Florida criminal law – the law of assault & battery.
NOTE: Domestic Violence often involves a charge of Aggravated Assault (Domestic Violence), Assault (Domestic Violence), Aggravated Battery (Domestic Violence) or Battery (Domestic Violence) – here is a sample of the actual statutes:
(1) 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.
(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
784.021 Aggravated assault.–
(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:
(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
(b) With an intent to commit a felony.
(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
784.03 Battery; felony battery.–
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
784.041 Felony battery.–
(1) A person commits felony battery if he or she:
(a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
(b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
(2) A person who commits felony battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
NOTE: This is not the entire list of Domestic Violence Laws in Florida. We have left out such things as mandatory minimums for the presence of children, murder statutes, and Domestic Violence by Strangulation. These are just the most common forms of Domestic Violence that are charged under Florida law. You should NOT proceed on any variant of Domestic Violence on your own, and should be aware of what to do and what NOT to do when facing a domestic violence or domestic abuse charge of any type.
784.045 Aggravated battery.–
(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
2. Uses a deadly weapon.
(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
There are many enhanced versions of Assault and Battery. For example, any variant that involves Domestic Violence is more serious, as is one that involves law enforcement officers, correctional officers, health care professionals and other first responders, just to name a few. Aggravated Battery by itself scores over 44 points on the Florida Punishment Code and is a ‘mandatory prison sentence’ offense, subject to certain departures from the Code.
This section of Florida state criminal law is provided for informational purposes only. This section does not include case law construction and is not intended to constitute legal interpretation nor advice.