How to Reduce Assault and Battery Charges

Each year, out of every 1,000 assault and battery cases, 627 are reported to police and 255 reports lead to arrest. If you find yourself in the 255 per 1,000 people who have been arrested, you may be wondering if there is a way to reduce the charges of assault and battery being leveraged against you.

In this brief article, a Tampa assault and battery lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm shares three methods you may be able to use in order to reduce or eliminate assault and battery charges. Remember, the most important step to take when you have been accused of or charged with any crime is to hire an experienced attorney.

1. Plead to a Lesser Charge

If you’ve been charged with a simple assault, you may be able to plead to a lesser charge with the help of an assault and battery lawyer in Tampa, who will negotiate with the prosecutor. An example of a lesser charge would be disorderly conduct or public affray, especially if the incident was a shouting or shoving match or a scuffle between two equally matched people. For example, this may be an option if the fight was not serious.

In order to be able to plead to a lesser charge, the accused must have a mostly clean criminal record. This is not an option if the incident involved serious violence, family or domestic violence, or was an attack on a vulnerable person (for example, someone with a disability). Your attorney will discuss with you any and all plea bargains that are available in your specific case.

2. Attend a Diversion Program

In Tampa, you may be able to attend a diversion program in order to reduce or change the charges of assault and battery. These programs include:

  • Adult Pre-trial Arrest Diversion Program (APAD) – APAD is a diversion program offered by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) that is offered before a trial. This may be an option for those who are being arrested days or even weeks after the fact.
  • Misdemeanor Intervention Program (MIP) – If the charge is a misdemeanor, you may be eligible for the MIP. If this is the first offense, candidates of the MIP are given an opportunity or notice to appear in order to accept responsibility for their actions, seek rehabilitation, and divert their cases from the criminal court system. The MIP in Hillsborough County is administered and supervised by the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office for this judicial circuit. Eligibility requirements and approval for entry into the MIP program can be determined at the arraignment.
  • Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) – PTI is run by the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC). PTI gives first-time felony offenders the opportunity to avoid a conviction by diverting the case from the trial court process after an arrest. Defendants charged with a qualifying third degree felony may be approved for this program.

3. Hire an Experienced Attorney

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. However, none of these defenses will be easy or clear without the assistance of an experienced Tampa assault and battery attorney.

Contact The Rickman Law Firm to learn the best defense strategy for your assault and battery case, including whether you are a candidate for reducing charges or attending a diversion program.

For a free consultation with a Tampa assault and battery attorney, 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.

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