Assault & Battery
A battery is the unlawful touching of another, and an assault is the threat of committing an unlawful touching of another with the apparent ability to carry the threat out. An example of these charges is imagining someone pulling their hand back to strike someone and then following through and actually making contact. The act of pulling the hand back is an assault and once contact is made, assuming it was not warranted or allowed, a battery occurs. Both charges are misdemeanors, however when weapons or firearms are involved, or when serious injury occurs, then these charges elevate to felonies. These may seem straight forward and easy for the State to prove, but there are defenses that only the more experienced attorneys like Mark Lowry know to use to your advantage.
One such defense to an assault charge is that the State must prove the person charged had to “apparent ability” to carry out the threat. An example of this is when someone is outside a home while holding a knife and threatening to do harm to someone inside that home. Such allegations could bring the State to charge aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. However, as long as the person inside keeps the doors and windows locked, the person with the knife does not have the ability to carry out the threat, so this defense would prevail.
Another defense that is common to these types of charges is self-defense or the “stand your ground” defense. The stand your ground defense allows someone to use force when he or she “reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” Fla. Stat. §776.012(1). If that person feels they are about to be the victim of deadly force or a “forcible felony” then they can use deadly force in defense so long as they did not initiate the struggle.
As mentioned above, assault and battery are misdemeanors but can elevate to felonies with certain aggravating factors. These include possessing a weapon or firearm during the alleged assault or battery, when the person has prior battery’s in their history, or when the injury is serious or permanent. Aggravated assault charges are 3rd degree felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison, whereas aggravated battery charges are 2nd degree felonies carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years. These degrees and sentences can be higher if the alleged victim is a police officer or of course if the alleged victim dies from the injuries incurred.
Attorney Mark Lowry has the experience, knowledge and skill to properly defend these charges. After practicing as a prosecutor and defense attorney for over 16 years all over Florida, Mr. Lowry will give you the time and attention your case needs to achieve the best possible result. Should your case require a jury trial then Mark Lowry is ready and able to defend with aggression and skill as he has throughout his career. Contact Mr. Lowry for a free, no cost consultation to understand what he can do for you and help you better understand your charges.