Assault and battery are proscribed respectively in Florida Statutes § 784.011, and § 784.03. While assault and battery are commonly used interchangeably, they are actually two separate and distinct offenses.
Assault has essentially three elements:
A threat, by word or action, against another person.
An apparent ability to make good on the threat
An act in furtherance of the threat, e.g. taking a step toward the victim
It is important to note that with the offense of assault, the threat must be one of immediate harm, or the crime is not complete.
Assault often leads to battery, and battery is commonly viewed as a completed assault. A battery occurs when someone:
Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will
Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person
It is important to note that with the offense of battery, harm is not required. Battery also includes action against something closely connected to a person and causing harm to a person without physically touching them.
Depending on the circumstances, there are several different battery charges, including misdemeanor battery, aggravated battery, and felony battery. The severity of the charge and the applicable legal consequences vary.
If you need legal counsel concerning assault or battery charges, please contact Ben Bollinger at the number to the left or below. A Panama City native with a law practice in Bay County since 1996, Ben Bollinger is familiar with the intricacies of local law and dedicated to providing top-notch defense against criminal charges.