An incident of battery can range from an escalated bar fight to a family conflict out of control. However it happens, the crime of battery has serious penalties under Florida law. Penalties for a battery conviction can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. These legal consequences can result in large fines and possible incarceration.
A battery charge is nothing to take lightly. If you or someone you know has been accused of battery or aggravated battery, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation. Hiring an attorney can greatly increase the chances of your case being reduced or dismissed.
Attorneys for Battery in Fort Pierce, Florida
Penalties for battery charges can range anywhere to a day in jail to five years in prison. In addition, the negative stigma of the crime can follow you throughout life. Protect yourself and your rights now. Call the experienced defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have over twenty years of collective experience. We will file motions, suppress evidence, and explore all legal options with you. You want to find an attorney who is knowledgeable in criminal defense. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have handled numerous assault and battery cases with superior results. Find a legal partner today for your charges. Get in contact with an attorney at Meltzer & Bell for a free consultation.
Meltzer & Bell defends those with allegations of battery throughout the Martin County and St. Lucie County area and nearby cities including Ocean Breeze, Stuart, Fort Pierce, and Port St. Lucie.
Start the first step to your defense today. Call the attorneys at (772) 291-2534 today.
Overview for Battery in Florida
Definition of Battery in Port St. Lucie, FL
The Florida Statute § 784.03 states all specific conditions that must be met for a person to be convicted with simple battery. Prosecutors must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements for a conviction:
- The alleged offender intentionally struck or touched the alleged victim against the will of the alleged victim; or
- The alleged offender intentionally caused bodily harm to the alleged victim.
Conviction for a simple battery can result in a misdemeanor in the first degree. A first degree misdemeanor is the highest level for misdemeanor offenses. It is normally punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and a possible $1,000 fine.
Take note, if a person has a prior battery, aggravated battery, or felony batter conviction, his or her penalties will be enhanced. Repeat battery offenders will face a felony of the third degree. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $5,000.
Felony Battery under Florida Law
A battery offense can be enhanced to a felony charge due to certain factors. According to § 784.041, a person must do the following to be convicted with a felony battery:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other;
- Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
Conviction for a felony battery is a third degree felony. A third degree felony is punishable by a possible fine of up to $5,000, and up to five years in prison. Understand that released felons can have difficulty obtaining housing, employment, and applying for federal aid.
Aggravated Battery under Florida Statute § 784.041
Florida law states that if the crime of battery is committed with the element of harm or a weapon, it will be elevated to aggravated battery. Aggravated battery has much more serious penalties than simple battery charges.
Florida Standard Criminal Jury Instructions 8.4 states the following elements for a person to be convicted of aggravated battery. The first element is a definition of battery plus the following added factors:
- The defendant;
- Intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim;
- Intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will.
- The defendant in committing the battery either:
- Used a deadly weapon, which is a weapon that was used or threatened to be used in a manner likely to cause great bodily harm or death; or
- Knowingly and intentionally caused permanent disfigurement, permanent disability or great bodily harm to the alleged victim.
An aggravated battery conviction can result in a second degree felony. Penalties for a second degree felony include a prison term of up to 15 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, felons may find difficulties in their professional and personal lives upon release.
Another type of aggravated battery is aggravated battery on a pregnant female. For a person to be convicted of aggravated battery on a pregnant female, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
- The alleged victim was pregnant at the time of the battery;
- The alleged offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant at the time the battery was committed.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Charges in Florida
If a person commits the offense of battery on a police officer, he or she will have enhanced penalties. Florida Statute § 784.07(2) states that “[w]henever any person is charged with knowingly committing an assault or battery upon a law enforcement officer… the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified…”
Any person who has committed battery against a law enforcement officer will face a third degree felony. Punishments for a third degree felony include a possible fine of up to $5,000, and a prison term of up to 5 years. Understand that felons can have issues gaining employment, housing, and obtaining a firearm permit.
Florida Battery Laws – Visit the official website for Florida laws and regulations. Find more information regarding assault, battery, and culpable negligence offenses in Florida. Read the crime’s specifics, penalties, and admissible defenses that may be used in court.
Florida Jury Instructions for Battery – Visit the official website for Florida’s Standard Jury Instructions regarding Criminal Cases. Read the information a jury may review if they are overseeing your verdict. Learn what the jury is looking for, what they will count as a defense, and the specifics of a battery crime.
Defense Lawyers for Battery in St. Lucie County, FL
A battery conviction can be life changing. Penalties include large fines and even a possible prison term. The legal complexities of criminal court can be overwhelming. A skilled attorney can help you navigate these choppy legal waters, and steer you to favorable results.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell are experienced in criminal defense. Our attorneys have been practicing in Florida’s criminal courts for over 20 years. We are well-versed in filing motions, suppressing evidence, and cross-examining witnesses for our clients. Additionally, the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell are compassionate with clients. It is our goal to make sure you are informed through every step of the way.
Begin your defense today. Contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, we practice law throughout the Treasure Coast of Florida and nearby areas including Jupiter Island, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, and Ocean Breeze.
Dial us today at (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.
This article was last updated on September 5, 2018.