Battery is the intentional commission of bodily harm to another person. Battery ranges from domestic disputes to public brawls, and law enforcement becoming involved will instantly take the situation out of your control. A seasoned defense attorney will place control back into your hands and ask the tough questions that poke holes in the prosecution’s case.
Formerly on opposite sides of the courtroom, attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell have teamed up to provide effective and successful criminal defense of battery, assault, and other criminal charges in southeastern Florida. One of the two will always be on call in your case, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you have been arrested in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, or Greenacres, call (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation and begin removing this experience from your record and your life.
A simple battery is called such because it is a misdemeanor offense and did not cause grievous harm to another person. Any intentional injury caused to another person can be charged with a simple battery, but a solid defense team will introduce a range of facts that cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
The offense of battery occurs when a person:
A simple battery conviction results in a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail or probationary period and up to $1,000 in fines.
Under Fla. Stat. 784.03, a person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and commits a subsequent battery commits a felony battery.
Felony battery is also committed when a person causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to another through intentionally striking or touching them against their will.
Either conviction will result in a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and $5,000 in fines.
Domestic battery by strangulation is also a felony of the third degree but is specific to family members, those who live in the same residence or are in a dating relationship with the defendant.
A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person. The physical injury to the victim does not have to meet the threshold of great bodily harm or permanent disability as the state views the act of strangulation with such seriousness, it will immediately prosecute with a third-degree felony.
An aggravated battery has been committed when it can be proved the defendant knowingly or intentionally caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to another. Whereas in felony battery, the defendant cannot be proven to have known that their actions would cause grave harm, the charge of aggravated battery would imply that the serious injuries were intended.
Any battery that was committed with the use of a deadly weapon will also be charged with aggravated battery. A deadly weapon is any weapon that can be used in a way to produce death or serious bodily injury. This includes firearms, stun guns, a vehicle, knives, bats, billy clubs, brass knuckles, or another object that can be viewed as threatening deadly harm.
Additionally, if the defendant knew or should have known the victim was pregnant at the time of the battery, the offense will be charged as aggravated battery. All aggravated battery offenses may be charged with a second-degree felony punishable by no more than 15 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
If convicted of an aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older, the defendant shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years and fined no more than $10,000. The judge may also order the offender to perform up to 500 hours of community service work and pay restitution to the victim.
If the victim in a battery is 65 years or older, regardless if the defendant was aware of the age, the offense of each battery charge is increased by a degree. Aggravated battery of a victim that is 65 years or older is a felony of the first degree. Simple battery of a person over 65 years of age is a felony of the third degree.
The prosecutors of battery cases must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally struck another person or intentionally caused another person bodily harm. This is a difficult burden, and Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will strive to make it impossible.
Right away, Attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell will seek out witnesses and evidence before time erases these leads. It is imperative to review the unique circumstances of your case and construct an effective defense. Below are several common defenses to battery charges in Florida.
Consent can be shown when the victim party has mutually participated in the altercation. If it can be shown that the victim initiated or provoked a fight, then the touching of the victim was not necessarily against their will. Your defense attorney will document your injuries and the injuries of others and carefully question the victim’s recollection of events.
A person cannot be convicted of a battery if acting in self-defense or defense of others. In Florida, self-defense can be used if defending against another’s imminent use of unlawful force (aggression). In this case, only non-deadly force may be used. The use of deadly force is allowed when preventing against imminent death, serious bodily injury, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
According to Fla. Stat. 776.013, if the victim was trespassing on your residence or occupied vehicle, and you had a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm to yourself or another, your use of even deadly force in defense of your property is justified.
Online Sunshine- Check this state site for full statutes and penalties for battery.
Office for Victims of Crime- Search this government site for full statutes on violent crimes by state.
As soon after your arrest as possible, consult with an experienced defense attorney to review the circumstances of your battery charges. Pertinent evidence such as documentation of injuries, witness testimony, surveillance tapes, 911 call recordings, and police investigations must be collected and examined.
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will work with the prosecution to quickly resolve the case in your favor or take your case to trial when necessary.
Call (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation where one of the partners of Meltzer & Bell, P.A., Lawrence Meltzer or Steven Bell, will personally review your case and manage the next steps. We handle cases across southeast Florida including Palm Beach, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County.
...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.
I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!
I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.
I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!
Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!