Assault and Battery
Misdemeanor simple assault and battery.
A battery on an undercover police officer can still count as battery on a Law Enforcement officer if the undercover officer identified his or himself as a police officer.
OFFICER WAS OFF-DUTY AND OUTSIDE JURISDICTION
Ruggles v. State, 757 So.2d 632(Fla. 5th DCA 2000)
OFFICER IN PLAIN CLOTHES
Taylor v. State, 410 So.2d 1358(Fla. 1st DCA 1982)
784.07. Assault or battery of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentences
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Law enforcement officer” includes a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, a correctional probation officer, a part-time law enforcement officer, a part-time correctional officer, an auxiliary law enforcement officer, and an auxiliary correctional officer, as those terms are respectively defined in s. 943.10, and any county probation officer; employee or agent of the Department of Corrections who supervises or provides services to inmates; officer of the Parole Commission; and law enforcement personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the Department of Law Enforcement.
(b) “Firefighter” means any person employed by any public employer of this state whose duty it is to extinguish fires; to protect life or property; or to enforce municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes, as well as any law pertaining to the prevention and control of fires.
(c) “Emergency medical care provider” means an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, paramedic, registered nurse, physician as defined in s. 401.23, medical director as defined in s. 401.23, or any person authorized by an emergency medical service licensed under chapter 401 who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The term “emergency medical care provider” also includes physicians, employees, agents, or volunteers of hospitals as defined in chapter 395, who are employed, under contract, or otherwise authorized by a hospital to perform duties directly associated with the care and treatment rendered by the hospital’s emergency department or the security thereof.
(d) “Public transit employees or agents” means bus operators, train operators, revenue collectors, security personnel, equipment maintenance personnel, or field supervisors, who are employees or agents of a transit agency as described in s. 812.015(1)(l).
(2) Whenever any person is charged with knowingly committing an assault or battery upon a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, a traffic accident investigation officer as described in s. 316.640, a traffic infraction enforcement officer as described in s. 316.640, a parking enforcement specialist as defined in s. 316.640, or a security officer employed by the board of trustees of a community college, while the officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, intake officer, traffic accident investigation officer, traffic infraction enforcement officer, parking enforcement specialist, public transit employee or agent, or security officer is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(a) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(b) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(c) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years.
(d) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years.
(3) Any person who is convicted of a battery under paragraph (2)(b) and, during the commission of the offense, such person possessed:
(a) A “firearm” or “destructive device” as those terms are defined in s. 790.001, shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years.
(b) A semiautomatic firearm and its high-capacity detachable box magazine, as defined in s. 775.087(3), or a machine gun as defined in s. 790.001, shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years.
Notwithstanding s. 948.01, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, deferred, or withheld, and the defendant is not eligible for statutory gain-time under s. 944.275 or any form of discretionary early release, other than pardon or executive clemency, or conditional medical release under s. 947.149, prior to serving the minimum sentence.
Though Assault and Battery are often lumped together and mentioned together in conversation, they are actually distinct and different crimes. An assault does not have to occur for a battery to be committed and likewise a battery does not have to occur for an assault to be committed.
In plain English, a battery is any unwanted and unjustified touching or intentionally causing bodily harm to another, whereas an assault is when a person uses words, actions, and weapons to put another in imminent fear of harm. It is the 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 (Florida Statutes 784.011)
An Aggravated Assault occurs when a weapon is used as an instrument to create a fear in another that his safety was being endangered.
An Aggravated Battery occurs if a person is seriously injured or hit with a weapon even if the injury is minor.
No actual touching necessary to constitute assault or battery
A person can be arrested and convicted of battery, even if the victim was never touched and if something the person is holding or is inside of is touched. As long ago as 1784, the United States Supreme Court held that even striking one’s cane and not the person himself may constitute a battery (Respublica v. DeLongchamps (1784, U.S. Supreme Court) ).
In 1984, Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld one Defendant’s conviction of aggravated battery, although the defendant’s blade stabbed only the money bag that the victim was holding, and not the victim himself (Malczewski v. State, 444 So.2d 1096 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1984)).
As you can see, the law defines what is and is not assault and battery. Not every accusation of assault and battery has a factual or legal basis. Let me put my criminal trial expertise to work for you, reviewing your facts against current law, helping to make sure that your rights are protected to the fullest extent of the law, and ensuring that your side of the story gets heard.
Other assault and battery cases of note:
Grabbed person’s purse, but not the person, Nash v. State, 766 So.2d 310 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000).
“The word “person” in the statute includes an object that has such an intimate connection with the person as to be regarded as a part or extension of the person, such as clothing or an object held by the person.” Malczewski v. State, 444 So.2d 1096, 1099 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984)
Hitting a car with person inside, but did not touch or strike person, Clark v. State, 783 So.2d 967 (Fla. 2001)
How does the law define “domestic violence”?
Florida Statute 741.28 defines “domestic violence” as any:
- aggravated assault
- aggravated battery
- sexual assault
- sexual battery
- aggravated stalking
- false imprisonment
or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.