As a criminal defense attorney I often have clients from Okaloosa or Walton County who have been arrested for assault or battery.  Both of these offenses are misdemeanors.  Each however has a felony counter part (i.e. aggravated assault, felony battery, battery by strangulation, and aggravated battery).

In Florida an assault is defined as: “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.”  ( See Section 784.011, Florida Statutes).

A Battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm. (See Section 784.03, Florida Statutes).

In Florida a battery constitutes a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to  no more than a year in jail or twelve months probation.  While jail time may not be required, the prosecutor will likely ask for probation,  fines/court costs and attend anger management if convicted in Okaloosa or Walton County as charged.  A domestic violence battery may entail more severe punishment.

Further, a person who is convicted of battery may face further implications as it is considered a violent criminal offense and could impact his or her employment status.

One of the most common defenses to a charge of battery is self-defense or justifiable use of non-deadly force.  Often the person who is arrested for battery may not be the initial aggressor but simply the person who caused the most injury or “threw the last punch”.

If you have been charged with battery in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, DeFuniank Springs, Crestview or anywhere else in Okaloosa County or Walton County I recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about your case.

About the author: Jeremy S. Keich is a practicing criminal defense lawyer with offices in Destin and DeFuniak Springs who has handled assault and battery cases during his tenure as a criminal defense lawyer.  To contact Mr. Keich please call (850) 460-2989 or visit his  professional website at for more information.

WARNING: No information in this blog should be construed as legal advise nor as an attorney-client relationship.