Most people don't think about things like the difference between assault and battery until they or a loved one is charged with one of these crimes. There are different levels of both charges. However, any one of them can carry significant penalties here in Florida, including jail time and fines.
Simple assault and simple battery are both misdemeanors. However, simple battery can result in a year behind bars and a fine of $1,000, while the penalties for simple assault are half that.
Aggravated assault and battery are both felonies. Aggravated battery can land a person in prison for 15 years, in addition to a $10,000 fine. Aggravated assault can carry a prison sentence of five years and a fine of $5,000.
Contrary to popular belief, an assault doesn't necessarily have to involve touching another person. It can involve any act that would make a reasonable person fear for his or her safety.
For an alleged act to be considered battery, it needs to involve some type of harmful or offensive touching of someone without his or her consent. In many cases, people are charged with both assault and battery. That's why you hear those two terms used together so often.
It's essential to know that any charge of assault or battery can potentially have a significant impact on a person's future. The charge may have resulted from an argument that got out of control or even from a person feeling threatened by something that was said to them. Regardless of the circumstances, it's important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible.
At Michael A. Gottlieb PA, we bring our quarter-century of experience in working to protect our clients' rights and building a solid defense to help them deal with the charges they're facing. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and find out how we can help you.