Intentionally striking another person to the point they sustain bodily harm is battery under Florida law. The penalties for battery are incredibly serious and can mean expensive fines and even a possible jail sentence. Not to mention the serious collateral consequences a violent crime conviction can have on employment, housing or loan opportunities.
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) 248-1215 today.
Overview for Battery in Florida
- What Does Florida Consider to be Battery?
- What are the Penalties for Battery in Florida?
- What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Battery in Florida?
- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer or Public Servant in FL
- Possible Defenses for Battery Crimes
- Additional Resources
What Does Florida Consider to be Battery?
It’s common for people to confuse the terms “battery” and “assault” thanks to crime television dramas and films. However, under Florida law the terms battery and assault have incredibly different definitions. Assault is when a person threatens another with violence where they have the capability of carrying out said threat.
Battery, on the other hand, is when a person does the following:
- Intentionally strike another person against the will of the alleged victim; and
- Knowingly cause bodily harm to another person.
The crime of battery can be enhanced if aggravating factors are present to aggravated battery. A battery offense can be upgraded to aggravated battery if the crime involved the following:
- Caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement;
- The victim was pregnant during the commission of the offense or
- Used a deadly weapon such as a firearm during the crime
What are the Penalties for Battery in Florida?
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
If you were convicted of battery in the past, then your penalties will be dramatically enhanced. If you have a prior battery, felony batterer conviction or aggravated battery, then you will be charged with a third-degree felony instead of a first-degree misdemeanor.
A second battery conviction will result in the following penalties:
- Up to 5 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Battery in Florida?
Aggravating factors could result in your charges being reclassified to aggravated battery. These factors include if the victim was pregnant during the crime, sustained great bodily harm or you used a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. The term “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 organ or member.
An aggravated battery charge is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to 15 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $10,000
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer or Public Servant in FL
Committing battery on a law enforcement officer is an incredibly serious offense. Florida has harsh penalties for those who violently attack officers to protect their law enforcement. Committing battery on a law enforcement officer is a first-degree felony. The maximum penalties for a first-degree felony include:
- Up to 30 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
This charge also extends to other types of public servants. If you intentionally commit battery on any of the following public servants, then you will face a first-degree felony.
- Correction officers;
- Parole officers;
- Probation officers;
- People who are 65 years old or older;
- Healthcare personnel;
- Sports officials;
- Elected officials;
- Law enforcement;
- Public transit employees;
- Railroad special officers; or
- Emergency medical services personnel
Possible Defenses for Battery Charges in Florida
A battery or aggravated battery conviction in Florida have the potential to uproot your life. Since it’s a violent felony offense, having a conviction on your record could devastate your career and personal relationships. It could even cause you to lose future job, housing, educational or loan opportunities. For these reasons and more, it’s crucial you have experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
Having a skilled violent crimes attorney to guide you during your case can be the difference between dismissed charges and years behind bars. They can utilize defense strategies by filing motions, deposing witnesses, cross-examining witnesses and examining the evidence closely for discrepancies. A few of these defenses and factors may include:
- Self defense
- Constitutional violations
- Defense of others
- Lack of knowledge or intent to commit the alleged offense
- Defense of property
- Failure to properly give Miranda Warnings by law enforcement
- Insufficient evidence to prove charges
- Law enforcement procedural violations
- Mistaken identity
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) 248-1215, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.