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The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 784
ASSAULT; BATTERY; CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE
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CHAPTER 784
CHAPTER 784
ASSAULT; BATTERY; CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE
784.011 Assault.
784.021 Aggravated assault.
784.03 Battery; felony battery.
784.041 Felony battery; domestic battery by strangulation.
784.045 Aggravated battery.
784.046 Action by victim of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence for protective injunction; dating violence investigations, notice to victims, and reporting; pretrial release violations; public records exemption.
784.047 Penalties for violating protective injunction against violators.
784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.
784.0485 Stalking; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement.
784.0487 Violation of an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking.
784.05 Culpable negligence.
784.062 Misuse of laser lighting devices.
784.07 Assault or battery of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentences.
784.071 Assault or battery on a law enforcement officer; missing while in line of duty; blue alert.
784.074 Assault or battery on sexually violent predators detention or commitment facility staff; reclassification of offenses.
784.075 Battery on detention or commitment facility staff or a juvenile probation officer.
784.076 Battery on health services personnel.
784.078 Battery of facility employee by throwing, tossing, or expelling certain fluids or materials.
784.08 Assault or battery on persons 65 years of age or older; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentence.
784.081 Assault or battery on specified officials or employees; reclassification of offenses.
784.082 Assault or battery by a person who is being detained in a prison, jail, or other detention facility upon visitor or other detainee; reclassification of offenses.
784.083 Assault or battery on code inspectors.
784.085 Battery of child by throwing, tossing, projecting, or expelling certain fluids or materials.
784.011 Assault.
(1) An “assault” 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.
(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 5, Feb. 10, 1832; RS 2400; GS 3226; RGS 5059; CGL 7161; s. 1, ch. 70-88; s. 729, ch 71-136; s. 17, ch. 74-383; s. 7, ch. 75-298; s. 171, ch. 91-224.
Note.Former s. 784.02.
784.021 Aggravated assault.
(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:
(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
(b) With an intent to commit a felony.
(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 2, ch. 3275, 1881; RS 2402; GS 3228; RGS 5061; CGL 7163; s. 1, ch. 29709, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-345; s. 731, ch. 71-136; s. 18, ch. 74-383; s. 8, ch. 75-298.
Note.Former s. 784.04.
784.03 Battery; felony battery.
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
History.s. 5, Feb. 10, 1832; RS 2401; s. 1, ch. 5135, 1903; GS 3227; RGS 5060; CGL 7162; s. 2, ch. 70-88; s. 730, ch. 71-136; s. 19, ch. 74-383; s. 9, ch. 75-298; s. 172, ch. 91-224; s. 5, ch. 96-392; s. 4, ch. 2001-50.
784.041 Felony battery; domestic battery by strangulation.
(1) A person commits felony battery if he or she:
(a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
(b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
(2)(a) A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person. This paragraph does not apply to any act of medical diagnosis, treatment, or prescription which is authorized under the laws of this state.
(b) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Family or household member” has the same meaning as in s. 741.28.
2. “Dating relationship” means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
(3) A person who commits felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-183; s. 1, ch. 2007-133.
784.045 Aggravated battery.
(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
2. Uses a deadly weapon.
(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-63; s. 732, ch. 71-136; s. 20, ch. 74-383; s. 10, ch. 75-298; s. 3, ch. 88-344.
784.046 Action by victim of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence for protective injunction; dating violence investigations, notice to victims, and reporting; pretrial release violations; public records exemption.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.
(b) “Repeat violence” means two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.
(c) “Sexual violence” means any one incident of:
1. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794;
2. A lewd or lascivious act, as defined in chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age;
3. Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787;
4. Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827; or
5. Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted,

regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney.

(d) “Dating violence” means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:
1. A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months;
2. The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and
3. The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

The term does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.

(2) There is created a cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of repeat violence, there is created a separate cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of dating violence, and there is created a separate cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of sexual violence.
(a) Any person who is the victim of repeat violence or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against repeat violence on behalf of the minor child has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against repeat violence.
(b) Any person who is the victim of dating violence and has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or any person who has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence, or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of that minor child, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence.
(c) A person who is the victim of sexual violence or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who is the victim of sexual violence has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the minor child if:
1. The person has reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and is cooperating in any criminal proceeding against the respondent, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the sexual violence have been filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney; or
2. The respondent who committed the sexual violence against the victim or minor child was sentenced to a term of imprisonment in state prison for the sexual violence and the respondent’s term of imprisonment has expired or is due to expire within 90 days following the date the petition is filed.
(d) A cause of action for an injunction may be sought whether or not any other petition, complaint, or cause of action is currently available or pending between the parties.
(e) A cause of action for an injunction does not require that the petitioner be represented by an attorney.
(3)(a) The clerk of the court shall provide a copy of this section, simplified forms, and clerical assistance for the preparation and filing of such a petition by any person who is not represented by counsel.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the clerk of the court may not assess a fee for filing a petition for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence. However, subject to legislative appropriation, the clerk of the court may, each quarter, submit to the Office of the State Courts Administrator a certified request for reimbursement for petitions for protection issued by the court under this section at the rate of $40 per petition. The request for reimbursement shall be submitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. From this reimbursement, the clerk shall pay the law enforcement agency serving the injunction the fee requested by the law enforcement agency; however, this fee may not exceed $20.
(c) No bond shall be required by the court for the entry of an injunction.
(d) The clerk of the court shall provide the petitioner with a certified copy of any injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence entered by the court.
(4)(a) The sworn petition shall allege the incidents of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought. With respect to a minor child who is living at home, the parent or legal guardian seeking the protective injunction on behalf of the minor child must:
1. Have been an eyewitness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eyewitnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought, if the party against whom the protective injunction is sought is also a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of the minor child; or
2. Have reasonable cause to believe that the minor child is a victim of repeat sexual or dating violence to form the basis upon which relief is sought, if the party against whom the protective injunction is sought is a person other than a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of the minor child.
(b) The sworn petition must be in substantially the following form:

