You may have heard the terms “battery” and “assault” get thrown around in TV crime dramas or films. Although both sound similar, a battery and assault charge are two entirely separate offenses. In the state of Florida, assault is when a person is threatened with violence, but battery is the act of intentionally harming or using a deadly weapon against another person.
Battery is treated incredibly serious in the Florida judiciary system. If you or someone you know has been accused of battery, then we highly suggest you hire experienced legal representation. An attorney can assess your case, structure a strong defense and represent you in court. Having a skilled defense lawyer on your side can be the difference between freedom and an extended period behind bars. Don’t wait another moment to secure legal representation today.
Defense Lawyers for Battery Charges in Palm Beach County, FL
The penalties for battery range vastly from a day in jail to five years in prison. With such a broad range of penalties, it’s important you gain legal counsel you can trust. Protect yourself and your rights by calling the skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. has over twenty years of collective representation experience. We can file motions, suppress evidence, cross-examine witnesses, call upon our own expert witnesses and more to defend you in court. Let us guide you through this judiciary process knowing you’re prepared and have the right defense to fight your charges.
Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation today. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton and Jupiter.
Overview of Battery in Florida
- What Does Florida Consider to Be Battery?
- Aggravated Battery Penalties in Florida
- Additional Resources
What Does Florida Consider to be Battery?
Many assume assault and battery are the same crime, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Battery is when a person is physically harmed by another intentionally and knowingly. If the other factors are present, then the crime can be enhanced to aggravated battery. Under Florida Statute Section 784.03 it states a person is guilty of battery if they:
- Intentionally strike another person against the will of the alleged victim; and
- Knowingly cause bodily harm to another person.
The crime can be enhanced even further to aggravated battery if the accused:
- Caused great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or permanent disability;
- The victim was pregnant during the offense or
- Used a deadly weapon such as a firearm.
Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
- Up to 12 months in jail; and
- A possible fine of up to $1,000
Having a prior battery conviction will lead to steeper penalties. If the defendant has a prior battery, aggravated battery or felon batter conviction, then they will face a third-degree felony rather than a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a third-degree felony include:
- Up to 5 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000
Aggravated Battery Penalties Under Florida Law
If aggravating factors are present, then the crime of battery will be reclassified to aggravated battery. For this to happen the victim must be pregnant during the offense, sustained great bodily harm or you used a deadly weapon during the crime.
It’s important to note that great bodily harm is when a person has an injury that has a high risk of serious permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ or causes a substantial risk of death.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to 15 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $10,000
If the victim was working as any of the below professions, then the consequences will be changed to that of a first-degree felony. These careers include:
- Correction officers;
- Parole officers;
- Probation officers;
- Sports officials;
- Elected officials;
- Law enforcement;
- Healthcare personnel;
- Public transit employees;
- Railroad special officers;
- People who are 65 years old or older;
- Emergency medical services personnel;
- Paramedics; or
If convicted for assaulting a person working as one of the professions below, you will face the following penalties:
- Up to 30 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, you will be sentenced to a minimum prison sentence of three years. You will also not be able to adjudicate, suspend or defer your sentence until that minimum sentence is completed.
Florida Battery Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Legislature to find more information surrounding aggravated battery. Access the statues to learn the charge specifics, penalties and other related offenses.
Domestic Violence Help, Program and Statistics – Visit the official website for DomesticShelter.Org, a non-profit organization that provides resources to domestic violence survivors. Access the site to learn domestic violence statistics, resources and locations to the closest domestic violence shelter.
West Palm Beach Attorney for Battery in Florida
A battery conviction doesn’t just carry heavy legal penalties, but social ones as well. Many people who have been convicted of battery have issues applying for a loan, job, housing or admission into a university. Don’t limit your future by not fighting these charges. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today for excellent legal representation for your case.
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. are experienced at representing people charged with battery or aggravated battery. Call us at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. has clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, and Jupiter.