In the State of Florida, Assault is defined as an instance of threat or harm, which leads to a victim’s fear of imminent harm. Assault only refers to the fear or threat of someone’s safety; it does not include any physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim.
Battery, however, refers to the actual physical contact between the defendant and the victim.
So basically, Assault would be if you cock your arm back to throw a punch, and the battery would be if you actually throw and land the punch.
While both of these are misdemeanors, they can both be enhanced to felonies if they are Aggravated.
In most occasions, an Assault becomes Aggravated when a weapon is used. This raises the misdemeanor to a 3rd Degree Felony. And the weapon has to be used in the Assault itself. For example, waving a gun in the air itself might not be an Aggravated Assault, but pointing it at someone would definitely be so.
There are a few ways to commit an Aggravated Battery. First of all, if you strike a pregnant woman and you know she’s pregnant, then it’s aggravated. It’s also raised to a 2nd Degree Felony if the simple battery causes great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement. For example, if you break a bone, it’s most likely going to be Aggravated. Finally, like the Assault, if you use a deadly weapon, the charge is enhanced.