Farkas & Crowley Site Header Logo

Call Us 24/7 at (561)-444-9529

Types of Assault

Types of Assault

Florida law currently defines assault as the “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.” The threat is a key part of the definition. There are two types of assault: simple assault and aggravated assault.

assault and battery

In simple terms, Florida law considers assault to be a threat made by one person against another person. So if you’ve ever witnessed an argument where one person threatens another, you’ve technically witnessed an assault.

Assault comes in both misdemeanor level and felony levels. In Florida we have Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault. Each type carries penalties with aggravated assault carrying felony level penalties including significant jail sentences. Simple assault is a threatening act that does not involve physical contact. Aggravated assault is more serious and generally involves a weapon with intent to kill and the threat to commit a felony.

Assault and Battery

It’s important not to confuse “assault” with “battery,” and while they get paired frequently in the media, the two charges exist separately in Florida. It’s very possible to commit an assault without battery. The battery refers to the actual physical contact. For example you threaten to punch someone by either word or an action such as bringing fists up. That is assault. Once you punch the person, that is the battery.

Assault can occur when one individual threatens another. Battery occurs when the person follows through on the threat and engages in physical contact with the other person. If you are charged with assault or assault and battery, you will want to get a good criminal defense lawyer.

Assault Types

  • Simple Assault

As stated above, assault can occur when one person threatens another while possessing the means to follow through on the threat. In simple assault, the person making the threat does not have a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife, baseball bat, or tire iron for example. Threatening to hurt the person may be enough to bring charges and conviction may occur if the victim was truly in fear that you would hurt them or follow through on the threat. The appearance of danger and the ability to engage in violence would be enough.

Keep in mind the threat in question would have to include the possibility of violence, so a Florida State fan threatening to decorate their University of Florida neighbor’s yard in FSU gear would likely not qualify as an assault from a legal perspective. They may get charged with other crimes such as trespassing or harassment however.

Examples of simple assault can include:

-Telling someone you’re going to punch, kick, or physically injure them.

-Holding an object in a manner that suggests you’re going to use the object to harm them. The object is not a deadly weapon though.

-Threatening gestures that simulate violence, such as throat slashing or punching.

  • Aggravated Assault

While holding any object while making a threat can qualify as assault, aggravated assault occurs when a person commits assault while holding an actual deadly weapon. It’s important to note that aggravated assault does not require the weapon to actually be used. If a person has a knife in their hand while making verbal threats, they have committed aggravated assault because the deadly weapon has been openly displayed and could be used at a moment’s notice. It is also a weapon recognized as deadly meaning its use can cause death.

Examples of aggravated assault can include:

-Driving a car at a person (a car can be considered a deadly weapon)

-Showing a gun while making threats

-Brandishing a tire iron in a road rage altercation

Even if the person holding the deadly weapon has no intention of actually using it, the charge of aggravated assault would apply. Displaying a deadly weapon could make the victim believe they could be injured very badly or killed.

Contact Farkas and Crowley – West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer

To learn more about assault types and charges under Florida law, contact Farkas and Crowley P.A. today. We are proud of our knowledge, experience, and rigorous defense of our clients.

Why Choose Us?

Certified by the Florida Bar

Experience in both defense & prosecution

Focus on criminal law

Aggressive, committed attorneys & legal staff ready to defend your rights

Recent Posts

Looking for a criminal law firm? Farkas & Crowley, P.A. are the attorneys for you. They are extremely knowledgeable of the law and go the extra mile for their clients. Their expertise and impeccable work ethic are hard to beat. Available 24/7. Highly recommended.

-Marla Newman

Get In Touch


500 S. Australian Ave.
6th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401


(561) - 444 - 9529


Mon - Fri: 9 am – 5 pm

Farkas & Crowley, PA

Criminal Defense & Family Law Lawyers