a second conviction for simple battery, this is a third-degree felony.
- Aggravated battery — This offense is committed with a deadly weapon or the intent to inflict great bodily harm. It can also include battery of a woman the assailant knows is pregnant. This is a second-degree felony.
There are numerous defenses to assault charges, such as lack of seriousness and an inability to follow through on the threat. Defenses to battery include consent (except in cases of bodily harm), self-defense, defense of an innocent third party, defense of property and mutual combat. I thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case to develop the most effective defense strategy possible.
Contact a determined Florida defense attorney if you’re facing assault or battery charges
Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A. defends clients accused of assault and battery in St. Petersburg and throughout the Tampa Bay area. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact me online or call my St. Petersburg office at 727-888-0102.