Under Florida law, Aggravated Battery is defined under Section 784.045, Florida Statutes. An Aggravated Battery arrest or charge is extremely serious and you speak to an attorney immediately after you are arrested or otherwise accused of committing a Felony Battery.
What is Aggravated Battery Under Florida Law?
The crime of Aggravated Battery in Florida is committed when you:
- Intentionally cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement while committing a battery,
- Using a deadly weapon during the commission of the battery OR:
- Committing a battery on an alleged victim who is known to be pregnant.
Unlike a Misdemeanor Battery, a significant injury must occur before Felony Battery can be charged.
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Battery in Florida?
In Florida a Felony Battery is classified as a Second Degree Felony,
If convicted of Aggravated Battery, a judge can sentence to:
- Up to 15 years of prison.
- Up to 15 years of probation.
- Up to $10,000.00 in fines.
- Court Costs
Aggravated Battery cases are prosecuted in Circuit Court and is Classified as a Level 7 Offense on the Florida Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet. These cases are prosecuted very aggressively, and it is highly recommended you speak to an attorney immediately upon being arrested for an Aggravated Battery Charge.
Florida Deadly Weapon
A weapon is considered a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. It does not need to be a baseball bat or crowbar, something as simple as a pencil, a fork or a beer bottle can be considered a deadly weapon depending on how its used.
Florida Aggravated Battery with a Firearm
Aggravated Battery with a Firearm occurs when a firearm is used during the commission of the battery. Using a firearm enhances the potential penalties you are exposed to depending on how the firearm was used. If it was used to “pistol whip” someone, you are not exposed to as much time as if the firearm was discharged, and the bullet struck another person. Both are extremely serious situations which require a phone, or in person consultation with an attorney.
Florida Aggravated Battery on Law Enforcement
Aggravated Battery is classified as a Second Degree Felony if the victim was a Law Enforcement Officer, Firefighter, or EMT. Additionally, the defendant will be facing a minimum-mandatory prison sentence of five (5) years in prison, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines; or could be reclassified as a 1st degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in a Florida State prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Potential Defenses to the charge of Felony Battery:
If the alleged victim asked you to touch or strike him/her, this is a complete defense to the charge of Misdemeanor Battery.
2) Mutual Combat
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.
3) 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.
4) Self Defense
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
5) No Significant injury sustained by the Alleged Victim.
6) No Deadly Weapon
In order to convict on an Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon charge, the State must prove that you used an object or threatened to use an object in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. If the object could not be used to produce death or great bodily harm, there can be no charge for Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. A common misconception is that if the State does not have the weapon to show the jury as evidence, they cannot proceed on an Aggravated Battery Deadly Weapon case. This is not true. The State can rely on the alleged victim or any other witness testimony about what the weapon looked like in order to bring charges.