Florida stiffens penalties for assault on hospital workers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill May 24 to enhance criminal penalties for people who knowingly commit assault or battery upon workers at a hospital. 

Under the new law, assailants who assault a worker at a hospital will face a misdemeanor charge of the first degree rather than a misdemeanor charge of the second degree. 

A charge for battery has been enhanced from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. A charge for aggravated assault has been enhanced from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree. A charge for aggravated battery has been enhanced from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree.

The state House approved the bill April 20, and the Senate approved the bill May 2. It is slated to take effect Oct. 1. 

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