Assault and Battery in West Palm Beach
The West Palm Beach metropolitan area is the 13th most violent city in the country. There are many violent crimes committed in Palm Beach County and assault and battery are two of the most serious. Most people think “assault and battery” are the same offense but technically “assault” and “battery” are two distinct and separate crimes.
Assault – An intentional, unlawful threat to cause bodily injury to another by force. An assault can be completed even if there is no actual contact with a plaintiff, and even if the defendant had no actual ability to carry out the threat. For example – a defendant who points a realistic toy gun at a plaintiff may be liable for assault – even if he was 20 feet away and had no ability to inflict any harm.
Battery – A battery is the willful or intentional touching of a person against that person’s will – or the use of an object or substance that is put in motion. Offensive touching can constitute a battery even if it does not cause injury, and could not reasonably be expected to cause injury. For example – a defendant who repeatedly pokes the plaintiff in the chest with his index finger to emphasize a point can be charged for battery. A defendant who spits on a plaintiff, even though there is little chance that the spitting will cause any injury other than to a plaintiff’s dignity, has committed battery.
Assault and battery laws in Palm Beach County are tough. Prosecutors are unforgiving. If you are faced with this charge – even if you think it was justified – you have an uphill battle to prove your innocence.
There are nearly 1,000 criminal defense attorneys in Palm Beach County but only a handful of them have assault and battery experience. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to assault and battery defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney will poke holes in the state’s case and persuade a jury if the case goes to trial. And if the criminal defense attorney has a good track record and is known and respected in the courtroom, the defendant will have a much better chance negotiating a deal. But remember – the burden of proof rests solely on the prosecution. If you had no “intent” to injure another person, the charges can be reduced or dropped altogether.
Your rights and your freedom are at stake – protect them and fight for them with a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney who has assault and battery experience.