PETITION FOR INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION
AGAINST REPEAT VIOLENCE, SEXUAL
VIOLENCE, OR DATING VIOLENCE

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Petitioner   (Name)  , who has been sworn and says that the following statements are true:

1. Petitioner resides at   (address)   (A petitioner for an injunction for protection against sexual violence may furnish an address to the court in a separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the petitioner requires the location of his or her current residence to be confidential pursuant to s. 119.071(2)(j), Florida Statutes.)

2. Respondent resides at   (address)  .

3.a. Petitioner has suffered repeat violence as demonstrated by the fact that the respondent has:

  (enumerate incidents of violence)  

        
        
        

b. Petitioner has suffered sexual violence as demonstrated by the fact that the respondent has:   (enumerate incident of violence and include incident report number from law enforcement agency or attach notice of inmate release.)  

        
        
        

c. Petitioner is a victim of dating violence and has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence or has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of dating violence, as demonstrated by the fact that the respondent has:   (list the specific incident or incidents of violence and describe the length of time of the relationship, whether it has been in existence during the last 6 months, the nature of the relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, the frequency and type of interaction, and any other facts that characterize the relationship.)  

        
        
        

4. Petitioner genuinely fears repeat violence by the respondent.

5. Petitioner seeks: an immediate injunction against the respondent, enjoining him or her from committing any further acts of violence; an injunction enjoining the respondent from committing any further acts of violence; and an injunction providing any terms the court deems necessary for the protection of the petitioner and the petitioner’s immediate family, including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies.

(5) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, prior to the hearing.
(6)(a) When it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction which may be granted in an ex parte hearing, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction enjoining the respondent from committing any acts of violence.
(b) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing ex parte for the purpose of obtaining such temporary injunction, no evidence other than the verified pleading or affidavit shall be used as evidence, unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing.
(c) Any such ex parte temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. However, an ex parte temporary injunction granted under subparagraph (2)(c)2. is effective for 15 days following the date the respondent is released from incarceration. A full hearing, as provided by this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the ex parte injunction and the full hearing before or during a hearing, for good cause shown by any party.
(7) Upon notice and hearing, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:
(a) Enjoining the respondent from committing any acts of violence.
(b) Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of the petitioner, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as provided in this section.
(c) The terms of the injunction shall remain in full force and effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.
(d) A temporary or final judgment on injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence entered pursuant to this section shall, on its face, indicate that:
1. The injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties of the State of Florida.
2. Law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.
3. The court had jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of Florida and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person’s right to due process.
4. The date that the respondent was served with the temporary or final order, if obtainable.
(8)(a)1. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, to the sheriff or a law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it upon the respondent. In addition, if the sheriff is in possession of an injunction for protection that has been certified by the clerk of the court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the court shall be responsible for furnishing to the sheriff such information on the respondent’s physical description and location as is required by the department to comply with the verification procedures set forth in this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the chief judge’s jurisdiction to effect this type of service and to receive a portion of the service fee. No person shall be authorized or permitted to serve or execute an injunction issued under this section unless the person is a law enforcement officer as defined in chapter 943.
2. When an injunction is issued, if the petitioner requests the assistance of a law enforcement agency, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate law enforcement agency accompany the petitioner and assist in the execution or service of the injunction. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy of an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, certified by the clerk of the court, from the petitioner and immediately serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet served.
(b) There shall be created a Domestic, Dating, Sexual, and Repeat Violence Injunction Statewide Verification System within the Department of Law Enforcement. The department shall establish, implement, and maintain a statewide communication system capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to domestic violence injunctions, dating violence injunctions, sexual violence injunctions, and repeat violence injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state. Such information must include, but is not limited to, information as to the existence and status of any injunction for verification purposes.
(c)1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence or changes or vacates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, the clerk of the court must forward a copy of the injunction to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.
2. Within 24 hours after service of process of an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence upon a respondent, the law enforcement officer must forward the written proof of service of process to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.
3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified copy of the injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, the sheriff must make information relating to the injunction available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.
4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information relating to the service available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.
5.a. Subject to available funding, the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers shall develop an automated process by which a petitioner may request notification of service of the injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection. The automated notice shall be made within 12 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer serves the injunction upon the respondent. The notification must include, at a minimum, the date, time, and location where the injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence was served. When a petitioner makes a request for notification, the clerk must apprise the petitioner of her or his right to request in writing that the information specified in sub-subparagraph b. be held exempt from public records requirements for 5 years. The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers may apply for any available grants to fund the development of the automated process.
b. Upon implementation of the automated process, information held by clerks and law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the automated process developed under sub-subparagraph a. which reveals the home or employment telephone number, cellular telephone number, home or employment address, electronic mail address, or other electronic means of identification of a petitioner requesting notification of service of an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, upon written request by the petitioner. Such information shall cease to be exempt 5 years after the receipt of the written request. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such documents by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency’s statutory duties, notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2017, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
6. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence is lifted, terminated, or otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, the clerk of the court must notify the sheriff or local law enforcement agency receiving original notification of the injunction as provided in subparagraph 2. That agency shall, within 24 hours after receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, notify the department of such action of the court.
(9)(a) The court shall enforce, through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, a violation of an injunction for protection. The court may enforce the respondent’s compliance with the injunction by imposing a monetary assessment. The clerk of the court shall collect and receive such assessments. On a monthly basis, the clerk shall transfer the moneys collected pursuant to this paragraph to the State Treasury for deposit in the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund established in s. 960.21.
(b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement officer under s. 901.15(6) for committing an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence in violation of an injunction for protection, the respondent shall be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.
(10) The petitioner or the respondent may move the court to modify or dissolve an injunction at any time.
(11) Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of dating violence shall assist the victim to obtain medical treatment if such is required as a result of the alleged incident to which the officer responds. Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of dating violence shall advise the victim of such violence that there is a domestic violence center from which the victim may receive services. The law enforcement officer shall give the victim immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available on a standard form developed and distributed by the Department of Law Enforcement. As necessary, the Department of Law Enforcement shall revise the Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims to include a general summary of this section, using simple English as well as Spanish, and shall distribute the notice as a model form to be used by all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The notice shall include:
(a) The resource listing, including telephone number, for the area domestic violence center designated by the Department of Children and Families; and
(b) A copy of the following statement: “IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DATING VIOLENCE, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from dating violence which may include, but need not be limited to, provisions that restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave your household; and prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment.”
(12) When a law enforcement officer investigates an allegation that an incident of dating violence has occurred, the officer shall handle the incident pursuant to the arrest policy provided in s. 901.15(7), and as developed in accordance with subsections (13), (14), and (16). Whether or not an arrest is made, the officer shall make a written police report that is complete and clearly indicates that the alleged offense was an incident of dating violence. Such report shall be given to the officer’s supervisor and filed with the law enforcement agency in a manner that will permit data on dating violence cases to be compiled. Such report must include:
(a) A description of physical injuries observed, if any.
(b) If a law enforcement officer decides not to make an arrest or decides to arrest two or more parties, the grounds for not arresting anyone or for arresting two or more parties.
(c) A statement which indicates that a copy of the legal rights and remedies notice was given to the victim.

