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What is assault and battery?

Among the offenses best known to the public are violence offenses commonly called “assault and battery.” These actually are totally distinct offenses, and they can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. These offenses are found in Chapter 784 of the Florida Statutes. The relevant sections are provided below.

Aggravated Assault
FSS 784.021 is Florida’s Aggravated Assault statute
784.021 Aggravated assault.

(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:

(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or

(b) With an intent to commit a felony.

(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

To properly understand this statute, you must know the legal definition of an “assault.” That statutory definition is provided at FSS 784.011:

784.011 Assault.

(1) An “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.

Aggravated Battery

FSS 784.045 is Florida’s Aggravated Battery statute:

784.045 Aggravated battery.

(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:

1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or

2. Uses a deadly weapon.

(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.

(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Again, to properly understand this statute, you must know what a “battery” is. That offense is defined in FSS 784.03

784.03 Battery; felony battery.

(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:

1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or

2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

Felony Battery

Florida has created a statutory offense that was unknown at Common Law, called “Felony Battery.” It is a battery that does not qualify as an Aggravated Battery (which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison), but which is still serious enough to be classified as a felony. This offense is set out at:

FSS 784.03 Battery; felony battery

(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.

Contact An Assault And Battery Attorney

If you find yourself or a loved one charged with an assault or a battery, call one of our two locations at 407 743 8430 or 407-250-9557, for a prompt and free consultation with an experienced Central Florida criminal defense attorney at The Defense Group. We are available 24 hours a day for your emergency needs, and appointments can be arranged for nights or weekends if necessary.