Violent Crime

Assault

What is assault? Assault is one person threatening another person with the use of force or violence. 


What is the punishment for assault? Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to 60 days in jail or six months’ probation. 


To prove the crime of Assault at trial, the State must prove all three of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:


1. The accused intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim.  


2. At the time, the accused appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat. 


3. The act of the accused created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place. 

Battery

What is battery? Battery is when one person touches another person without their permission.


What is the punishment for battery? Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to a year in jail or a year of probation.  A felony battery is a third-degree felony, and punishable by up to five years in jail or five years of probation. 


If you have previously been convicted of battery, your second battery accusation may be charged as a felony. 


To prove the crime of Battery at trial, the State must prove either one or the other beyond a reasonable doubt:   


The accused intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will,   


OR    


The accused intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim. 


To prove the crime of Felony Battery, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt: 


1. The accused actually and intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will; 


AND 


2. The accused caused the victim great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. 

Domestic Violence

If you are accused of a crime of domestic violence, there may be enhanced penalties. You may be required to complete the Batterer's Intervention Program pursuant to Florida Statute 741.281. If the victim suffered an injury, you may also be required to serve ten or more days in jail pursuant to Florida Statute 741.283. 


What is domestic battery? Domestic violence has a special definition. It means that the two parties are family or household members. Pursuant to Florida Statute 741.28, “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault is normally a third-degree felony; a violation of Florida Statute 784.021 and punishable by up to five years in prison or five years on probation. 


To prove the crime of Aggravated Assault at trial, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The first three elements define assault. 


1. The accused intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim. 


2. At the time, the accused appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat. 


3. The act of the accused created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place. 


4. The assault was made with a deadly weapon, OR The assault was made with a fully-formed, conscious intent to commit a felony upon the victim. 


If the circumstances were such as to ordinarily induce a well-founded fear in the mind of a reasonable person, then the may be found to have been in fear, and actual fear on the part of the victim need not be shown. 


A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.


It is not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant had an intent to kill.

Aggravated Battery

Aggravated Battery is normally a second-degree felony; a violation of Florida Statute 784.045 and punishable by up to 15 years in prison or 15 years on probation. 


To prove the crime of Aggravated Battery at trial, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt.  The first element is a definition of battery.


1. The accused intentionally touch or struck the Victim against his or her will OR the Defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the Victim 


AND 


2. The accused, in committing the battery, intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the Victim OR used a deadly weapon. 


A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.


A battery can also be enhanced to an aggravated battery if the victim was pregnant at the time of the incident. 

Attempted Murder

Attempted murder can vary from a second-degree felony to a life felony, depending on the severity of the crime charged. If you are charged with attempted murder or murder, you should seek out an attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights. These are serious accusations and the State will be seeking prison time. 


The State's requirements to prove the charge will be similar to a murder charge, with a special instruction on attempt. It can be difficult to understand, so have an experienced attorney go over the possible penalties with you. There may be a minimum mandatory prison sentence; it is important to determine whether you have any legal defenses or mitigating circumstances to resolve your case in the most favorable light. 

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Kerestes Law Firm PLLC

215 E Livingston St, Orlando, Florida 32801, United States

407-459-8415

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