Knowledgeable Orlando Defense Lawyer Fights Assault and Battery Charges

Aggressive defense to allegations of threats and physical attacks

These days it seems that everyone is on edge and a simple disagreement can quickly escalate into a shouting match or a physical altercation. If you suddenly find yourself facing criminal charges after such an encounter, you need a focused lawyer who can capably protect your rights while resolving the situation. For more than 25 years, The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. has helped clients in Orlando and vicinity obtain favorable outcomes in assault and battery cases. Mr. Yates is ready to help you achieve the best result possible, which can include the dropping of charges, a decision not to prosecute or a grant of probation or other lenient sentencing. If justice in your case requires a strong defense at trial, Mr. Yates has the skill and experience to fight for your vindication.

Florida law of assault and battery

It’s important to understand the distinction between assault, which is a credible threat of harm, and battery, which is offensive and unwelcome physical contact. Florida Statutes §784 defines the offenses as follows:

  • Assault — This offense is “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.” Simple assault as described above is a second degree misdemeanor.
  • Aggravated assault — An assault is aggravated when committed “with a deadly weapon without intent to kill” or “with intent to commit a felony.” This offense is a third degree felony.
  • Battery — A simple battery occurs when a person “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other” or “intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.” A first offense is a first degree misdemeanor. If an offender has a prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery, the offense is a third degree felony.
  • Aggravated battery — Battery is aggravated when it is done “intentionally or knowingly” and “causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement” or use of a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery, a second degree felony, also occurs if the offender “knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.”

Assault and battery crimes are subject to enhancement based on the protected status of the victim, such as police officers or health service providers, or a pregnant or elderly person. Assault and battery can be a federal offense if the victim was a federal officer in performance of official duties. Assault and battery charges can also lay the groundwork for a civil lawsuit for personal injuries claimed by the victim. Note that Florida also has a separate statute, §741.28, criminalizing domestic battery.

Assault and battery defenses in Florida

Persons accused of assault and battery may have several viable defenses, including:

  • Conditional threats — A defendant may claim that the threat to do violence was contingent on the alleged victim doing something and therefore was not “imminent.” For example, a father who tells a menacing individual, “If you lay one hand on my daughter, I will beat you unconscious,” is only threatening violence if there is a battery to the child.
  • Idle threats — To qualify as assault, a threat must seem real and the person making it must have the “apparent ability” to carry it out. When a person who is confined to a wheelchair threatens to beat someone up, there’s no reason to take it seriously. Threats that are obvious jokes also fall into this category.
  • Unreasonable fear — The law says the assault victim’s fear must be “well-founded.” If the victim simply lets his imagination run wild or is suffering from paranoia, there is no assault.
  • Self-defense — Every innocent person has the right of reasonable self-defense. In Florida, people under threat can stand their ground, meaning they do not have to retreat before they’re allowed to lawfully defend themselves. However, a person claiming self-defense must have a reasonable fear, cannot be the aggressor and must cease to defend himself once the threat has abated.

If your defense succeeds and the prosecutor drops the charges or you are acquitted at trial, your criminal defense attorney can then take further steps to seal or expunge the record of your arrest.

Contact knowledgeable defense attorney in Orlando for a consultation

Conviction of assault and battery can damage your reputation, compromise your freedom and expose you to civil liability for another person’s injuries. If you face such charges, call The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

attorney

Mr. Yates is a past-President of the Orange County Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association. He previously served as Chair of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 9th Judicial Circuit. 

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Testimonials

  • When I met Tad Yates, I was frantic, scared and misinformed about the legalities of my case. He quickly reassured me that everything was going to be alright and started at once preparing my defense. Every time I needed to speak with him, he was there to give advice and inform me the status of my case. As a result of his hard work, he managed to get my case dismissed and this blemish off my record. If you’re thinking of hiring or consulting with Mr. Yates, your in great hands.

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  • Tad is an excellent attorney. Due to a momentary lapse in judgement, I was put in a bad position and could not be more grateful that I hired Tad. From the moment I met Tad, I knew that I was in great hands! Tad explained to me all possible outcomes of the case and really helped put my mind at ease. In the end, I wound up with a very positive outcome and I owe it all to him. Tad was always available when I needed to speak with him and I couldn’t be happier that I hired him. Without the help and guidance of Tad, I’m not sure where I would be today. Tad is not only an amazing attorney, but an all-around great person!

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  • I do not have enough words to describe how amazing the experience with this attorney was. He works very hard to obtain the best results for his clients. I could not have asked for better services. I had exceptional fast results, I highly recommend this attorney. Thank you again, Tad Yates.

  • After consulting with several different highly recommended lawyers, I decided to hire Tad. It was a decision that would truly effect my life in a very profound way. Tad never promised results, he did however layout his experience and give me his word he would put all his effort into my case. I felt that was the honesty I deserved. He was sincere, honest, and reliable. Every time we attended court he seemed to hold a very good relationship with all the court's people. My case with Tad lasted about 9 months. There were many times I wanted to break down, not knowing what the results would ultimately be; however Tad always personalized my case and would constantly provide me with assurance of his efforts. He was always extremely accessible. This gave me a lot of peace. The results of my case ended up being extremely satisfying. I was looking at losing everything, for good. I now have my peace, my freedom, and I am currently very successful. Even after my case, Tad kept tabs with me and ensured I was doing as I should. There is a handful of people God put in my life of whom helped me get to the next level, there is no denying Tad is one of them.

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  • Tad came highly recommended. Set up a consultation and after meeting him, hired him immediately. Tad is extremely knowledgeable, efficient and truly cares. He was always available to speak and support during a very difficult situation. Although he has many clients, he always made us feel important and took the time necessary to ensure our questions were answered and that we were comfortable with strategy and next steps. He ultimately achieved the desired result and we are forever grateful.

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  • When I met Tad Yates, I was frantic, scared and misinformed about the legalities of my case. He quickly reassured me that everything was going to be alright and started at once preparing my defense. Every time I needed to speak with him, he was there to give advice and inform me the status of my case. As a result of his hard work, he managed to get my case dismissed and this blemish off my record. If you’re thinking of hiring or consulting with Mr. Yates, your in great hands.- A.

    I was referred to Tad by a friend of the family. They told me what he did for them and assured me that he would do the same for me. He exceeded my expectations from start to finish. He used his knowledge of the law, professionalism and relationship skills to have my case completely dropped. No plea deals what so ever. He never once doubted me however he did explain exactly what we had to overcome. If you find yourself in a situation that could impact you for the rest of your life, whether you did anything wrong or not I would encourage you to give him a call.

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Ratings & Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0

    Tad Yates is an experienced and knowledgeable attorney

    — Sole Practitioner