One of the most common criminal charges in the State of Florida includes assault and battery. While often referred to as Assault and Battery, these are actually separate criminal offenses.
Criminal Assault: According to Florida Criminal Statute §784.011, assault is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
Criminal Battery: According to Florida Criminal Statute §784.03, the offense of battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Assault and battery crimes often occur as a result of the escalation of a disagreement between two or more individuals, in domestic disputes, or crimes of opportunity such as theft, robbery, or confrontations relating to other criminal activity.
There are also varying degrees of assault and battery crimes based on the circumstances and the severity of injuries which are caused. For example, weapons can elevate the severity of the offense to aggravated assault or battery.
When law enforcement investigates allegations of assault and/or battery, many times the eyewitnesses may not have seen beginning of the event in question, and report what they observed, and who they perceived as the aggressor.
These witnesses are occasionally the reason for mistakenly arresting the wrong person. This often leads to individuals who was defending their self or protecting another being arrested on charges of assault and battery.