Can I Be Criminally Charged for Threatening Someone?

When we picture assault and battery charges, we often think of someone hitting someone else. While striking someone is a criminal offense in Florida, that doesn’t encompass both assault and battery charges. In this blog post, we will determine if threatening someone in Florida can result in criminal charges.

Florida Battery Charges

In Florida, assault and battery charges are two different things.

Florida battery charges are defined as:

  • Actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against their will; or
  • Intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.

Therefore, battery charges are crimes where someone strikes someone else. However, if battery charges encompass situations where people hit each other, what are assault charges?

Florida Assault Charges

In Florida, assault charges have nothing to do with actual violence, but the threat or perception of potential violence. Florida assault charges are defined as, “intentionally threatening someone by word or act to do violence against them, coupled with an apparent ability to do so.”

As you can see, Florida assault charges have two separate parts. First, the accused must threaten someone with violence. Second, the threat must be viable; as in the accused must have the ability to “make good” on the threat. Therefore, if the action stated in the threat isn’t possible, then the accused cannot be charged.

Representation for Assault Charges

In this blog post, we learned that Florida citizens could be criminally charged for threatening others; therefore, you’ll want to think twice before you send a threatening message to someone else. If you or a loved one is charged with assault, our Hager & Schwartz assault attorneys are here for you.

Call (954) 840-8713 now for a free consultation concerning your assault charges!
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