Assault, Battery and Domestic Violence
Assault is punishable as a second degree misdemeanor (not more than 60 days in jail and a $500 fine). An Assault occurs when a person threatens to commit some type of violent act against another person. Not all threats will be considered an Assault. The person making the threat must have the ability to carry it out. The threat must also create a reasonable fear in the victim that violence is imminent.
In most circumstances, the crime of Battery is a first degree misdemeanor (punishable by not more than 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 fine). Battery occurs when a person touches or strikes another person without that person’s consent. Battery can occur even if one person simply touches another person on the shoulder without permission. Do not think that you cannot be charged with Battery simply because the victim did not receive any visible signs of injuries.
Domestic Violence Battery occurs when the battery is against a family member. Once an accusation of Domestic Violence has been made, it is very hard to take back. The State will often proceed with Domestic Violence cases even if the victim does not wish to go forward with the charges. A charge of Battery carries an enhancement. This means that the penalty may become more severe if you have previous conviction of Battery. For example, if you have already been adjudicated of committing misdemeanor Battery and are subsequently arrested and charged with another charge of misdemeanor Battery, the State may bring felony charges against you.
If convicted of Domestic Violence you could be sentenced to any combination of the following:
• Jail time
• Fines and court costs
• No contact with the victim
• Community service
• Anger management
• Domestic violence counseling
The State of Florida handles accusations of Domestic Violence, Battery and Assault very seriously in an effort to protect its citizens. Due to the vigorous prosecution of these types of cases, it is important that you have experienced legal counsel to act on your behalf if ever charged with assault, battery or domestic violence.