Whenever possible, the law enforcement officer shall obtain a written statement from the victim and witnesses concerning the alleged dating violence. The officer shall submit the report to the supervisor or other person to whom the employer’s rules or policies require reports of similar allegations of criminal activity to be made. The law enforcement agency shall, without charge, send a copy of the initial police report, as well as any subsequent, supplemental, or related report, which excludes victim or witness statements or other materials that are part of an active criminal investigation and are exempt from disclosure under chapter 119, to the nearest locally certified domestic violence center within 24 hours after the agency’s receipt of the report. The report furnished to the domestic violence center must include a narrative description of the dating violence incident.

(13) Whenever a law enforcement officer determines upon probable cause that an act of dating violence has been committed within the jurisdiction, or that a person has violated a condition of pretrial release as provided in s. 903.047 and the original arrest was for an act of dating violence, the officer may arrest the person or persons suspected of its commission and charge such person or persons with the appropriate crime. The decision to arrest and charge shall not require consent of the victim or consideration of the relationship of the parties.
(14)(a) When complaints are received from two or more parties, the officers shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether there is probable cause for arrest.
(b) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that two or more persons have committed a misdemeanor or felony, or if two or more persons make complaints to the officer, the officer shall try to determine who was the primary aggressor. Arrest is the preferred response only with respect to the primary aggressor and not the preferred response with respect to a person who acts in a reasonable manner to protect or defend himself or herself or another family or household member from dating violence.
(15) A person who willfully violates a condition of pretrial release provided in s. 903.047, when the original arrest was for an act of dating violence as defined in this section, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and shall be held in custody until his or her first appearance.
(16) A law enforcement officer acting in good faith under this section and the officer’s employing agency shall be immune from all liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed by reason of the officer’s or agency’s actions in carrying out the provisions of this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-344; s. 70, ch. 88-381; s. 12, ch. 91-23; s. 7, ch. 94-134; s. 7, ch. 94-135; s. 14, ch. 94-170; s. 10, ch. 95-182; s. 38, ch. 95-184; s. 13, ch. 95-195; s. 1198, ch. 97-102; s. 8, ch. 97-155; s. 54, ch. 99-193; s. 21, ch. 2002-55; s. 2, ch. 2003-117; s. 1, ch. 2004-17; s. 142, ch. 2005-2; s. 1, ch. 2005-246; s. 109, ch. 2006-1; s. 2, ch. 2008-252; s. 8, ch. 2009-215; s. 2, ch. 2011-187; s. 2, ch. 2012-154; s. 297, ch. 2014-19; s. 5, ch. 2014-35.
784.047 Penalties for violating protective injunction against violators.A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, issued pursuant to s. 784.046, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315 by:
(1) Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
(2) Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
(3) Committing an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the petitioner;
(4) Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
(5) Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
(6) Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
(7) Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or
(8) Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court,

