Assault Defense

If you have been arrested or charged with assault, under Florida law this is a serious crime, and you need to retain an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense matters. Most people believe that assault and battery are the same thing. Although they often occur within a single incident, the two actions are actually separate and distinct crimes. Simply put:  Assault is an illegal threat to do bodily harm; Battery is an unlawful touching or striking.

Assault is defined as threatening a person with bodily harm and perceived as being able to carry out the threat and cause harm. This action can be done verbally or by displaying an act that would cause someone to reasonably feel they are in imminent danger of suffering injury or even death. Arguments between individuals often escalate and threats are exchanged back and forth. The law views this as a crime and an individual can be charged for simply raising a fist to someone, thereby threatening them with the use of force, even if, in your own mind, you really did not intend to actually strike the person. This imminent threat of bodily harm by physical action is an assault upon the individual. Whether you have been arrested and charged with assault or with assault and battery, you need to retain legal counsel skilled in criminal defense matters. Michael Atter is an experienced criminal defense attorney with over 30 years of representing individuals accused of a crime. We understand the ramifications of being involved in the criminal justice system and know prosecutors don’t take your charges lightly. Protect your freedom and your record by consulting with Wood, Atter & Wolf P.A.

AssaultAssault is defined by Section 784.011 of the Florida Statutes as the "intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent".

The crime of assault is a second-degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 60 days imprisonment and a fine of $500.00.

Aggravated AssaultAggravated Assault is defined by Section 784.021 of the Florida Statutes as the underlying crime of assault coupled with; (a) a deadly weapon without the intent to kill; or (b) with the intent to commit a felony. The crime of aggravated assault in Florida is a third-degree felony punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000.00 fine.

By simply picking up an object that could inflict serious harm to a person and threatening them, you could be committing this crime.

Simple BatteryBattery and Felony Battery is defined by Section 784.03 of the Florida Statutes, when a person intentionally touches or strikes another person against his or her will and intentionally causes harm to that person. Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable with up to 1 year of imprisonment and a $1,000.00 fine.

A simple battery becomes a Felony when a person with a previous conviction for battery commits any second or subsequent battery. Felony battery in this instance is a third-degree felony punishable with up to 5 years of imprisonment and a $5,000.00 fine.

Felony Battery; Domestic Battery by StrangulationFelony Battery and Domestic Battery by Strangulation are defined by Section 784.041 of the Florida Statutes. Felony Battery commits a simple battery upon another AND  causes them great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. Felony battery in this instance is a third-degree felony punishable with up to 5 years of imprisonment and a $5,000.00 fine. It does not matter that the type of touching or striking another is so light that it would not normally be expected to cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement. It the actual extent of the physical injuries that matter.

We have represented a defendant who punched a classmate in a fight and the classmate suffered a stroke as a result. Although this is not the type of injury that would naturally occur in a fight, the defendant was charged with felony battery. This charge does not require you intended to cause the harm, only that you intended to make the contact.

Domestic battery by strangulation, on the other hand, is fairly self-explanatory. This includes a battery against a family or household member or someone with whom you are in a dating relationship. This type of battery is also a third-degree felony punishable as previously covered in this section.Aggravated BatteryAggravated battery as defined by Section 784.045 of the Florida Statutes, occurs when a person, while committing a battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement or uses a deadly weapon against a woman they know to be pregnant at the time. Some items, such as a gun or a knife, are obviously “deadly weapons.” However, even something as innocuous as a shoe can be a “deadly weapon” if it is used in a manner that is likely to cause great bodily harm.

Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony punishable with up to 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000.00 fine.

Why Choose Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.?With the use of deadly force becoming so prevalent in our society, what might have been perceived as an altercation years ago, a simple argument, a fist or two flying has now become a menacing reality. When someone is accused of assault and battery in many cases law enforcement sees this as a preliminary step towards committing a much more serious crime. How many times have we read about a simple fight that ensues only to find out that later this assault and battery escalated into the use of deadly force or even worse, a murder. If law enforcement is called to the scene, in most cases, if a crime has been suspected someone is going to jail, even if it is to prevent the situation from becoming more serious.

In most cases, assault and battery charges are challenged by the use of self-defense, the defense of another or by consent. Under Florida law, an individual is allowed to defend himself or herself by matching equal force with force, meaning you can defend yourself in a reasonable manner depending on the force that you are faced with. You can defend yourself by non-deadly force if you are confronted with non-deadly force. You can use deadly force to protect yourself only when confronted with deadly force in most circumstances. But even a simple assault charge today could be brought by the “unwanted touching” of an individual by another. At Wood, Atter & Wolf we have defended every type of assault and battery charge imaginable. Because so much is riding on your case, you need the experience and counsel of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Wood, Atter & Wolf represents individuals accused of a crime in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. We have extensive experience in defending people accused of assault, aggravated battery, felony battery and domestic violence. Give us a call today at 904-355-8888 for a consultation.

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