With its active nightlife and lively bar scene, it’s not uncommon for a fight to break out in downtown St. Petersburg. An altercation is inevitable when hordes of intoxicated strangers stumble into each other as they wander from bar to bar. In a matter of moments, harsh words can be exchanged, and it may seem only natural in that brief window to throw a punch. However, it only takes a single punch to destroy someone’s life.
While often paired together, there is a distinct difference between assault and battery, and they are, in fact, separate crimes. Nevertheless, those charged with either or both could face severe punishment. Someone engaging in a fight in the heat of the moment may soon be in need of an assault and battery lawyer in St. Petersburg.
Under Florida law, assault is defined as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so…” In layman’s terms, assault is essentially a threat with the ability to carry out the threat.
Battery occurs when someone “touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.” This offense can be accidental or intentional. Assault and battery are often discussed interchangeably because one usually precipitates the other. Typically, a threat is made (assault), then acted upon (battery).
As simple as the above definitions are, the circumstances and punishments that surround assault and battery charges can vary wildly. The extent of bodily harm, the use of a weapon, the age of the victim, the victim’s occupation, and the aggressor’s criminal history can all have a drastic impact on an assault and battery case. Depending on these factors, the penalty for being convicted of an assault and battery charge can include a five-year prison sentence, five years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.
No matter the circumstances, assault and battery charges are incredibly defensible. Those accused may have been acting in self-defense, engaging in a mutual fight, or may have accidentally brushed against another person. If you have been accused of assault or battery, it is in your best interest to contact Anthony Rickman, the best assault and battery attorney in St. Petersburg. Once a prosecutor himself, Anthony Rickman now uses his legal expertise to represent defendants who have been charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. Don’t allow a single moment to destroy your entire life. Contact The Rickman Law Firm for a free consultation.
For a free consultation with an assault and battery attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.