Legal Representation for Those Charged with Battery in Florida
A battery conviction in Florida can result in serious, life-changing consequences – from lengthy jail time to costly fines. A criminal conviction for battery can also pose challenges for future employment opportunities, higher education, loans and housing options. If you have been charged with battery in Jacksonville, it is important to understand that there are several defenses that can be used to fight those charges. An allegation does not amount to a conviction and all defendants in a criminal case are innocent until proven guilty.
The experienced battery defense lawyers at Farah & Farah can help you determine the most favorable options to pursue. We have the knowledge and skill it takes to defend individuals in cases involving all types of battery charges. Our lawyers will look out for your best interests and work toward the best possible outcomes.
What is Battery in Florida?
Under Florida Statute 784.03, battery occurs when a person intentionally makes physical contact with another against his or her will or intentionally causes bodily harm. It is typically a first-degree misdemeanor, but it can result in third-degree felony charges if the defendant has a prior battery conviction or if the alleged victim sustains great bodily injury.
The majority of battery cases involve an intentional physical attack, but there are many types of incidents and actions that can result in battery charges. An individual, for example, could face battery charges for throwing an object, no matter how small, at a person with the intention of hitting the alleged victim. An individual could also face battery charges if he or she is involved in a bar fight where there was no mutual consent. As long as you intended to cause harm and the alleged victim did not consent to the physical contact, you may be charged with simple, felony or aggravated battery.
Types of Battery in Florida
There are several types of battery charges that individuals could face in Florida:
- Misdemeanor Battery or Simple Battery: Under Florida Statute 784.03, the crime of misdemeanor battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or strikes another person against his or her will or intentionally causes bodily harm to another. There is no need that the other person be injured. Just non-consensual contact is sufficient for a simple battery charge to be filed.
- Felony battery: Under Florida Statute 784.041(1), the crime of felony battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or strikes another against their will and unintentionally causes great bodily injury and/or permanent injury to the other person.
- Aggravated battery: Under Florida Statute 784.045(1)(a), the crime of aggravated battery occurs when a person commits a battery on another and intentionally causes great bodily injury while using a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery could also be charged in cases where the alleged victim is a woman known to be pregnant.
Penalties and Consequences for Battery
A conviction for misdemeanor battery, known as simple battery, is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. A conviction for felony battery is punishable by up to five years in prison, up to five years of probation and up to $5,000 in fines. Aggravated battery is punishable by up to 15 years of prison and probation as well as up to $10,000 in fines.
Some of the specific defenses to the crime of battery are consent, insufficient intent, self-defense and consent. For example, if the defendant was fighting someone as part of a fight club and there was mutual consent to engage in combat, then, battery charges cannot be filed. In order to obtain a battery conviction, prosecutors must also prove that the assailant had the intent to harm or injure the victim. Self-defense is also a valid defense to the crime of battery as long as you use non-deadly force to defend yourself against a person who is unlawfully attacking you.
There are many misconceptions regarding battery cases in Florida. One myth is that the prosecution will not pursue charges if the alleged victim wants the charges dropped. The victim can influence the prosecutorial decisions, but it is up to the prosecutors to determine if a crime was committed that is worth pursuing. Another myth is that the State will drop the charges if the alleged victim refuses to testify. If there are other witnesses, the state may proceed without the victim’s testimony.
These types of allegations and charges are very serious and they must be met head on in court. Do not speak to the authorities until you have researched your legal options and received properly legal guidance. If you have been accused of battery, please contact the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers at Farah & Farah at 855-797-9899 for a free and comprehensive consultation.