Striking or causing bodily harm to another person is seen as battery under Florida law. When someone is intentionally harmed or a deadly weapon is used, then a battery offense will be reclassified to aggravated battery. If the victim sustains a permanent disability or disfigurement, then your consequences could be elevated even further.
An aggravated battery conviction carries some serious penalties including expensive thousand-dollar fines and even possible incarceration. Not to mention if the crime was directed towards a significant other or family member then a conviction could also lead to an eventual injunction. Being subject to a restraining order will restrict who you encounter as well as prohibit you from entering certain places or nearing specific people.
If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated battery, then it’s imperative you seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Defense Attorney for Aggravated Battery in West Palm Beach, FL
Were you accused of aggravated battery in the Palm Beach County area? Are you unsure on how you can defend yourself against such lofty allegations? If so, we highly suggest you get in contact with the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We have years of defense experience we can utilize for your case.
Get in touch with the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. now by calling us at (561) 557-8686. We will set up your first consultation free, sit with you, hear your concerns, and explain to you your legal options. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. practices throughout the greater West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County area including Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens.
Overview of Aggravated Battery in FL
- What Does Florida Consider to Be Battery and Aggravated battery?
- What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Battery?
- Possible Defenses for Aggravated Battery
- Statute of Limitations for Aggravated Battery
- Additional Resources
What Does Florida Consider to be Battery and Aggravated Battery?
Many interchange the terms “assault” and “battery” when they are discussing criminal charges. However, it’s important to note that both battery and assault are two very different charges. Assault is when a person is threatened with violence. On the other hand, battery is when the defendant physically harms the other knowingly and intentionally.
Florida Statute § 784.03 states a person is guilty of battery if:
- They intentionally strike another person against their will; or
- They intentionally cause bodily harm to the victim.
Battery can be elevated to aggravated battery if the crime involved the following:
- Great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or permanent disability;
- The victim was pregnant during the battery offense; or
- A deadly weapon such as a firearm was used
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Battery in Florida?
Florida has implemented serious consequences for an aggravated battery conviction. If you’re convicted of aggravated battery, then you may be charged with a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include the following:
- Up to 15 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
If the victim was working a specific profession during the crime, then penalties will be enhanced drastically. These careers include:
- Parole officers;
- Elected officials;
- Law enforcement;
- Public transit employees;
- Railroad special officers;
- People who are 65 years old or older
- Correction officers;
- Probation officers;
- Sports officials;
- Healthcare personnel;
- Emergency medical services personnel;
- Paramedics; or
If the victim was working as any of the professions above, then the crime will be reclassified from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony. The penalties for a first-degree felony include the following:
- Up to 30 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Additionally, you will be sentenced to a minimum prison term of three years. You will also not be eligible for any type of withhold of adjudication or suspended/deferred sentence.
Possible Defenses for Aggravated Battery in Florida
It’s difficult to defend an aggravated battery case, especially if the victim was seriously harmed. The jury is likely to sympathize with the alleged victim’s testimony or impact statement because of their injuries. If you’re convicted, you’ll be stuck with the serious statutory penalties associated with aggravated battery. That means fines that could break the bank and even time spent in prison.
Having a skilled attorney on your side can dramatically increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your aggravated battery charges. An experienced lawyer can utilize several defense techniques for your case. They can suppress evidence with motions, collect important information for your defense and cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. Some possible defenses your legal representation may apply for your case include:
- It was a case of self-defense of your property, self or others;
- No intent to commit the aggravated battery at the time;
- It’s a case of mistaken identity and the perpetrators isn’t you;
- The prosecution’s evidence is insufficient.
Statute of Limitations for Aggravated Battery
The District Attorney is bound to the rules of the court when they are filing charges which includes following a crime’s statute of limitations. If you’re wondering what a statute of limitations is, it’s a time limit for prosecutors to file formal criminal charges. Failing to file charges by the statute of limitations will mean you can’t charge that person for that specific crime ever again.
Florida has implemented a statute of limitations for assaultive cases so they can preserve the integrity of the evidence and witness testimony. Aggravated battery has a statute of limitations of three years. If it’s charged as a first-degree felony, then the statute of limitations is extended to four years. However, if the victim was injured by a deadly weapon then the statute of limitations is 10 years. Any offender arrested through DNA evidence will not be subject to the statute of limitations rule.
Florida Aggravated 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 Lawyer for Aggravated Battery in FL
If you or someone you know has been accused of aggravated battery, then it’s in your best interest to contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our experienced attorneys create effective and efficient defenses for our clients using our background in violent crime cases. You can count on us to always keep you informed, have your best interests in mind and to exhaust every defense option for your case.
Do what’s best for your future and get legal representation as soon as possible. Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation for free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including Wellington, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and Delray Beach.