It is not unusual to hear someone refer to a crime that involves physical violence as “assault and battery,” but while the two crimes are often discussed together, the two offenses are actually different. Florida law defines assault as the threat of imminent physical violence and battery as the unwanted touching of another. Though battery often results in bodily harm, it does not always have to result in injury for the law to charge unwanted contact as battery. Florida treats accusations of both assault and battery very seriously. FindLaw explores the consequences in more detail.

The consequences of assault or battery depend on the nature of the crime and how the prosecutor categorizes it. For instance, simple assault, which refers to the intentional and unlawful verbal or physical threat to cause harm, is a misdemeanor of the second-degree. A second-degree misdemeanor may result in a jail term of up to 60 days and a monetary penalty of up to $500. Aggravated assault involves the use of a firearm to threaten another person and is a third-degree felony. In Florida, a third-degree felony conviction can lead to a five-year prison term and a fine of no more than $5,000.

In Florida, simple battery is a misdemeanor of the first-degree. A conviction of simple battery may lead to a prison term of up to one year and a fine that may not exceed $1,000. Felony battery is a third-degree felony, a conviction of which can lead to a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. The state charges aggravated battery as a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony may result in a prison term of no more than 15 years and a fine that does not exceed $10,000.

This article is for learning purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.