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What's The Difference Between Assault & Battery?


Although they are commonly referred to as a single offense, assault and battery are actually two distinct crimes in Florida. Prosecutors will typically charge individuals with both offenses, but may only seek a conviction for one or the other. If you are facing these serious criminal charges, it is crucial to secure an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights and freedom.

Don’t face criminal charges alone. Call the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. today at (800) 798-0243.

What Is Assault?

An assault is essentially defined as a threat of violence made against another party. These threats can be verbal, or they can be implied through a person’s actions. In order for a threat to be considered assault, it must cause the victim to have a reasonable fear of imminent violence. Simple assault is a second degree misdemeanor, and a conviction can result in up to 60 days behind bars, among other penalties.

There is also a separate but related offense for aggravated assault, as defined under Florida Statute 784.021. This is the same as a simple assault, but involves the assailant possessing or wielding a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault can also be charged if the assailant intended to commit a felony. As a third degree felony, this crime carries much more serious consequences, including up to 5 years in prison!

What is Battery?

When a threat is made with the intent to harm, assault has been committed. When the assailant actually harms the victim, however, they have committed battery. Simple battery is a first degree misdemeanor, but can be elevated to a felony if any of the following are true:

  • If the assailant causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement
  • If the assailant uses a deadly weapon
  • If the assailant intended to cause great harm, or permanent disability/disfigurement
  • If the crime was committed against a pregnant woman

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