The state of Florida charges individuals with battery when they unlawfully engage in physical contact with another person. The type of battery charge may range from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, and the specific charge depends upon the type of physical weapon and your previous battery history.
Assault or battery
When discussing assault or felony topics, people often question the difference between assault and battery. You commit assault when you do something that makes someone fear they will be harmed. You commit battery when you physically touch someone unlawfully.
To qualify as a misdemeanor, you must not have any previous battery convictions. A conviction of misdemeanor battery may result in fines of up to $1000 and up to one year in jail.
In order to be found charged with felony battery in Florida, your actions must meet one of the following criteria:
- Cause major disfigurement, harm or disability
- Involve strangulation during a domestic battery incident
- Be an additional battery offense after previous convictions
Felony battery is a third-degree felony and may result in up to five years in prison. You may also face up to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine.
Florida classifies aggravated battery as a second-degree felony. As a result, the potential penalties for aggravated battery include up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
The battery becomes aggravated in the following situations:
- You used a deadly weapon.
- You committed battery on a pregnant victim.
- You acted with the intention to cause harm.
Battery convictions in Florida
Although the differences between types of battery may sound complex, the court will pay close attention to the severity of damage sustained by the victim, your intention to cause harm and the presence of a weapon. Understanding the differences between the types of battery in Florida may help you build the right type of defense against the charge.