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.s. 7, ch. 95-195; s. 9, ch. 97-155; s. 22, ch. 2002-55; s. 2, ch. 2004-17; s. 1, ch. 2011-146.
784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
(b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. The term does not include constitutionally protected activity such as picketing or other organized protests.
(c) “Credible threat” means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm. It is not necessary to prove that the person making the threat had the intent to actually carry out the threat. The present incarceration of the person making the threat is not a bar to prosecution under this section.
(d) “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
(2) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) A person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person’s property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a child under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6) A law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that he or she has probable cause to believe has violated this section.
(7) A person who, after having been sentenced for a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5) and prohibited from contacting the victim of the offense under s. 921.244, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks the victim commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(8) The punishment imposed under this section shall run consecutive to any former sentence imposed for a conviction for any offense under s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5).
(9)(a) The sentencing court shall consider, as a part of any sentence, issuing an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim, which may be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the court. It is the intent of the Legislature that the length of any such order be based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the probability of future violations by the perpetrator, and the safety of the victim and his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the victim.
(b) The order may be issued by the court even if the defendant is sentenced to a state prison or a county jail or even if the imposition of the sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation.
History.s. 1, ch. 92-208; s. 29, ch. 94-134; s. 29, ch. 94-135; s. 2, ch. 97-27; s. 23, ch. 2002-55; s. 1, ch. 2003-23; s. 3, ch. 2004-17; s. 3, ch. 2004-256; s. 17, ch. 2008-172; s. 2, ch. 2012-153.
784.0485 Stalking; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement.
(1) There is created a cause of action for an injunction for protection against stalking. For the purposes of injunctions for protection against stalking under this section, the offense of stalking shall include the offense of cyberstalking.
(a) A person who is the victim of stalking or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who seeks an injunction for protection against stalking on behalf of the minor child has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against stalking.
(b) The cause of action for an injunction for protection may be sought regardless of whether any other cause of action is currently pending between the parties. However, the pendency of any such cause of action shall be alleged in the petition.
(c) The cause of action for an injunction may be sought by any affected person.
(d) The cause of action for an injunction does not require either party to be represented by an attorney.
(e) The court may not issue mutual orders of protection; however, the court is not precluded from issuing separate injunctions for protection against stalking if each party has complied with this section. Compliance with this section may not be waived.
(f) Notwithstanding chapter 47, a petition for an injunction for protection against stalking may be filed in the circuit where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides, or where the stalking occurred. There is no minimum requirement of residency to petition for an injunction for protection.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the clerk of court may not assess a filing fee to file a petition for protection against stalking. However, subject to legislative appropriation, the clerk of the circuit court may, on a quarterly basis, submit to the Office of the State Courts Administrator a certified request for reimbursement for petitions for protection against stalking issued by the court, at the rate of $40 per petition. The request for reimbursement shall be submitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. From this reimbursement, the clerk shall pay any law enforcement agency serving the injunction the fee requested by the law enforcement agency; however, this fee may not exceed $20.
(b) A bond is not required by the court for the entry of an injunction.
(c)1. The clerk of the court shall assist petitioners in seeking both injunctions for protection against stalking and enforcement of a violation thereof as specified in this section.
2. All offices of the clerk of the court shall provide simplified petition forms for the injunction and any modifications to and the enforcement thereof, including instructions for completion.
3. The clerk of the court shall ensure the petitioner’s privacy to the extent practicable while completing the forms for an injunction for protection against stalking.
4. The clerk of the court shall provide a petitioner with a minimum of two certified copies of the order of injunction, one of which is serviceable and will inform the petitioner of the process for service and enforcement.
5. The clerk of the court and appropriate staff in each county shall receive training in the effective assistance of petitioners as provided or approved by the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers.
6. The clerk of the court in each county shall make available informational brochures on stalking when such a brochure is provided by the local certified domestic violence center or certified rape crisis center.
7. The clerk of the court in each county shall distribute a statewide uniform informational brochure to petitioners at the time of filing for an injunction for protection against stalking when such brochures become available. The brochure must include information about the effect of giving the court false information.
(3)(a) The sworn petition shall allege the existence of such stalking and shall include the specific facts and circumstances for which relief is sought.
(b) The sworn petition shall be in substantially the following form:

PETITION FOR INJUNCTION
FOR PROTECTION AGAINST STALKING

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Petitioner   (Name)  , who has been sworn and says that the following statements are true:

1. Petitioner resides at:   (address)  

(Petitioner may furnish the address to the court in a separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the petitioner requires the location of the current residence to be confidential.)

2. Respondent resides at:   (last known address)  

3. Respondent’s last known place of employment:   (name of business and address)  

4. Physical description of respondent:  

5. Race:  

6. Sex:  

7. Date of birth:  

8. Height:  

9. Weight:  

10. Eye color:  

11. Hair color:  

12. Distinguishing marks or scars:  

13. Aliases of respondent:  

(c) The petitioner shall describe any other cause of action currently pending between the petitioner and respondent. The petitioner shall also describe any previous attempt by the petitioner to obtain an injunction for protection against stalking in this or any other circuit, and the result of that attempt. (Case numbers should be included, if available.)
(d) The petition must provide space for the petitioner to specifically allege that he or she is a victim of stalking because respondent has:

(Mark all sections that apply and describe in the spaces below the incidents of stalking specifying when and where they occurred, including, but not limited to, locations such as a home, school, or place of employment.)

  Committed stalking.

  Previously threatened, harassed, stalked, cyberstalked, or physically abused the petitioner.

  Threatened to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.

  Intentionally injured or killed a family pet.

  Used, or threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.

  A criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence, if known.

  Another order of protection issued against him or her previously or from another jurisdiction, if known.

  Destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.

