What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Florida?

Florida Criminal Assault Lawyer

If there is touching, it’s battery. Without touching, it may be assault.

The terms assault and battery are used interchangeably.  Many people believe that they mean the same thing.  They do not.  Florida law defines assault and battery separately.  The main difference is contact.  A battery involves some kind of contact.  It is obvious when you think about people fighting. They are throwing punches at each other.  They are kicking and slapping each other.  This known as Jacksonville affray or fighting if they are engaged in mutual combat.  If one person hits another person and it is not a mutual fight, this is a Jacksonville simple battery charge.  It could be a felony Jacksonville aggravated battery if a weapon is involved or there is a serious injury.  Battery on a pregnant woman and battery on an elderly person are also felonies in Florida.

Assault does not involve a touching.  There is no contact.  Basically it is a failed battery crime.  You are attempting to hit someone, but you do not make contact.  The other person must be aware that the battery is going to occur.  The other person understands that there is a threat.  An example of an assault is when someone throws a punch, but the other person ducks to misses it.  Assault is normally a misdemeanor.  Jacksonville aggravated assault is a felony crime.

What if you throw something at a person?  If it touches them, this is a battery in Florida.  If the person ducks and misses the objection, this is an assault.  Jacksonville Florida Assault and Battery Laws can be confusing.  If you have been arrested, you should talk to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer about your case.  A Jacksonville criminal defense attorney can help you understand your case and build a defense to your criminal charges.  You may call a Jacksonville lawyer with experience handling assault and battery cases by calling (904) 564-2525.  Speak to a Jacksonville criminal attorney at 20 Miles Law or send an email via Contact Lawyers.

You may read Florida’s assault law in Florida Statute Section 784.011.  It states, “An ‘assault’ is an 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.”  Battery can be found in Florida Statute Section 784.03.  This criminal law states that “the offense of battery occurs when a person” either “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other” or “intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”

About Cynthia, 20 Miles Law

Cynthia Veintemillas

Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer Cynthia Veintemillas Photo

Cynthia Veintemillas is an experienced Florida attorney. She began her legal career at the public defender’s office in Jacksonville, Florida. Her primary practice fields include criminal defense, litigation, and family law. She has also represented many people facing foreclosure in Duval County, Clay County, and St. Johns County, Florida.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Florida, 2006
  • South Carolina, 2007
  • Middle District of Florida, 2009

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • Florida Bar 
Member Since: 2006
  • South Carolina 
Member Since: 2007
  • Jacksonville Bar 
Member Since: 2008
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Comments are closed.