Assault and Battery Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL
Battery and assault accusations are both grave offenses with life-changing repercussions. If you are charged with these offenses, it’s crucial to invoke your constitutional right to remain silent and request an attorney. Without the legal assistance and defense of an experienced criminal defense attorney, your chances of walking free may be very slim.
Depending on your charges, the potential consequences can range from a few months in jail to ten years behind bars. A skilled assault and battery attorney in West Palm Beach can explain your charges, represent you throughout the legal process, and advocate for your freedom.
Our compassionate legal team at the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A., is just one click away. We will ensure you have the needed legal representation to fight the charges and get favorable outcomes.
Understanding Assault and Battery in Florida
Although assault and battery are connected offenses, they are not the same. However, they are used interchangeably because they usually come together, and one can easily escalate to the other.
Assault is defined under Fla. Stat. §784.011 as intentionally threatening a person with violence through actions or words. The perpetrator must have an “apparent ability” to carry out the threats, which reasonably causes the victim to fear for themselves.
Battery, however, is intentionally making actual physical contact with a person against their will, striking them, or causing them bodily harm, according to Fla. Stat. §784.03.
Aggravating factors, such as using weapons or causing a permanent disability, can increase the severity of these criminal charges.
Penalties for Assault and Battery
Assault and battery charges in West Palm Beach can have serious consequences.
- Assault penalties
An assault charge is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. Therefore, you can face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 maximum fine if found guilty.
Aggravated assault (Fla. Stat. §784.021) is a third-degree felony and involves assaulting a person while using a weapon with intent to commit a felony other than murder. If convicted, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
- Battery Penalties
Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Felony battery (Fla. Stat. §784.041) is a third-degree felony. The difference between simple and felony battery is the extent of the victim’s injury. If battery leaves the victim with great bodily harm, it’s a felony.
Domestic battery by strangulation (Fla. Stat. §784.041) is another third-degree felony, and it involves strangulating a family or household member or a romantic partner. If you are facing this charge, a domestic violence lawyer may be better suited to handle your case.
Aggravated battery (Fla. Stat. §784.045) is a second-degree felony involving the use of a deadly weapon or causing a permanent disability, great bodily harm, or permanent disfigurement to the victim. Upon conviction, you may face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Defenses against Assault and Battery Charges
There are effective defenses that can help when facing assault and battery charges. Here are some common defenses that may apply to your case:
- Self defense:
Your conduct may be justified if you prove that you believed you were about to suffer harm and took the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
- Property defense:
In some circumstances, you could have had to use force to protect your possessions. According to Fla. Stat. §776.031, you are allowed to threaten or use force to defend your property as long as it is not deadly.
- Defense of others:
This argument may apply if you used force to defend someone you believed was about to be harmed. However, the use of force must be reasonable and necessary.
- Lack of intent:
To be charged with assault or battery, the prosecution must prove that you intended to harm the victim. If it can be demonstrated that you had no intention of committing the alleged crime, this can help you.
A crucial element of assault and battery offenses is the lack of consent by the alleged victim. If you can prove that they consented to the act giving rise to the charges, your case may be dismissed.
How an Assault and Battery Attorney in West Palm Beach Can Help You
If you’re facing assault or battery charges, our West Palm Beach attorney at the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A., can make a difference in your case.
Here’s what we can help you:
- Providing legal guidance: We are well-versed in the ins and outs of Florida law and have extensive experience handling assault and battery cases. We will explain your charges and advise you on how best to act and proceed to get favorable results.
- Assessing your case: We will thoroughly go over the specifics of your case and every piece of evidence to weigh up your chances of success. We will then decide on the best course of action for you.
- Negotiating a favorable plea deal: If it’s in your best interest, we may negotiate with the prosecution for lesser charges and more favorable outcomes.
- Building a strong defense: We conduct our own investigation to gather favorable evidence and weaken the prosecution’s case. We then build a solid case to build enough doubt to get you out.
Contact Brian M. Carroll, P.A., Today
Charges of assault and battery put your freedom, future, and reputation at stake. Reach out to our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A., to get the legal representation you need and deserve.
Schedule your free consultation today.
What Is Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Battery?
In Florida, simple battery charges must be brought within two years. However, felony battery, domestic battery by strangulation, and aggravated battery have a statute of limitations of three years.
Can a minor be charged with Assault and Battery in Florida?
Minors can be charged with assault and battery but will probably face less serious consequences. If your minor child is accused of assault and battery, contact our juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible.