Representing Clients in Dade County, Broward County & Palm Beach County
There are several types of battery charges in Florida. In this simplest form, battery involves an unwanted or uninvited touching or striking to another person. It also has an intent requirement, but that intent requirement may not be as clear-cut as you might think.
The penalties for battery charges can be severe. Thankfully, the charge has many available defenses under Florida law. Thus, A battery defense attorney can help you determine which defense might be available in your unique situation.
The Hansen Law Firm will take an in-depth look at the facts of your case and provide you the best defense available against your Florida battery charge.
We have the following locations to serve you:
- Dade County
- Broward County
- Palm Beach County
Types of Battery Charges in Florida
Florida, like many states, also has various battery charges. The penalties will vary depending on the type of charge, and what the prosecution has to prove may differ as well.
- Simple Battery. Simple battery is a first degree misdemeanor. It has penalties up to one year in jail or 12 months of probation. Fines up to $1,000 are also common. A common example of simple battery is found in an average fist-fight the involves no weapons.
- Aggravated Battery. This type of battery may involve a deadly weapon or the intent to inflict great bodily harm. Battery of this type is more than just a simple punch or kick. Committing battery on someone that the accused knows to be pregnant can also result in an aggravated battery charge. In Florida, there is a mandatory prison sentence of up to 15 years for an aggravated battery conviction.
- Felony Battery. After you have been convicted of battery once, your next charge for battery will likely fall under felony battery. This is a third-degree felony. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison.
- Domestic Battery. Florida has a separate charge for battery of a family or household member. Conviction of this type of crime comes with harsh penalties that can have serious long-term consequences.
- Battery on a Police Officer. Any unlawful touching of a police officer is a third-degree felony in Florida. Prison time of up to five years can be imposed. Even first-time offenders who are accused of this type of battery will likely be treated harshly in the court system.
The type of florida battery charge used will significantly affect your criminal defense strategy.
The Intent Requirement of Battery Charges in Florida
You cannot “accidentally” commit a battery. For a valid battery charge, the action must have been intentional. It is important to note, however, that the intent requirement is not the intent to cause harm, but the intent to touch or strike. It can also include actions that are substantially likely to result in a touching or striking action.
You do not have to actually injure the victim to be convicted of the crime of battery in Florida. Instead, the focus is on the touching, not the injury for simple battery charge.
In aggravated battery, however, the injury requirement will be important. The intentional touching or striking must have resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability for a charge of aggravated battery. An aggravated battery charge also results if you used a deadly weapon to commit the battery.
Defenses to Battery Charges in Florida
Battery charges have several available defenses. Your battery defense attorney at The Hansen Law Firm will determine which defenses are available in your unique situation and apply those as necessary. Therefore, your defense could include arguments of:
- Defense of other people
- Consent or mutual combat
- Defense of property
- Vindictive victims
- Factual disputes about how the incident or injuries occurred
- Accidental touching
- Touching was incident to other conduct (not intentional)
- Lack of evidence generally
- Unintentional injury
- The police officer was not on lawful duty at the time of the battery
Your available defenses will also vary depending on which type of battery charge the prosecution is attempting to use. For example, whether you intended to injure a person will be a defense in an aggravated battery charge, but it would not be a good argument in a simple battery charge. Your criminal defense attorney can help you with these subtle distinctions, which also allows you to better understand your case.
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Getting Help With Battery Charges In Florida From The Hansen Law Firm
The Hansen Law Firm can build your defense to battery charges based on the facts of the case, the legal requirements, and other unique factors of your situation such as your criminal history (or lack of). Our team also knows the ins and outs of each of the various types of Florida battery charges. Contact us at (305)-760-4393 for more information or to set up an appointment.