People often confuse the crimes of assault and battery. Basically, an assault is a threat by word or act to do violence to another while a battery is intentionally touching or striking another against their will.
An assault is a second degree misdemeanor but a battery is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
Aggravated Assault / Battery
Both assault and battery can become “aggravated” in which case they become felonies. Aggravated assault is an assault with a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony and is a third degree felony punishable up to 5 years in prison. Aggravated battery is a battery that causes great bodily harm, involves the use of a deadly weapon, or is committed on a pregnant female. It is a second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison.
Battery also becomes a felony when the person who commits the battery has a prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery or felony battery. For purposes of this law “conviction” means a determination of guilt whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered. This crime is a third degree felony punishable up to 5 years in prison.
Domestic Battery by Strangulation
This involves impeding the normal breathing or blood circulation of a family / household member or a person in a dating relationship. Domestic Battery is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
With certain felonies if a person carries, displays, uses, threatens to use or attempts to use any weapon or firearm the crime can be reclassified to a higher crime. Aggravated battery becomes a first degree felony punishable under this circumstance and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Battery or Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
Assault and battery committed on a law enforcement officer or firefighter performing their duty is also a third degree felony punishable up to 5 years in prison.
Please contact our Jacksonville, Florida assault and battery lawyers to learn more about how we can help.