There are numerous types of assault and battery charges that the state of Florida recognizes, some of which are considered misdemeanors and some of which are considered felonies. If you’re facing violent crime charges, you’ll want to contact the assault and battery lawyers in St. Petersburg at Goldman Wetzel as soon as possible to begin working on your case.
Assault Charges in St. Petersburg
Florida statutes define 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.” Assault is considered a second-degree misdemeanor that could bring the following punishments if convicted.
- Up to 60 days of imprisonment
- Up to $500 fine
If the crime is labeled as aggravated assault (which means you had a deadly weapon when you committed the assault or you had the intention to commit a felony), then it’s considered a third-degree felony. If convicted, aggravated assault carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Battery Charges in St. Petersburg
Whereas assaults are threats, battery involves actual contact with another person. The state defines battery as an act in which someone “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.” There are numerous types of battery charges, including those below.
- Aggravated battery
- Felony battery
- Domestic battery by strangulation
- Sexual battery
Each crime is categorized differently. Aggravated battery, for instance, is considered a second-degree felony, and domestic battery by strangulation is considered a third-degree felony. Simple battery, the charge many people are given after a fistfight, is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Also, if the act of assault or battery was committed on a specific type of victim — examples of which are listed below — the charges will be elevated to the next category and bring harsher penalties. Special victims that elevate the crime and penalties include the following.
- Law enforcement officers
- School officials
- People older than 65
- Sports officials
- Emergency medical care providers
- Public transit employees or agents
- Security officers
Defending against Assault and Battery Charges in St. Petersburg
If you have been charged with assault and/or battery in St. Petersburg or Tampa, you are encouraged to call Goldman Wetzel for legal representation. We will review the facts of your case and work to get the charges dropped or reduced. For instance, if the charge is a felony, we may argue that aggravated charges be reduced to misdemeanors. If the charge is domestic (which are often unfounded and made in the heat of an argument or as leverage for divorce), we work to gather evidence to show the falsehood of the accusations.
Without enough evidence, you cannot be convicted of a crime. If the witnesses aren’t credible or there is a lack of substantial evidence, we will point out any gaps in the prosecutor’s case and argue for a dismissal or an acquittal.
Because a conviction could mean jail time, not to mention fines, other penalties, and putting your family and job at stake, it’s in your best interest to consult a defense firm as soon as possible. Contact the law office of Goldman Wetzel today at 727-828-3900.