Assault & Battery
Jessica J. Travis has taken all types of assault and battery charges to jury trial and is familiar with the defenses.
Defenses to Assault & Battery Charges
Typical defenses to assault included:
- No intent to threaten.
- Apparent inability to carry out threat.
- Victim did not take threat seriously.
- First Amendment – Words were merely offensive, which are not prohibited, rather than communicating a threat.
- Self-defense – Words were reasonable to ward off the imminent use of force by another.
Typical defenses to battery include:
- No intent – accident.
- Mutual combat – By engaging in a mutual fight, the other party consents to the touching.
- Self-defense – Degree of force used was reasonable to ward off force by another.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law
Self-defense allows a person to use a force to defend against imminent bodily harm or death. However, the use must be reasonable:
- The person’s belief that defensive conduct is necessary must be reasonable under the circumstances, and
- The defensive conduct must be a reasonable degree of force in comparison to the threat.
Conversely, a person is NOT justified to use force if:
- A reasonable person would not believe force is necessary, or
- The force used is excessive.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law clarifies when it would be reasonable to use force:
- Deadly force is presumed reasonable in scenarios involving unlawful entries into homes or vehicles.
- There is no duty to retreat if the person being threatened with death or great bodily harm and is in a location where they have the right to be.
- Florida Statutes, Section 776.013.
If a defendant is entitled to stand his ground, the case is dismissed and never makes it to jury trial. If the Defendant loses his Stand Your Ground hearing, the case proceeds to jury trial where he can still claim self-defense.
Types of Assault & Battery Charges
Assault does not involve touching but is:
- An intentional threat (word or conduct) to do violence
- Coupled with an apparent ability to do violence
- Plus some act
- Which creates a well-founded fear in the other person that violence is imminent.
- Florida Statutes, Section 784.011.
Assault can be simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Firearm or Assault on a protected person (law enforcement, medical provider or person over 65 years old).
Battery does involve touching and is either:
- Actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against their will, or
- Intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.
- Florida Statutes, Section 784.01.
Examples of Battery include simple Battery, Domestic Violence Battery, Felony Battery, Aggravated Battery or Battery of a protected person (law enforcement, medical provider or person over 65 years old).
Penalties for typical Assault & Battery Charges
- Assault (simple), 2nd degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days jail.
- Aggravated Assault (deadly weapon or with intent to commit felony), 3rd degree felony: Up to 5 years in prison.
- Battery (simple), 1st degree misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail.
- Felony Battery (2nd simple or domestic by strangulation), 3rd degree felony: Up to 5 years in prison.
- Aggravated Battery (deadly weapon or great bodily harm), 2nd degree felony: Up to 15 years in prison.
- Assault (simple) on Law Enforcement Officer, 1st degree misdemeanor: Up to 12 months jail.
- Battery (simple) on Law Enforcement Officer, 3rd degree felony: Up to 5 years in prison.
- Aggravated Assault of Law Enforcement Officer, 2nd degree felony: Mandatory minimum of 3 years; Up to 15 years in prison.
- Aggravated Battery of Law Enforcement Officer, 1st degree felony: Mandatory minimum of 5 years; Up to 30 years in prison.
Jessica J. Travis has argued Stand Your Ground motions and other defenses for her clients. Call The Travis Law Firm, PLLC to discuss your self-defense or Stand Your Ground case in Brevard County, Florida: 321-728-7280.