Aggravated Assault & Battery Charges
Assault and battery are actually two separate crimes. Assault is essentially the threat to commit violence, which translates to words or actions that could lead to violent acts. Battery, on the other hand, is described as offensive physical contact. The actions that qualify as battery include everything from seemingly non-violent forms of contact, such as spitting or poking, to savage beatings that leave a person incapacitated. These crimes are treated very seriously in Florida, especially when they contain aggravating factors or factors that make the assault or battery more serious.
If you are facing aggravated assault & battery charges, you are likely worried about the penalties that could follow a conviction. The consequences for these crimes are serious and can include paying massive fines and spending years in state prison.
Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel of Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. recognizes that these charges can be overwhelming and she will work tirelessly to protect your freedom so that can go on with your life. Attorney Valcarcel has spent her career as both a prosecutor and a defender. She can use her understanding of the prosecution’s strategy in order to craft a winning defense.
Understanding Aggravated Assault and Battery
Aggravated assault is any threat of violence committed with a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony. With any assault case, the intent to injure the victim is not relevant. All that matters is that the perpetrator intended to make the victim believe that an attack was imminent. Actions that are considered aggravated assault include, but are not limited to:
- Pointing a handgun at an individual in order to make that person fear for their life
- Driving towards someone walking down the sidewalk to make them believe that they might be hit
- Holding a knife near a person’s throat to inspire fear of an injury
- Screaming threats at someone while holding a dangerous object
According to Florida law, aggravated battery involves harming another human being with a deadly weapon or causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement. A battery charge is also considered to be aggravated when the victim is pregnant. This crime is far more serious than aggravated assault, with heavily enhanced penalties. Examples of aggravated battery are listed below:
- Committing simple battery on a pregnant woman
- Attacking someone with an axe
- Shooting someone and them becoming paralyzed as a result
- Inflicting serious burns that result in disfigurement
Criminal and Collateral Consequences
In most cases, both aggravated assault and aggravated battery are filed as felonies. Common criminal penalties for both of these crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Aggravated Assault: A fine of up to $5,000 up to 5 years of probation, and up to 5 years in prison.
- Aggravated Battery: Mandatory prison, with sentences of up to 15 years or more.
In addition to criminal consequences, there are collateral effects of a criminal conviction that can last a lifetime. Furthering your education may be stifled once you are released from prison, as most colleges and universities thoroughly vet all applicants. You may also have difficulties starting a career. Employers do not jump at the chance to hire someone with a criminal record.
Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Today
With the help of an experienced defense attorney, it may be possible to get your charges thrown out in court. One effective defense is claiming that you acted out of self-defense. Perhaps you were being threatened or attacked by an assailant, and the only way to protect yourself and your loved ones was to make threats or fight back. It is also possible that you are simply the victim of mistaken identity. The unreliability of eyewitness accounts is well known, and it is possible that you were mistaken for the perpetrator in a police lineup.
If you are sent to prison, your family may not be able to survive without you, and your relationships with family and friends will be permanently altered. Do not be taken advantage of. If you would like to stay out of jail and fight for your innocence, contact a veteran Sarasota assault attorney at (941) 363-7900 today. Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. will work diligently to evaluate every detail so that your case is presented in the best possible light.