The State of Florida’s description of domestic violence includes definitions for assault, aggravated assault, battery and aggravated battery. Simple assault or battery and aggravated assault or battery in Florida carry very different consequences for the offender. By understanding how Florida’s law influences your case, you can better understand your rights as a victim and what to expect during the process.
Simple Assault or Battery vs. Aggravated Assault or Battery in Florida
To earn an assault charge, a perpetrator’s action does not have to include an intention to injure. What is needed is the intention to induce fear of an immediate attack in the victim through intentional threats. These threats may include words or actions intended to cause a person to feel afraid of impending violence.
On the other hand, aggravated assault requires an attack with either a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony in criminal cases. The main difference between simple assault and aggravated assault? The use of a deadly weapon.
Simple battery and aggravated battery differ in a similar way. Simple battery includes cases of violent physical contact. Examples include punching another person or hitting someone with an object. Aggravated battery involves using a deadly weapon and intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to the victim. Aggravated battery charges may also be brought against an offender using a weapon against a woman who is pregnant at the time of the offense, but only if the offender is aware of the pregnancy.
Great Bodily Harm and Permanent Disability or Disfigurement
Great bodily harm means just that: causing harm greater than minor or slight harm. Examples of great bodily harm include profuse bleeding, broken bones or injuries requiring surgery. If the injuries leave the victim unable to function naturally, then it becomes a permanent disability. Permanent disabilities include a limp or back injury that limits a person’s activities, as well as injuries that limit the victim’s ability to speak, write or perform intellectual or physical tasks.
While permanent disabilities can affect the functioning of the victim’s mind, permanent disfigurement refers only to physical effects that alter a victim’s physical appearance. This includes visible scars, the loss of a limb, or broken bones that permanently change the victim’s looks.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
Using a deadly weapon raises a criminal charge from a simple assault or battery charge to an aggravated assault or battery in Florida. The term “deadly weapon” generally refers to an object or substance that is inherently deadly or dangerous. This includes weapons such as knives or firearms, as well as bleach or other caustic or toxic liquids. Of course, in the hands of an offender, even everyday objects can become a deadly weapon.
Consequences of Aggravated Assault or Battery
Domestic violence of any kind, especially aggravated assault or battery in Florida, carries severe consequences. More specifically, the state classifies them as third-degree felonies, which carry standard penalties. It is important to remember every case is different, so the exact consequences vary from case to case.
Typical penalties for third-degree felonies include:
- Up to five years in prison
- A maximum fine of $5,000
- As much as five-year’s probation
- An order for the offender to pay restitution
Call Craig Vigodsky to Defend You!
If you’re facing a domestic violence case or aggravated assault or battery in Florida, call Craig Vigodsky to represent you! With his extensive experience and knowledge, you can get down to the brass tacks of your case!