Is Assault a Felony? 

 July 5, 2013

By  LMW Attorneys

If you’ve been charged with assault in New Port Richey, Florida or the surrounding areas, it is important to contact a local attorney who can look out for your best interests and defend your rights. In Florida, the crimes typically considered to be “assault” by ordinary people are actually divided into different crimes, which are assault and battery.

Both assault and battery can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

In Florida, the distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor may turn on whether the person is alleged to have a weapon, the accused person’s prior criminal history or the type of harm that results.

Misdemeanor assault occurs when a person makes an intentional, unlawful threat to cause harm to someone while having the apparent ability to carry out the threat and behaving in a way that would cause a reasonable person to believe that negative contact is immediate.

Assault does not require a physical touching. Aggravated assault is a felony, and it occurs when a person commits assault either while carrying a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony. For example, since robbery is a felony, a person who threatens another with the intent to rob him could be charged with aggravated assault.

Misdemeanor battery is either the intentional touching of another person without their consent or causing intentional harm to another person. There are various forms of felony battery. One type of felony battery is where a person has a prior conviction of assault, aggravated assault or battery.

Aggravated battery is also a felony. A person may be charged with aggravated battery if he uses a deadly weapon, if the victim is pregnant, or if the person caused great bodily harm to the alleged victim.

Because there are a variety of charges that the prosecutor can file, it is sometimes possible for an experienced criminal defense attorney to negotiate a deal where some charges are reduced. An attorney may be able to review the relevant evidence and talk to witnesses to determine the best possible defense for a given situation. If you have been charged with assault or battery and want to stay out of prison, contact LMW Attorneys today to schedule a consultation.