Assault and Battery are separate crimes and carry separate penalties.  A person can be charged with assault when they threaten to harm another person and appear to be able to carry out that threat.  A battery occurs where one person actually touches or strikes another person.  It is not necessary to cause harm to the other person for a battery to occur; rather the simple act of intentionally touching another person against their will can suffice.  Domestic battery occurs where the people involved are related (by blood or marriage), have children in common, live together as a family or have lived together as a family in the past.

Assault is a second degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail or 6 months of probation.  Battery is a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in the county jail.

The crimes of Assault and Battery can become more serious depending on the exact circumstances of each case.  For instance, when an Assault or Battery is committed with a deadly weapon or when the victim is a police officer, pregnant or over 65 years of age, the crime becomes a felony and a prison sentence may be imposed.  A previous conviction for Battery can also enhance the severity of the crime.

Click here to read the Florida Assault Statute

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