Assault and battery are not normally charged to a person for the same action. To understand this, you must understand the differences between an assault charge and a battery charge. An assault is committed when you intentionally and unlawfully threaten another person by word or action to harm or do violence to the other person and it must be “coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear” that the violence in imminent to the other person (F.S. §784.011).

A battery occurs when you intentionally touch or hit another person against their will or you intentionally cause bodily harm to another person (F.S. §784.03).

If you threaten a person with a baseball bat, or swing and miss, this may be considered assault. If you actually hit him with the bat, this may be considered battery.

If you have a prior conviction for battery, including aggravated battery or felony battery, the punishment will be aggravated. A conviction means there was a determination of guilt in your previous case, even if adjudication was withheld or you entered a plea of nolo contender e.

Simple assault and battery are misdemeanors under Florida law but may be aggravated to felony charges if certain facts are alleged.

FS 784.011 Assault.–
(1) An “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.

(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.