Anger is an emotion that may cause you to lose your cool. You may become angry at an offhanded comment from a stranger or at a threat of harm. When you fail to control yourself amid such a sweeping emotion, you may find yourself facing criminal charges.
Florida law does not lump assault and battery together. While these two terms often go hand in hand, they do not warrant the same type of charge in all circumstances. While someone may assault someone, battery may never happen and vice versa. To ensure that you understand these charges, take a look at how the police determine which one applies to any given situation.
Assault is a threat
Assault my elicit images of a fight or riot. However, under the law, assault does not refer to physical contact. Assault is the threat of harm to an individual. The person you threaten must believe that you will make good on the statement, and as such, he or she must feel like you are a danger. Hostile remarks about hurting someone, with either a fight or a weapon, may result in assault charges of varying degrees.
Battery is the act
When a threat goes beyond verbal remarks, it may become battery. If you physically act against another person and cause injury, you may face battery charges. This act of physical aggression must occur without the victim’s consent. The level of your charge depends mostly on your previous criminal history, the kind of damage you inflict and if you yield a weapon. The legal system may charge you with felony battery if you have prior convictions. Aggravated battery charges are often the result of inflicting severe bodily damage on the victim or using a deadly weapon.
A criminal charge may significantly alter the course of your life. As such, you must engage the services of someone who may help you through it.