Battery and Aggravated Battery in Florida

People commonly confuse the terms “assault” and “battery.” These terms and the elements of charge can vary in different States.

In Florida, the crime of assault refers to acts that threaten, by word or action, to do physical violence or harm. A person does not need to be injured for an assault to occur. The elements of an assault are below. It is important to note that the crime of assault requires intent on the part of the person charged, the ability to carry out the threat at the time the assault occurs, and that the alleged victim has a well-founded hear that violence is about to occur.

In Florida, the crime of battery is the intentional touching or striking of a person; a punch, a shove, or a thrown object that hits a person are examples of a battery. There are multiple varieties of battery, including simple battery, domestic battery, felony battery, aggravated battery and sexual battery. Each variation of battery has its own elements and sentencing score. Battery is a serious criminal offense often arising from heated arguments, alcohol-fueled fights or from the act of defending oneself, another or property. If you have been charged with this crime, there is much that a knowledgeable attorney can do to get your charges dismissed, alleviate Court penalties, or raise affirmative defenses.

Battery Lawyer in Tampa, FL

The consequences of being arrested and convicted of battery can be serious. If you have been accused of battery, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer that you trust to protect your rights, provide assistance in navigating the court process, and to help you achieve the best result possible depending on the specific facts of your case.

Attorney Chris Beardslee is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer serving the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties.

He is dedicated to not only providing the best legal advice and defense for your case, but also to making sure that you are informed about the process and your legal options along the way.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your case or any current charges, our office is happy to help.

Contact The Law Office of Chris Beardslee for a free consultation today. Call 813-496-7778 or fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you to discuss the best strategies for your case.

Battery [also referred to as Simple Battery] (§ 784.03, Fla. Stat.)

To prove the crime of Battery, the State must prove the following element(s) beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. (Defendant) actually and intentionally touched or struck (victim) against [his] [her] will, OR
  2. (Defendant) intentionally caused bodily harm to (victim).

An intentional touching or striking includes situations where a defendant knows that a touch or strike is substantially certain to result from his or her act.

Domestic Battery has the same elements as “Simple Battery” with the added elements of the State needing to prove the alleged victim is a family or household member.

Attorney Chris Beardslee Explains Battery in Florida

Aggravated Battery (§ 784.045, Fla. Stat.)

To prove the crime of Aggravated Battery, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The first element is a definition of Battery.

  1. (Defendant)
    1. actually and intentionally touched or struck (victim) against [his] [her] will, OR
    2. intentionally caused bodily harm to (victim).
  2. (Defendant), in committing the Battery,
    1. intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to (victim), OR
    2. used a deadly weapon.

A “deadly weapon” is any object that will likely cause death or great bodily harm if used or threatened to be used in the ordinary and usual manner contemplated by its design and construction.

An object not designed to inflict bodily harm may nonetheless be a “deadly weapon” if it was used or threatened to be used in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

“Great bodily harm” means great as distinguished from slight, trivial, minor, or moderate harm, and as such does not include mere bruises.

An intentional touching or striking includes situations where a defendant knows that a touch or strike is substantially certain to result from his or her act.

A battery may be found as a result of the intentional touching or intentional striking of something other than the actual body of the person if the object that is touched or struck has such an intimate connection with the person that it is to be regarded as a part or as an extension of the person. An example of this would be where a person intentionally drove into another occupied vehicle. It would be for the jury to decide if the vehicle that was struck should be considered an extension of the person inside that vehicle.

Attorney Chris Beardslee Explains Aggravated Battery in Florida

Penalties for Battery Charges

In Florida, Simple Battery is a first degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 1 year in jail, or a probationary sentence not to exceed one year. Other collateral issues, such as injunctions, restraining orders, or no contact orders can accompany a battery charge.

Aggravated Battery is a second degree felony, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison or 15 years probation, and a $10,000.00 fine. The offense is serious and even first-time offenders can face a realistic possibility of jail or prison time.

The severity of the punishment can increase substantially where there is possession or discharge of a firearm.

Defenses to Battery Charges

The law recognizes several defenses to the crimes of battery and aggravated battery, including self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property. As you discuss the facts of your case with your defense attorney, it is vital to include all facts of the incident and how those facts may or may not apply to the elements of the charge. Every element of the charge must be present and proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Review the videos for additional information and explanation or contact our office using the form below for a consultation.

Attorney Chris Beardslee Explains Defenses to Battery