Dedicated Criminal Attorneys Representing Defendants in Pensacola and Beyond
Being involved in a criminal matter can be a daunting experience, especially if this is your first time being investigated or charged. At Cardoso Law, PLLC, we have provided knowledgeable legal guidance to Florida residents who are facing a wide range of charges, including assault and battery as well as domestic violence and related offenses. For most people, it can be tempting to speak to the authorities in an attempt to clear your name or to build good will. This can be disastrous, however, since it may do more harm than good when it comes to protecting your rights. With a Pensacola assault and battery lawyer on your side, you can be sure that your rights are being asserted and that the authorities are acting fairly. We ensure that each client receives thorough attention and vigorous advocacy, and we keep them informed at each stage of the proceedings.
Assault and battery are two terms that are often used together and even interchangeably. However, assault and battery are two different crimes that can be charged and prosecuted separately. An assault involves an intentional and unlawful threat by actions or words to do violence against another person. Assault also requires an apparent ability by the defendant to carry out the threat. In other words, the victim must have a well-founded fear that they are facing imminent physical harm.
This means that there are three separate components that the prosecution must establish in order for you to be convicted of assault: an intentional and unlawful threat, the apparent ability to carry out that threat, and a well-founded fear in the victim that violence is imminent. If the prosecution cannot establish all three elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant cannot be convicted of assault. An assault and battery attorney can assist Pensacola residents in making sure that the prosecution is held to this high standard.
Some types of assault may expose a defendant to enhanced penalties. Under Florida law, the crime of aggravated assault can be charged when a firearm is used in conjunction with the assault. There are also enhanced penalties involved when the assault is against an elderly person, a pregnant woman, or a law enforcement officer, among other situations.
A battery charge involves any offensive touching or striking of another individual’s person. Simple battery requires the prosecution to prove one of two things. First, the prosecution can establish battery by proving that the defendant actually and intentionally touched or struck another person without their consent. Alternatively, the prosecution must show that the defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim or another person.
A major component of establishing that the defendant committed battery is proving that they had the intent to batter another person. This means that any accidental touching or incidental touching that was not intended to cause a bodily injury to the victim does not constitute battery. As a result, lack of intent often can be asserted as a defense to a battery charge.
Another common defense is self-defense, which involves cases in which the defendant was acting out of a fear of imminent harm in striking the victim. Also, Florida has a Stand Your Ground law, which means that a person does not have a duty to retreat in certain circumstances, including when they believe that force is necessary to prevent great bodily harm or death to them or to another person. A criminal lawyer can assist you with determining which of these defenses may be likely to apply in your case.
Seek Guidance From an Experienced Pensacola Assault and Battery Attorneys
If you are involved in a criminal investigation or prosecution regarding an assault or battery charge, it is critical that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible, especially if you have already spoken with officers regarding the incident. There are numerous procedural rules that the police must follow to ensure that investigations are performed fairly and correctly, but they do not always pay proper attention to a citizen’s rights. Ryan M. Cardoso can ensure that law enforcement is held accountable for any violations of due process or other constitutional protections. As an assault and battery lawyer based in Pensacola, he has advised defendants in areas such as Pensacola, Cantonment, Century, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Milton, Navarre, and Pace, as well as elsewhere in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties. He provides a free consultation to help you learn about your options and how to protect your legal rights. Call us now at (850) 466-2073 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We are also available if you need a DUI lawyer or assistance in fighting other types of criminal charges.