Assault and Battery on Someone 65 Years or Older
Assault, aggravated assault, battery, and aggravated battery carry an additional penalty when the victim is 65 or older. For obvious health and safety reasons—for example, aging makes bones and tendons more brittle, according to MedLinePlus—senior citizens are given extra protection in Florida, and defendants charged with assaulting or harming senior citizens are heavily punished by prosecutors in the Sunshine state. In fact, the penalties for attacking an elderly person are enhanced by a full degree—first degree felony instead of a second degree felony, for example—if they are 65 or older. If you are facing assault or battery charges against a senior citizen, you need to take immediate actions to protect yourself from heavy fines, jail, and prison.
Assault Vs. Battery, and Aggravated Assault Vs. Aggravated Battery
Assault is a threat to cause harm to another person, either verbally or non verbally, while battery involves actual physical contact that causes harm. For example, assault would be throwing a punch at someone and missing them entirely. Battery would be throwing the punch and connecting, but not causing serious bodily injury. Aggravated assault involves the use of a deadly weapon. For example, aggravated assault would be to swing a golf club at someone and miss. Aggravated battery, on the other hand, is:
- Using a deadly weapon to commit battery;
- Causing serious bodily injury, disfigurement, or permanent disability; or
- Battering a pregnant woman.
Assault or Battery on a Senior Citizen is an Enhanced Crime
If a victim is 65 or older, the court will enhance the normal penalties for assault and battery. And, these following enhanced penalties are applied whether the defendant knew the age of the victim or not, under statute 748.08:
- Aggravated battery—second degree felony is enhanced to a first degree felony;
- Aggravated assault—third degree felony is enhanced to a second degree felony;
- Battery—first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony; and
- Assault—second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.
Furthermore, the mandatory minimum sentence for committing aggravated assault or aggravated battery against someone 65 or older is three years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Up to 500 hours of community service and restitution can also be added on. Not only will your reputation be ruined and your career prospects gone forever, but you could also face serious time behind bars.
A Port St. Lucie Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer is Here to Help Today
Being accused of attacking an elderly person (anyone over the age of 65 in Florida) often causes the accused to enter a state of shock. As such, you may reveal more than you should to the police, mistakenly say something false, or something you say can be taken out of context. Remember, the consequences are severe, and this is not the time to try to talk your way out of this situation. You need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact the Port St. Lucie criminal attorneys at Baginski Brandt & Brandt today at 772-466-0707 to schedule a free consultation.