(e) The petitioner seeks an injunction:

(Mark appropriate section or sections.)

  Immediately restraining the respondent from committing any acts of stalking.

  Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of stalking.

  Providing any terms the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of stalking, including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies.

(f) Every petition for an injunction against stalking must contain, directly above the signature line, a statement in all capital letters and bold type not smaller than the surrounding text, as follows:

I HAVE READ EVERY STATEMENT MADE IN THIS PETITION AND EACH STATEMENT IS TRUE AND CORRECT. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THIS PETITION ARE BEING MADE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, PUNISHABLE AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 837.02, FLORIDA STATUTES.

  (initials)  

(4) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, before the hearing.
(5)(a) If it appears to the court that stalking exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction restraining the respondent from committing any act of stalking.
(b) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing ex parte for the purpose of obtaining such ex parte temporary injunction, evidence other than verified pleadings or affidavits may not be used as evidence, unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing. A denial of a petition for an ex parte injunction shall be by written order noting the legal grounds for denial. If the only ground for denial is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of stalking, the court shall set a full hearing on the petition for injunction with notice at the earliest possible time. This paragraph does not affect a petitioner’s right to promptly amend any petition, or otherwise be heard in person on any petition consistent with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(c) Any such ex parte temporary injunction is effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing, as provided in this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the hearing before or during a hearing for good cause shown by any party, which shall include a continuance to obtain service of process. An injunction shall be extended if necessary to remain in full force and effect during any period of continuance.
(6)(a) Upon notice and hearing, when it appears to the court that the petitioner is the victim of stalking, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:
1. Restraining the respondent from committing any act of stalking.
2. Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the respondent.
3. Referring a petitioner to appropriate services. The court may provide the petitioner with a list of certified domestic violence centers, certified rape crisis centers, and other appropriate referrals in the circuit which the petitioner may contact.
4. Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of stalking, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as provided in this section.
(b) The terms of an injunction restraining the respondent under subparagraph (a)1. or ordering other relief for the protection of the victim under subparagraph (a)4. shall remain in effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. Specific allegations are not required. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.
(c) A temporary or final judgment on injunction for protection against stalking entered pursuant to this section shall, on its face, indicate:
1. That the injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties of this state.
2. That law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.
3. That the court has jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of this state and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person’s right to due process.
4. The date that the respondent was served with the temporary or final order, if obtainable.
(d) The fact that a separate order of protection is granted to each opposing party is not legally sufficient to deny any remedy to either party or to prove that the parties are equally at fault or equally endangered.
(e) A final judgment on an injunction for protection against stalking entered pursuant to this section must, on its face, provide that it is a violation of s. 790.233 and a misdemeanor of the first degree for the respondent to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.
(f) All proceedings under this subsection shall be recorded. Recording may be by electronic means as provided by the Rules of Judicial Administration.
(7) The court shall allow an advocate from a state attorney’s office, a law enforcement agency, a certified rape crisis center, or a certified domestic violence center who is registered under s. 39.905 to be present with the petitioner or respondent during any court proceedings or hearings related to the injunction for protection if the petitioner or respondent has made such a request and the advocate is able to be present.
(8)(a)1. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, to the sheriff or a law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it on the respondent. In addition, if the sheriff is in possession of an injunction for protection that has been certified by the clerk of the court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the court shall furnish to the sheriff such information concerning the respondent’s physical description and location as is required by the Department of Law Enforcement to comply with the verification procedures set forth in this section. Notwithstanding any other law, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction to effect service. A law enforcement agency serving injunctions pursuant to this section shall use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the sheriff.
2. If an injunction is issued and the petitioner requests the assistance of a law enforcement agency, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate law enforcement agency accompany the petitioner to assist in the execution or service of the injunction. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy of an injunction for protection against stalking, certified by the clerk of the court, from the petitioner and immediately serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet served.
3. An order issued, changed, continued, extended, or vacated subsequent to the original service of documents enumerated under subparagraph 1. shall be certified by the clerk of the court and delivered to the parties at the time of the entry of the order. The parties may acknowledge receipt of such order in writing on the face of the original order. If a party fails or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of an order, the clerk shall note on the original order that service was effected. If delivery at the hearing is not possible, the clerk shall mail certified copies of the order to the parties at the last known address of each party. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is served pursuant to this subsection, the clerk shall prepare a written certification to be placed in the court file specifying the time, date, and method of service and shall notify the sheriff.
4. If the respondent has been served previously with a temporary injunction and has failed to appear at the initial hearing on the temporary injunction, any subsequent petition for injunction seeking an extension of time may be served on the respondent by the clerk of the court by certified mail in lieu of personal service by a law enforcement officer.
(b)1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection against stalking or changes, continues, extends, or vacates an injunction for protection against stalking, the clerk of the court must forward a certified copy of the injunction for service to the sheriff having jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. The injunction must be served in accordance with this subsection.
2. Within 24 hours after service of process of an injunction for protection against stalking upon a respondent, the law enforcement officer must forward the written proof of service of process to the sheriff having jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.
3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified copy of the injunction for protection against stalking, the sheriff must make information relating to the injunction available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the Department of Law Enforcement.
4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information relating to the service available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the Department of Law Enforcement.
5. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection against stalking is vacated, terminated, or otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, the clerk of the court must notify the sheriff receiving original notification of the injunction as provided in subparagraph 2. That agency shall, within 24 hours after receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, notify the Department of Law Enforcement of such action of the court.
(9)(a) The court may enforce a violation of an injunction for protection against stalking through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under s. 784.0487. Any assessments or fines ordered by the court enforcing such an injunction shall be collected by the clerk of the court and transferred on a monthly basis to the State Treasury for deposit into the Domestic Violence Trust Fund.
(b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement officer under s. 901.15(6) or for a violation of s. 784.0487, the respondent shall be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.
(10) The petitioner or the respondent may move the court to modify or dissolve an injunction at any time.
History.s. 3, ch. 2012-153; s. 6, ch. 2014-35.
784.0487 Violation of an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking.
(1) If the injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking has been violated and the respondent has not been arrested, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The clerk shall assist the petitioner in preparing an affidavit in support of reporting the violation or directing the petitioner to the office operated by the court that has been designated by the chief judge of that circuit as the central intake point for violations of injunctions for protection where the petitioner can receive assistance in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation.
(2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the office assisting the petitioner to the state attorney of that circuit and to such judge as the chief judge determines to be the recipient of affidavits of violations of an injunction. If the affidavit alleges that a crime has been committed, the office assisting the petitioner shall also forward a copy of the petitioner’s affidavit to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. No later than 20 days after receiving the initial report, the local law enforcement agency shall complete its investigation and forward a report to the state attorney. The policy adopted by the state attorney in each circuit under s. 741.2901(2) shall include a policy regarding intake of alleged violations of injunctions for protection against stalking or cyberstalking under this section. The intake shall be supervised by a state attorney who has been designated and assigned to handle stalking or cyberstalking cases. The state attorney shall determine within 30 working days whether his or her office will file criminal charges or prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, or prepare both as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains under investigation or is pending subject to some other action.
(3) If the court has knowledge that the petitioner or another person is in immediate danger if the court does not act before the decision of the state attorney to proceed, the court shall immediately issue an order of appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation through criminal contempt.
(4) A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking issued pursuant to s. 784.0485, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315, by:
(a) Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;
(b) Committing an act of stalking against the petitioner;
(c) Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
(d) Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
(e) Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
(f) Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or
(g) Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court,

