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Battery / Aggravated Battery

When a person is charged with battery in Florida, he or she could face harsh consequence. Violent crimes are some of the most highly prosecuted, and a conviction could seriously tarnish a person's reputation. In some instances, the charge could be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony offense.

No matter the circumstances of a battery charge, the situation should be taken seriously. If you are facing battery charges, it is important to protect your future. A skilled St. Petersburg violent crime defense attorney can help you protect your image.

St. Petersburg Battery Lawyer

If you have been arrested for battery or aggravated battery in the Tampa Bay Area, contact a St. Petersburg battery defense attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Our legal team has the skill and the experienced needed to help you combat the charges and get a favorable outcome in your case.

Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients throughout St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas County, Tampa, Hillsborough County and other surrounding counties. Contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. at (727) 388-4736 for a free consultation about battery charges.

Information About Battery Charges

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What is Battery?

Battery in Florida can occur if anyone touches or strikes another person against his or her will or intentionally causes them some kind of bodily harm, according to Florida Statutes § 784.03(1)(a). Battery can involve almost any type of physical contact, including:

  • Slapping
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Poking
  • Pinching
  • Biting
  • Pushing
  • Touching
  • Striking
  • Any other type of physical action against another person

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Felony Battery and Aggravated Battery

Under Florida Statute § 784.041(1), a person can be charged with felony battery if he or she actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against his or her will and causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement.

Florida Statute § 316.1933(1)(b) defines great or serious bodily harm as any injury to a person that:

  • Creates a substantial risk of death
  • Causes serious disfigurement
  • Results in impairment or the loss of any limb or bodily organ

A person also can be charged with felony battery in Florida if he or she has one prior battery, aggravated battery or felony battery conviction, according to Florida Statute § 784.03(2).

Florida law also states a person could be charged with aggravated battery if he or she causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense or commits battery against a woman the alleged offender knew was pregnant at the time of the offense.

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Enhanced Penalties for Certain Battery Charges

Similar to assault, if the battery offense is allegedly committed against certain classes of individuals, the battery charges can be enhanced to the next degree of battery offense. These classes of individuals can include:

  • School employees
  • Elected officials
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Firefighters
  • Corrections officers
  • Public transit operators and employees
  • Parole officers
  • Code inspectors
  • Sports officials
  • Registered nurses
  • Physicians
  • Probation officers
  • Health service personnel
  • Emergency medical services personnel
  • Paramedic
  • People age 65 or older

For example, if a person commits a misdemeanor of the first-degree battery offense against any of the individuals listed above, his or her charges could be increased to a felony of the third-degree battery offense.

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Potential Penalties

Battery offenses in St. Petersburg can result in serious penalties and repercussions. The suggested statutory punishments for battery and aggravated battery offenses can increase depending on a variety of factors.

For instance, if the alleged offender has a previous battery conviction or criminal history, a deadly weapon was present or used during the commission of the offense, the victim falls into a certain class of people or injury caused was serious, the charge could increase.

A conviction for a battery offense can result in a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of not more than $1,000 or both. This is the least severe punishment for battery offenses.

A conviction for a second or subsequent battery offense or a felony battery offense can result in a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence up to five years, a fine up to $5,000 or both.

If a person is convicted of an aggravated battery offense, he or she could face a felony of the second degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence up to 15 years, a fine up to $10,000 or both.

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Possible Defenses to Battery Charges

Although a battery or aggravated battery conviction in Florida can result in serious punishments and consequences, the prosecutor first must prove the alleged offender committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is a very high burden of proof and can be difficult to meet, as there can be a variety of defenses or mitigating factors that may create doubt in the prosecution’s case. A few of these defenses and factors may include:

  • Constitutional violations
  • Defense of others
  • Defense of property
  • Failure to properly give Miranda Warnings by law enforcement
  • Insufficient evidence to prove charges
  • Lack of knowledge or intent to commit the alleged offense
  • Law enforcement procedural violations
  • Mistaken identity
  • Self defense

If you have been accused of committing battery or aggravated battery throughout the Tampa Bay area of Florida, it is important to hire an experienced assault and battery lawyer who will make every effort to create the best legal strategy to refute the allegations against you.

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Finding A Pinellas County Battery Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for battery or aggravated battery, contact a St. Petersburg violent crime defense lawyer at Morris Law Firm, P.A. to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case. Morris Law Firm, P.A. has specific knowledge on both sides of the law and can help you protect your freedom. Call Morris Law Firm, P.A. at (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation.

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