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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Joseph Soler

Can I be arrested for spitting on someone in Florida?

In Florida, a person can be arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery for intentionally spitting on another person.

How is spitting on a person a crime?

A person commits battery when he or she either actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. For example, if a person intentionally throws something at another and it hits them, then that person has committed a battery. The same logic applies to bodily fluids, if a person intentionally spits on another person, then a battery has been committed.

What if I did not mean to spit on the other person?

Florida law requires that the action (in this case spitting) be intentional. That means, for example, that if a person means to spit on the ground—and not on another person—yet the spit inadvertently strikes the other person, then it is not a crime. The state prosecutor must be able to prove that the person doing the spitting meant to hit the person.

What is the punishment for spitting on a person?

In Florida, a misdemeanor battery is punishable by a maximum of up to one year in the County jail, and/or a probationary term not exceeding one year.

What if a person is arrested for spitting on a police officer?

If a person splits on a police officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical personnel, then they can be charged with a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

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