The state of Florida takes all violent crimes seriously. While the category includes different types of crimes, including robbery and murder, batter and assaults account for the majority of violent crimes committed.
In 2020, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement noted that aggravated assault accounted for 60,828 of the 83,290 violent crimes committed. If faced with these charges, it remains important to understand the potential penalties.
1. How do battery and assault differ?
While often worded together, assault and battery have different definitions. The state defines assault as purposefully threatening to do violence, whether via words or actions, without physical contact. On the other hand, battery involves intentionally causing bodily harm to another person by touching or striking.
2. Do the penalties differ?
Cases considered simple assault or battery come with misdemeanor charges. For a second-degree assault charge, the penalties include a $500 fine, a 60-day jail sentence and potential counseling. The fine bumps up to $1,000 if classified as a first demeanor. Battery has more severe consequences. A first-degree misdemeanor means a $1,000 fine, a one-year jail term and a year of probation.
3. How do aggravated crimes affect the penalties?
Once a deadly weapon enters the scene, it may mean facing a second or third-degree felony charge. Aggravated assault penalties include a $5,000 fine and a potential five-year sentence. Those numbers triple for aggravated battery.
Many factors play into the severity of the penalties, including if a person has prior battery convictions. Additionally, some people may get charged with both assault and battery, which also affects the potential outcome.