In our parents’ and grandparents’ generation, it was not uncommon for people to get into altercations, dust themselves off, shake hands, and maybe even become friends. Rarely, were the cops called and most fights didn’t end up in a criminal conviction, but all of that has changed. These days, there are strict laws in place in all states that criminalize violent offenses.
In Florida, many violent acts are criminalized under Florida’s assault and aggravated assault statutes which can be found under sections 784.011 and 784.021 of the Florida Statutes. Under Sec. 784.011(1), it reads: “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.”
A violation of this section, is a misdemeanor of the second degree in Florida, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Florida
As the name infers, aggravated assault is a more serious offense than assault, so as a result, the penalties are harsher. Under Sec. 784.021, someone commits the offense of “aggravated assault” if they use a deadly weapon with the intention to kill the victim, or if they commit the offense with the intention of committing a felony.
Aggravated assault is a felony of the third degree, punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000, and by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years.
Battery is another offense that is related to assault charges, though it’s different. In Florida, you can be charged with battery, felony battery, or aggravated battery instead of assault depending on the nature of the offense.
You commit battery under Section 784.03 of the Florida Statutes if you actually and intentionally touch or strike another person against their will or you intentionally cause bodily harm to another person. People are often charged with this when they cause a fist fight or “beat someone up.” Depending on the extent of the victim’s injuries, battery can be charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree, a felony of the third degree, or a felony of the second degree.