Assault and Battery are offenses that can be either misdemeanors or felony charges, depending on a number of factors. Assault is generally a threat to do violence to another person coupled with an action that creates a fear that violence is about to take place. Assault is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail. If a deadly weapon or a firearm is used during the assault, this could be charged as a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Additionally, because of Florida's 10/20/Life laws, aggravated assault with a firearm carries a 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.
Battery is generally touching or striking a person against his will. It is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Depending on the severity of the injuries inflicted, whether or not a weapon is alleged to have been used, and a person's prior record, battery can be upgraded to anywhere from a third degree felony (Felony Battery) to a first degree felony (Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon Causing Serious Bodily Injury).
What are the penalties for felony battery? A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. A first degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Additionally, the 10/20/Life laws apply to battery as well. That means that if a person is charged with Aggravated Battery with a Firearm, where the gun is discharged, a person faces a minimum sentence of 20 years. If there is serious injury inflicted as a result of a gun being discharged, that person could face a minimum sentence of 25 years to Life. (See Firearms Offenses)
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Assault and battery are both serious offenses that require experienced and aggressive representation from an attorney that is familiar with these crimes. It is beneficial to get to know the legal representative before you decide on hiring them. One way to get a better picture about the representation that an attorney provides is by reading reviews that previous clients have left.
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When a person is arrested for an offense of assault or battery, the State Attorney's Office reviews the case and decides what, if any, charges should be filed in the case. This is done very soon after the arrest. The penalties for assault and battery can vary greatly depending on what charges are actually filed. It is imperative that a lawyer is hired to present all of the facts to the State Attorney's Office before they decide what charges to file. This can sometimes result in lesser charges being filed, such as misdemeanor assault or battery, and it can sometimes result in no charges being filed at all.
Once charges are filed, it's important to hire an attorney to review the case and properly prepare the case for trial. This could mean obtaining a plea offer to a lesser charge, such as a misdemeanor, or it may mean taking the case to trial in front of a jury or judge. Hiring an attorney experienced in assault and battery cases is critical. Need a lawyer for an assault case in West Palm Beach? We tried hundreds of assault and battery cases and have experience advocating for his clients with the State Attorney's Office before charges are even filed. You need the most experienced criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach.
We may be able to help you, so call the Law Offices of Richard Tendler today at (561) 855-0255!