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) A person who suffers an injury or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking may be awarded economic damages for that injury or loss by the court issuing the injunction. Damages include costs and attorney fees for enforcement of the injunction.
History.s. 4, ch. 2012-153.
784.05 Culpable negligence.
(1) Whoever, through culpable negligence, exposes another person to personal injury commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Whoever, through culpable negligence, inflicts actual personal injury on another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Whoever violates subsection (1) by storing or leaving a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor commits, if the minor obtains the firearm and uses it to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or any other person, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. However, this subsection does not apply:
(a) If the firearm was stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or was securely locked with a trigger lock;
(b) If the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person;
(c) To injuries resulting from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents; or
(d) To members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or State Militia, or to police or other law enforcement officers, with respect to firearm possession by a minor which occurs during or incidental to the performance of their official duties.

When any minor child is accidentally shot by another family member, no arrest shall be made pursuant to this subsection prior to 7 days after the date of the shooting. With respect to any parent or guardian of any deceased minor, the investigating officers shall file all findings and evidence with the state attorney’s office with respect to violations of this subsection. The state attorney shall evaluate such evidence and shall take such action as he or she deems appropriate under the circumstances and may file an information against the appropriate parties.

1(4) As used in this act, the term “minor” means any person under the age of 16.
History.s. 1, ch. 5212, 1903; GS 3229; RGS 5062; CGL 7164; s. 733, ch. 71-136; s. 21, ch. 74-383; s. 11, ch. 75-298; ss. 3, 7, ch. 89-534; s. 1199, ch. 97-102.
1Note.Also published at s. 790.174(3).
784.062 Misuse of laser lighting devices.
(1) As used in subsection (2), the term “laser lighting device” means a handheld device, not affixed to a firearm, which emits a laser beam that is designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. As used in subsection (3), the term “laser lighting device” means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission.
(2) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device at a law enforcement officer, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, in such a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a firearm is pointed at him or her commits a noncriminal violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
(3)(a) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft and such act results in bodily injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-80; s. 1, ch. 2005-159.
784.07 Assault or battery of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentences.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Emergency medical care provider” means an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, paramedic, registered nurse, physician as defined in s. 401.23, medical director as defined in s. 401.23, or any person authorized by an emergency medical service licensed under chapter 401 who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The term “emergency medical care provider” also includes physicians, employees, agents, or volunteers of hospitals as defined in chapter 395, who are employed, under contract, or otherwise authorized by a hospital to perform duties directly associated with the care and treatment rendered by the hospital’s emergency department or the security thereof.
(b) “Firefighter” means any person employed by any public employer of this state whose duty it is to extinguish fires; to protect life or property; or to enforce municipal, county, and state fire prevention codes, as well as any law pertaining to the prevention and control of fires.
(c) “Law enforcement explorer” means any person who is a current member of a law enforcement agency’s explorer program and who is performing functions other than those required to be performed by sworn law enforcement officers on behalf of a law enforcement agency while under the direct physical supervision of a sworn officer of that agency and wearing a uniform that bears at least one patch that clearly identifies the law enforcement agency that he or she represents.
(d) “Law enforcement officer” includes a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, a correctional probation officer, a part-time law enforcement officer, a part-time correctional officer, an auxiliary law enforcement officer, and an auxiliary correctional officer, as those terms are respectively defined in s. 943.10, and any county probation officer; an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections who supervises or provides services to inmates; an officer of the Florida Commission on Offender Review; a federal law enforcement officer as defined in s. 901.1505; and law enforcement personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the Department of Law Enforcement.
(e) “Public transit employees or agents” means bus operators, train operators, revenue collectors, security personnel, equipment maintenance personnel, or field supervisors, who are employees or agents of a transit agency as described in s. 812.015(1)(l).
(f) “Railroad special officer” means a person employed by a Class I, Class II, or Class III railroad and appointed or pending appointment by the Governor pursuant to s. 354.01.
(2) Whenever any person is charged with knowingly committing an assault or battery upon a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, a railroad special officer, a traffic accident investigation officer as described in s. 316.640, a nonsworn law enforcement agency employee who is certified as an agency inspector, a blood alcohol analyst, or a breath test operator while such employee is in uniform and engaged in processing, testing, evaluating, analyzing, or transporting a person who is detained or under arrest for DUI, a law enforcement explorer, a traffic infraction enforcement officer as described in s. 316.640, a parking enforcement specialist as defined in s. 316.640, a person licensed as a security officer as defined in s. 493.6101 and wearing a uniform that bears at least one patch or emblem that is visible at all times that clearly identifies the employing agency and that clearly identifies the person as a licensed security officer, or a security officer employed by the board of trustees of a community college, while the officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, railroad special officer, traffic accident investigation officer, traffic infraction enforcement officer, inspector, analyst, operator, law enforcement explorer, parking enforcement specialist, public transit employee or agent, or security officer is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(a) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(b) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(c) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years.
(d) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years.
(3) Any person who is convicted of a battery under paragraph (2)(b) and, during the commission of the offense, such person possessed:
(a) A “firearm” or “destructive device” as those terms are defined in s. 790.001, shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years.
(b) A semiautomatic firearm and its high-capacity detachable box magazine, as defined in s. 775.087(3), or a machine gun as defined in s. 790.001, shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years.

