Assault and battery are two distinct violent offenses, both of which can result in imprisonment and fines if convicted. Oftentimes these types of charges arise when an argument gets out of hand, during a relationship dispute or argument at a bar. Whatever the situation, if you have been accused of assault or battery, protect yourself with help from the assault and battery lawyers in Tampa at Goldman Wetzel.
We have been helping defendants accused of all types of violent offenses in Tampa for over 30 combined years. We can provide the counsel and representation you deserve to best navigate your case. Contact us today at 888-727-4652 for a free consultation.
How Does Florida Define Assault and Battery?
Many people use these terms interchangeably or lump them into a single phrase, but there are important differences between assault and battery. Chapter 782 of the Florida Statutes defines the offenses as follows:
- Assault: “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.” If the accused had a deadly weapon or an intent to commit a felony when he allegedly made the assault, the state will escalate the charge to aggravated assault.
- Battery: “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.” If the accused caused great bodily harm or used a deadly weapon in the incident, the state will escalate the charge to aggravated battery.
In other words, threatening someone with harm coupled with the perceived ability to do so (e.g., threatening to stab someone while holding a knife) constitutes assault, and making actual physical contact or causing physical harm (e.g., actually stabbing someone) constitutes battery.
Will Goldman Wetzel Accept My Assault or Battery Case?
Our criminal defense attorneys have represented defendants in all types of misdemeanor and felony cases in Tampa and throughout the state of Florida. We have the skills, resources, and tenacity to successfully handle even the most difficult cases. Contact our office to discuss your case and inquire about how we can help protect your best interests.
Some of the cases we accept related to assault and battery include:
- Juvenile assault or battery;
- Simple assault or battery;
- Aggravated assault or battery;
- Domestic battery;
- Sexual battery;
- Felony battery and domestic battery by strangulation; and
- Assault or battery on protected persons, such as code inspectors, prisoners, detention center staff, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees, etc.
What Penalties Do I Face for Assault and Battery Charges?
Not all penalties are set in stone for each type of offense. Various factors impact sentencing, including the nature of the charges, the presence of aggravating factors, and the offender’s criminal record.
The Florida Criminal Punishment Code provides: “The penalty imposed is commensurate with the severity of the primary offense and the circumstances surrounding the primary offense,” and “the severity of the sentence increases with the length and nature of the offender’s prior record.” Also, judges typically have some degree of discretion when it comes to sentencing.
When we meet with you, we will explain exactly what your charges entail and the penalties you might face. Generally, convictions include imprisonment and/or probation, fines, and other sanctions, plus a permanently stained criminal record. Below are a few examples of punishments for assault and battery offenses:
- Assault: a second-degree misdemeanor, penalties include up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine;
- Stalking: a first-degree misdemeanor, up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine;
- Battery: a first-degree misdemeanor, up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine;
- Aggravated assault: a third-degree felony, up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine
- Aggravated battery: a second-degree felony, up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
How Can Goldman Wetzel Help with My Assault or Battery Case?
Our team has a sincere passion for protecting defendants’ rights and helping them navigate the often-confusing criminal justice system. We understand how scary this experience is and how damaging a conviction would be. Attorneys Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel will work in tandem on your case and provide you with the answers and tough representation you desire when facing violent charges like assault or battery.
When you enlist the help of Goldman Wetzel, we will investigate your case, weigh all the options with you, and determine the best defense strategy for your circumstances. If you call us for help right at the onset of your case, we may be able to sway the prosecutor from formally filing charges or expose errors or inconsistencies that prompt the judge to dismiss the case. In other situations, we may try to bargain with the state for lesser charges or penalties.
What Defenses Work for Assault and Battery Cases?
After reviewing your file and collecting the necessary data, our assault and battery lawyers will craft a solid strategy to fight the charges or mitigate the penalties. Assault and battery accusations are often exaggerated, heavily one-sided, or fueled by vindictiveness. We will identify any motives and key factors to use in your defense and create a plan of action.
Some potential defenses include:
- You were acting in self-defense;
- You were defending someone else or your property;
- False accusations (actual innocence);
- You had no intention to harm;
- There is a lack of evidence, e.g., no witnesses; and
- The other party provoked you.
Protect Yourself. Call Our Assault and Battery Lawyers in Tampa.
If you have been arrested for assault or battery, protect your future. Call Goldman Wetzel to speak to our lawyers in Tampa today: 888-727-4652.