Under Florida law, Simple Battery / Misdemeanor Battery is defined under Section 784.03, Florida Statutes. A Battery arrest or charge on your record can potentially be a very damaging thing to your personal life, career and reputation. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney immediately after you are arrested or otherwise accused of committing a battery.
What is Simple / Misdemeanor Battery Under Florida Law?
The crime of Simple Battery or Misdemeanor Battery. In Florida, the term battery means:
- Any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against that person’s will, or;
- The intentional causing of bodily harm to another person.
What are the Penalties for Simple / Misdemeanor Battery in Florida?
In Florida a simple battery is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor,
If convicted of Assault, a judge can sentence on Battery to:
- Up to 364 days in jail.
- Up to 12 months of probation.
- Up to $1,000.00 in fines.
- Court Costs
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 (Theft). County Court prosecutors often seek increased penalties on battery charges.
The typical plea offer on a Simple Battery could be: Probation, anger management classes, no victim contact, court costs, and even community service.
Many aggressive prosecutors in Florida seek 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.
There are several defenses to the crime of Battery
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