A Pensacola Assault and Battery Lawyer Helps You

  • Understand Florida assault and battery charges and potential penalties
  • Navigate the criminal justice system and understand Florida law
  • Question the allegations against you by the alleged victim
  • Determine if there was actual physical harm or an unlawful threat
  • Challenge eyewitness statements, the presence of a deadly weapon, and other evidence
  • Avoid time behind bars by negotiating alternative sentencing, such as anger management classes

How Mitkevicius Law, PLLC Makes a Difference in Assault and Battery Cases

Our Pensacola assault defense attorney is ready to prove your innocence.

We won’t let your assault and battery charges ruin your entire life. At our Florida criminal defense firm, we offer the following:

  • Free consultations
  • 10+ years of legal experience
  • Responsive counsel
  • Knowledge of Florida violent crimes laws
  • Trial-ready mindset
  • Personal legal advice about your assault charges

Florida Assault & Battery Laws: Charges & Penalties

While assault and battery are often discussed together, they are separate crimes under Florida laws.

What Is an Assault?

Assault, often called “simple assault,” is intentionally threatening a person with physical harm and making them reasonably believe you could harm them. Assault does not require that any physical violence actually occur.

The elements of an assault are the following:

  • There was a physical or verbal action.
  • There was an unlawful or intentional threat.
  • That threat promoted fear of harm in the victim.
  • The offender actually can harm the victim.

The increased charge of aggravated assault requires using a deadly weapon or intention to commit a felony.

What Is a Battery?

Battery involves intentionally striking or touching a person without consent or intentionally causing them harm. Battery does require that actual physical contact was made between the alleged offender and the alleged victim.

The elements of a battery include:

  • There must be intent to cause harm.
  • There must be a harmful or offensive act and physical contact.
  • There must have been a lack of consent.

Aggravated battery is using a deadly weapon or intentionally touching someone and intending to cause physical harm.

Felony battery involves someone intentionally touching or striking another person without consent, resulting in severe bodily harm, or the act is carried out after a prior battery conviction.

Domestic battery involves the same elements as a battery but occurs upon a family or household member.

Penalties for Assault and Battery in Florida

The penalties you will face for assault and battery depend on the type of assault or battery that occurred and any aggravating or mitigating factors.

A simple assault may be a misdemeanor crime, punishable by less than one year in jail and a small fine. However, if you are charged with aggravated assault, you are facing a felony that could land you in prison for years along with several thousand dollars in fines.

Simple battery is also a misdemeanor charge; however, it can still land you in jail with a fine. Other battery charges, including domestic battery, are felonies, and you will face time in prison along with significant fines.

Aggravating Factors in Assault & Battery Cases

Aggravating factors in assault and battery cases are those that make the crime more severe and can lead to a harsher punishment. In general, aggravating factors increase the harm caused to the alleged victim, the alleged offender’s culpability, or the public safety risk.

Some common aggravating factors in assault and battery cases include:

  • Serious Bodily Injury: If the alleged victim suffers serious bodily injury, such as broken bones, loss of consciousness, or disfigurement, this is considered an aggravating factor.
  • Use of a Deadly Weapon: This involves using a weapon, such as a knife or gun, to commit the assault or battery.
  • Premeditation: If you planned the assault or battery in advance, this is considered an aggravating factor.
  • Gang Participation: You could face increased penalties if you belonged to a gang when committing the offense.
  • Victim Vulnerability: This involves particularly vulnerable victims, such as children, elderly persons, or those with disabilities.
  • Bias Motive: If you were motivated by bias against the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic, this is considered an aggravating factor.

In addition to these general aggravating factors, there may be specific aggravating factors that apply to certain types of assault and battery cases. For example, in a domestic violence case, an aggravating factor might be if the offender had a prior history of domestic violence or if the assault or battery occurred in the presence of a child.

"I can honestly say Mr. Josef and his staff are amazing and took great care of me.

They are really great people and they really care about your case. I went to court today and 7 hours later I got a phone call and email saying all of my charges were dropped and I had serious charges against with years hanging over my head. Mr. Josef and your staff, my family and myself thank you very very much. We love you all and thank you all again so so much. I will refer everyone that needs a good lawyer to you guys and ladies of your law firm. God bless you all."

Google Reviews logo

Bryan York

Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges in Florida

No matter what happened, you should work with a Pensacola battery and assault lawyer who will evaluate your case and develop a strong defense. Here are some examples of potential assault and battery defense strategies:

You Acted in Self-Defense or Defense of Others

This is the most common defense in assault and battery cases. To claim self-defense or defense of others, you must show that you used reasonable force to protect yourself from imminent harm. You must also show that you did not provoke the attack and that you did not have any other way to escape the situation.

You Have Been Misidentified

The prosecution has a duty to prove you are the person who committed the offense. You can claim that you have been misidentified and if the state attorney does not have enough evidence to identify you as the perpetrator, then your case should be dismissed.

You Had a Lack of Intent

If you did not intend to cause harm to the victim, you may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

The Alleged Victim Has an Unreasonable Fear

The alleged victim’s fear of harm must be reasonable. If you have no intent or ability to cause them harm, then the charges should be dismissed.

You Made Idle Threats

If the threats you made cannot possibly be carried out, then you are not guilty of assault. For example, if a person in a wheelchair threatens to harm an able-bodied person, there is little possibility that the threats are reasonable.