Gone are the days of getting into a fight with a neighbor and inviting them to a barbecue a month later. Striking another person in Florida can bring serious consequences.
Today, there are penalties for touching someone else without their permission, even if the injuries sustained are minor or nonexistent.
What are the charges for battery?
In Florida, courts may file charges for battery if you purposely strike or touch a person with their permission or intentionally cause bodily harm to someone. In most instances, the charges filed are for a misdemeanor in the first degree. However, other factors such as the defendant’s criminal history and whether the assault resulted in severe injury can impact the charges brought.
The penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor is up to one year in jail with a fee of no more than $1,000, and prosecutors in Florida tend to be harsh in battery cases.
Why are the penalties so severe?
In some states, battery entails actual harm to another, whereas in Florida prosecutors can pursue battery charges regardless of whether the victim sustained injuries. Specifically, if you hit someone but the person remains unharmed, you could still face charges for battery. This difference in the law allows for heavier penalties for incidents in which no one sustained harm than in other states that require injury in order to pursue these charges.
If you face battery charges in Florida, treat them seriously and consider consulting an experienced attorney. The court could penalize you heavily for an incident you considered minor.