Under Florida law, Simple Battery / Misdemeanor Battery is defined under Section 784.03, Florida Statutes. The intentional touching or striking of another person against their will is a very serious matter. The State of Florida is likely to take these cases more seriously. These matters are made even more serious when there are allegations that the intentional touch or strike caused great bodily harm, permanent injury or was committed using or while in possession of a weapon.
Types of Battery Charges
There are several types of Battery that you could be charged under Florida Law. Each type of battery rests upon what the allegations are and what your intent was at the time of the incident:
- Simple Battery
- Felony Battery
- Aggravated Battery
- Battery on an Elderly person
- Battery on a Pregnant Person
- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
Consequences of a Battery Charge
If convicted of Simple Battery a judge can sentence you to:
- Up to 364 days in jail
- Up to 12 months of probation
- Up to $1,000.00 in fines
Simple battery cases are prosecuted in County Court. County Court prosecutors handle Traffic cases, DUI’s, and petit theft crimes. To a County Court prosecutor, a Battery charge is extremely serious because it involves something allegedly done directly to another person, rather than to a company (Retail Theft) or damage to property (Criminal Mischief) or even a “victimless” crime like Possession of Cannabis (Marijuana). County Court prosecutors often seek increased penalties on battery charges.
The state attorney on even a Simple Battery could be: Jail, Probation, anger management classes, no victim contact, court costs, and even community service.
Many aggressive prosecutors in Florida seek high jail sentences or probation sentences for even first time battery offenders. This happens many times even where the battery charge is the defendant’s first ever criminal charge. Whether jail is sought will depend on a number of factors, including the prior criminal record of the accused, the status and preferences of the alleged victim, the existence of injuries, the need for restitution (money paid to the victim for out of pocket expenses) and the strength of the prosecution’s case.
Felony Charges for Battery
The nature of the allegations against you and the status of the “Victim” of the case play a tremendous role in whether your case will be treated as a felony or a misdemeanor. Even if you have only allegedly committed a misdemeanor battery, but you have received convictions in the past for misdemeanor battery, your case can be upgraded to a felony level. For more serious felony battery related charges, a sentence can reach up to 15 years prison. Depending on whether there was a weapon or firearm involved the Florida 10-20-Life law can apply and you could face minimum mandatory prison sentences.
Speak to a former Battery Crime prosecutor and Battery Defense Attorney today. The Law Office of Dell and Schafer is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been defending criminal cases since 1979. Lead Attorney Grant Schwarz knows how these cases are prosecuted and can help you fight back and defend your rights in and out of court. Do not leave your case to chance, hire a proven courtroom litigator to help defend your case and preserve your freedom.
Potential Defenses to Battery Charges
If the alleged victim asked you to touch or strike him/her, this is a complete defense to the charge of Misdemeanor Battery.
Mutual Combat describes the scenario where two or more people are fighting each other. By engaging in a fight, the law treats each person as having consented to whatever injuries or touches/strikes he or she receives from any other person. Engaging in mutual combat with another person is defense to the charge of misdemeanor battery because a person cannot enter a fight, and then complain later they were attacked unlawfully.
No Intentional Touching
The touching of the alleged victim must be intentional. The State must prove that the defendant had the specific intent to touch or strike the alleged victim. If the touch was unintentional or inadvertent, there can be no misdemeanor battery.
The opposite of Mutual Combat occurs when a defendant defends him/herself against the attack of another. Self Defense is also known as the “justified use of force, is a defense to the crime of battery so long as you use non-deadly force to defend yourself against another person’s unlawful attack
Call a Broward County, Miami, and Palm Beach Battery Charge Defense Attorney
The Office of Dell & Schaefer has been representing criminal defense clients since 1979. Lead Attorney Grant Schwarz is rated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers, and ready to take your case on and start fighting to defend your rights today. Contact the office of Dell & Schaefer if you or someone you know has been charged with a Florida Theft Crime. Aggressive prosecutors and judges need to be met by an equally aggressive and knowledgeable attorney. Grant Schwarz has the knowledge and experience to properly defend your Florida Theft case. Call today for a free consultation.