When you’re charged with assault, battery, or assault and battery, it’s easy to feel like you’re playing against a stacked deck. You’re innocent until proven guilty, but when friends, family, and lawyers are breathing down your neck, it doesn’t always feel that way. When you’re accused of a violent crime like assault or battery, consult a criminal defense attorney in Tampa to ensure that your innocence is preserved as you defend your actions in a court of law.
Assault and battery are serious crimes, so you want to be certain that your legal representation has your best interests in mind. By working with a skilled criminal defense law firm in Tampa from the Rickman Law Firm, you can avoid an unfair conviction and get your life back on track. In part one, we explored the definitions and qualifications for assault and battery. Now, we will continue to explore the differences between assault and battery.
There are three degrees of assault depending on the jurisdiction you live in, the details of the crime that has been committed, and the response of the plaintiff in the wake of the crime.
First degree assault: first degree assault, or “aggravated assault,” is the highest level of assault and receives the harshest punishment and penalties. An assault that is determined to be first degree causes grave bodily harm and exhibits extreme carelessness or indifference about the value of human life. First degree assault commonly involves a weapon or firearm.
Second degree assault: second degree assault can also include the use of a dangerous weapon, but it distinguishes itself by the aggressor’s level of intent to commit bodily harm to the victim.
Third degree assault: the least serious form of assault occurs when a person tries to injure another person but fails to do so, or they injure a person without causing physical harm.
First degree assault and battery is a felony. Although the exact punishments are determined by jurisdiction, this crime carries a punishment of 5 to 25 years in prison. Assault and battery in the second degree can result in 1 to 20 years in prison. Third degree crimes are usually classified as misdemeanors, which means the penalties are significantly more lenient; usually less than a year in prison or probation.
The most common defense against an assault or battery charge, regardless of jurisdiction, is mutual consent. This defense establishes that both parties acted violently in the situation and that the attack was not one-sided. Self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property are other common defenses that can help reduce your punishment or eliminate it all together.
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.