Notwithstanding s. 948.01, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, deferred, or withheld, and the defendant is not eligible for statutory gain-time under s. 944.275 or any form of discretionary early release, other than pardon or executive clemency, or conditional medical release under s. 947.149, prior to serving the minimum sentence.

History.s. 1, ch. 76-75; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 22, ch. 79-8; s. 1, ch. 80-43; s. 1, ch. 85-33; s. 39, ch. 88-122; s. 2, ch. 88-177; s. 3, ch. 88-373; ss. 52, 55, 57, ch. 88-381; s. 43, ch. 89-526; s. 3, ch. 91-174; s. 12, ch. 93-230; s. 472, ch. 94-356; s. 20, ch. 95-184; s. 1, ch. 96-293; s. 57, ch. 96-388; s. 32, ch. 97-280; s. 1, ch. 98-97; s. 96, ch. 99-3; s. 4, ch. 99-188; s. 227, ch. 99-245; s. 315, ch. 99-248; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2002-209; s. 1, ch. 2006-127; s. 1, ch. 2007-112; s. 1, ch. 2009-102; s. 3, ch. 2010-117; s. 27, ch. 2012-88; s. 2, ch. 2013-114; s. 15, ch. 2014-191.
784.071 Assault or battery on a law enforcement officer; missing while in line of duty; blue alert.
(1) At the request of an authorized person employed at a law enforcement agency, the Department of Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Department of Transportation, shall activate the emergency alert system and issue a blue alert if all of the following conditions are met:
(a)1. A law enforcement officer has been killed, has suffered serious bodily injury, or has been assaulted with a deadly weapon; or
2. A law enforcement officer is missing while in the line of duty under circumstances evidencing concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety;
(b) The suspect has fled the scene of the offense;
(c) The law enforcement agency investigating the offense determines that the suspect poses an imminent threat to the public or to other law enforcement officers;
(d) A detailed description of the suspect’s vehicle, or other means of escape, or the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle is available for broadcasting;
(e) Dissemination of available information to the public may help avert further harm or assist in the apprehension of the suspect; and
(f) If the law enforcement officer is missing, there is sufficient information available relating to the officer’s last known location and physical description, and the description of any vehicle involved, including the license plate number or other identifying information, to be broadcast to the public and other law enforcement agencies, which could assist in locating the missing law enforcement officer.
(2)(a) The blue alert shall be immediately disseminated to the public through the emergency alert system by broadcasting the alert on television, radio, and the dynamic message signs that are located along the state’s highways.
(b) If a traffic emergency arises requiring that information pertaining to the traffic emergency be displayed on a highway message sign in lieu of the blue alert information, the agency responsible for displaying information on the highway message sign is not in violation of this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2011-72.
784.074 Assault or battery on sexually violent predators detention or commitment facility staff; reclassification of offenses.
(1) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a staff member of a sexually violent predators detention or commitment facility as defined in part V of chapter 394, while the staff member is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties and when the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or employment of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(a) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree.
(b) In the case of an aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
(c) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(d) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(2) For purposes of this section, a staff member of the facilities listed includes persons employed by the Department of Children and Families, persons employed at facilities licensed by the Department of Children and Families, and persons employed at facilities operated under a contract with the Department of Children and Families.
History.s. 1, ch. 2001-244; s. 116, ch. 2002-1; s. 298, ch. 2014-19.
784.075 Battery on detention or commitment facility staff or a juvenile probation officer.A person who commits a battery on a juvenile probation officer, as defined in s. 984.03 or s. 985.03, on other staff of a detention center or facility as defined in s. 984.03(19) or s. 985.03, or on a staff member of a commitment facility as defined in s. 985.03, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this section, a staff member of the facilities listed includes persons employed by the Department of Juvenile Justice, persons employed at facilities licensed by the Department of Juvenile Justice, and persons employed at facilities operated under a contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
History.s. 13, ch. 93-230; s. 71, ch. 94-209; s. 21, ch. 95-152; s. 3, ch. 96-398; s. 49, ch. 98-280; s. 160, ch. 98-403; s. 97, ch. 99-3; s. 24, ch. 99-284; s. 1, ch. 2000-134; s. 9, ch. 2000-135; s. 23, ch. 2001-64; s. 15, ch. 2005-263.
784.076 Battery on health services personnel.A juvenile who has been committed to or detained by the Department of Juvenile Justice pursuant to a court order, who commits battery upon a person who provides health services commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, the term “health services” means preventive, diagnostic, curative, or rehabilitative services and includes alcohol treatment, drug abuse treatment, and mental health services.
History.s. 57, ch. 95-267.
784.078 Battery of facility employee by throwing, tossing, or expelling certain fluids or materials.
(1) As used in this section, the term “facility” means a state correctional institution defined in s. 944.02(6); a private correctional facility defined in s. 944.710 or under chapter 957; a county, municipal, or regional jail or other detention facility of local government under chapter 950 or chapter 951; or a secure facility operated and maintained by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice.
