Some people assume assault or battery charges are trivial, but it is not until you find yourself facing these charges that you realize just how serious they are. A conviction for either type of violation can mean fines, probation, and even imprisonment.
If you have been arrested for assault or battery, discuss your case with our assault and battery lawyers in Sarasota. We can step in, defend your rights, and try to get the charges dropped or reduced. Contact us at 941-405-5193 today.
Are Assault and Battery Charges Synonymous?
No, not in Florida. While some states lump the two terms together into a single “assault and battery” offense, the state of Florida differentiates between the two.
- Assault: Florida Statute § 784.011(1)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.”
- Battery: Florida Statute § 784.03(1)(a)states that “battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”
In other words, assault is the mere threat of harm, whereas battery involves actual, physical contact.
Does Goldman Wetzel Accept Assault and Battery Cases in Sarasota?
Yes. Our criminal defense lawyers can facilitate any type of violent crime case in Sarasota and throughout Florida. We accept all types of assault and battery cases, including those involving:
- Domestic violence;
- Bar brawls;
- Gang incidents;
- Weapons charges;
- Road rage;
- Child abuse;
- Sex-related violence;
- School fights and bullying; and
What Are the Penalties for Assault and Battery?
The potential penalties for assault and battery depend on the specific type of offense. Here are the penalties for the most common types of cases:
- Simple Assault: Basic assault garners second-degree misdemeanor charges. Penalties include up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- Simple Battery: Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Aggravated Assault: When the assailant uses a deadly weapon without intent to kill during the assault, the state labels the offense as aggravated assault. This is a third-degree felony, with penalties including five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Aggravated Battery: When the assailant “intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or uses a deadly weapon,” while committing battery or batters a pregnant woman, the state deems the offense aggravated battery. This second-degree felony includes up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Note: These are just baseline penalties. Other potential consequences include loss of driver’s license and other civil rights, probation and hefty related fees, and anger management classes. If convicted, you will also have a permanent criminal record which can affect your career, reputation, and other court cases like divorce, custody, or immigration proceedings.
The Goldman Wetzel assault and battery lawyers can aggressively fight for your best interests. Contact us today to discuss your case.
What Are the Defenses to Assault and Battery?
There are various defenses we can use in an assault or battery case. We must review the specifics of your case to determine the best approach, given your unique set of circumstances and available evidence.
The most common defense in cases of this nature is self-defense. If we can show that you were defending yourself or another person against somebody who was trying to use unlawful force per Florida Statute § 776.012(1), the court may consider your actions “justifiable use of force” and dismiss your case.
Other common defenses to assault and battery cases include:
- You were incapable of carrying out the threat;
- False allegations;
- Lack of evidence;
- The “victim” consented to the act;
- The fight was mutual; and
- The touching was accidental, not intentional.
How Can Goldman Wetzel Help with My Assault or Battery Case?
Our attorneys have honed the legal skills and strategies necessary to help fight any type of misdemeanor or felony charge. In fact, our team has experience on both sides of the aisle. Summer Goldman began her career in the prosecutor’s office while Maribeth Wetzel has dedicated the entirety of her career to criminal defense. Summer and Maribeth work together on each case we accept, providing our clients with efficient and effective defense.
When you work with our firm, we will explain your legal options and walk you through the entire justice process, step-by-step. One of our team members will take the time to answer any questions you may have along the way and keep you up-to-date on every aspect of your case.
While we can step in and help at any stage of your case, the sooner you enlist our help, the better we can serve you. For example, if you call us soon after the arrest, we can attend the first appearance with you and either present evidence that sways the judge or prosecutor to drop the case, or at least ensure you get a fair bond. The sooner you contact us, the more time we have to collect evidence and prepare.
Because our defense lawyers have a background in both prosecution and defense, we know how the state handles assault and battery cases and where to look for potential weaknesses in the case. We can negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges, secure a plea deal, or push for reduced penalties, depending on the situation. If the case continues to trial, we will craft a solid defense and come to court, fully prepared.
Talk to Our Assault and Battery Lawyers in Sarasota Today.
If you are facing assault or battery charges, avoiding incarceration and a damaging conviction are your top priority. Get the legal defense you need in Sarasota. Explore your options today with Goldman Wetzel by calling 941-405-5193 and requesting a free consultation with one of our assault and battery attorneys.