(2)(a) As used in this section, the term “employee” includes any person employed by or performing contractual services for a public or private entity operating a facility or any person employed by or performing contractual services for the corporation operating the prison industry enhancement programs or the correctional work programs, pursuant to part II of chapter 946.
(b) “Employee” includes any person who is a parole examiner with the Florida Commission on Offender Review.
(3)(a) It is unlawful for any person, while being detained in a facility and with intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm a person in a facility whom he or she knows or reasonably should know to be an employee of such facility, to cause or attempt to cause such employee to come into contact with blood, masticated food, regurgitated food, saliva, seminal fluid, or urine or feces, whether by throwing, tossing, or expelling such fluid or material.
(b) Any person who violates paragraph (a) commits battery of a facility employee, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 2, ch. 2001-244; s. 16, ch. 2014-191.
784.08 Assault or battery on persons 65 years of age or older; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentence.
(1) A person who is convicted of an aggravated assault or aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years and fined not more than $10,000 and shall also be ordered by the sentencing judge to make restitution to the victim of such offense and to perform up to 500 hours of community service work. Restitution and community service work shall be in addition to any fine or sentence which may be imposed and shall not be in lieu thereof.
(2) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older, regardless of whether he or she knows or has reason to know the age of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(a) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree.
(b) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
(c) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(d) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 948.01, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, deferred, or withheld.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-327; s. 1, ch. 92-50; s. 18, ch. 93-406; s. 1200, ch. 97-102; s. 19, ch. 97-194; s. 5, ch. 99-188; s. 1, ch. 2002-208.
784.081 Assault or battery on specified officials or employees; reclassification of offenses.
(1) For purposes of this section, the term “sports official” means any person who serves as a referee, an umpire, or a linesman, and any person who serves in a similar capacity as a sports official who may be known by another title, which sports official is duly registered by or is a member of a local, state, regional, or national organization that is engaged in part in providing education and training to sports officials.
(2) Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon any elected official or employee of: a school district; a private school; the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; a university lab school; a state university or any other entity of the state system of public education, as defined in s. 1000.04; a sports official; an employee or protective investigator of the Department of Children and Families; an employee of a lead community-based provider and its direct service contract providers; or an employee of the Department of Health or its direct service contract providers, when the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or position or employment of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(a) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree.
(b) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
(c) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(d) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(3) An assault, aggravated assault, battery, or aggravated battery upon a sports official shall be reclassified pursuant to subsection (2) only if such offense is committed upon the sports official when he or she is actively participating as a sports official in an athletic contest or immediately following such athletic contest.
History.s. 3, ch. 96-293; s. 293, ch. 99-8; s. 11, ch. 2001-68; s. 1037, ch. 2002-387; s. 19, ch. 2004-41; s. 1, ch. 2004-276; s. 48, ch. 2004-350; s. 299, ch. 2014-19.
784.082 Assault or battery by a person who is being detained in a prison, jail, or other detention facility upon visitor or other detainee; reclassification of offenses.Whenever a person who is being detained in a prison, jail, or other detention facility is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon any visitor to the detention facility or upon any other detainee in the detention facility, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(1) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree.
(2) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
(3) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(4) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
History.s. 4, ch. 96-293.
784.083 Assault or battery on code inspectors.Whenever a person is charged with committing an assault or aggravated assault or a battery or aggravated battery upon a code inspector, as defined in s. 162.04(2), while the code inspector is engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties and when the person committing the offense knows or has reason to know the identity or employment of the victim, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(1) In the case of aggravated battery, from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree.
(2) In the case of aggravated assault, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
(3) In the case of battery, from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree.
(4) In the case of assault, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-24.
784.085 Battery of child by throwing, tossing, projecting, or expelling certain fluids or materials.
(1) It is unlawful for any person, except a child as defined in this section, to knowingly cause or attempt to cause a child to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, or urine or feces by throwing, tossing, projecting, or expelling such fluid or material.
(2) Any person, except a child as defined in this section, who violates this section commits battery of a child, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) As used in this section, the term “child” means a person under 18 years of age.
History.s. 85, ch. 2000-139.