What Are The Penalties For Battery In Florida?
Some violent crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony under the circumstances of the case, and battery is one example. Unlike assault offenses, in which threats constitute a violation of the law, battery involves physical contact. Florida’s law on battery defines the crime in varying degrees, and the more serious offenses are charged as felonies. Like many other provisions under the state penal code, the crime and/or penalties increase when the defendant has a prior criminal history.
However, being arrested for battery is not the equivalent of a conviction and there are multiple chances to defend yourself during the criminal process. Because you could face felony charges and several years in prison, working with a Florida criminal defense attorney is critical. When you realize the punishment for being found guilty of battery, you will realize the importance of skilled representation.
Florida Battery Charges and Penalties: Misdemeanor battery is sometimes called simple battery because it is the lowest level offense in this class. A person could be arrested for touching or striking a victim against their will, or by intentionally causing someone bodily injuries. The crime is a First Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Battery becomes a felony when other factors are present:
Felony battery is simple battery, except that the contact causes the victim great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement. The offense is a Third Degree Felony, so a judge could order up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated battery is touching or striking the victim with a deadly weapon, intentionally causing great bodily harm, or battery against a pregnant victim. If convicted, you face penalties for a Second Degree Felony. The court may sentence you to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
How a Lawyer Helps with Defense Strategies: In any criminal case, the first tactic for fighting the charges is attacking the prosecution’s evidence. With all three degrees of battery, there are specific facts regarding the level of injuries to the victim and the defendant’s intent. The government must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt, and the evidence may not be sufficient for this heavy burden.
In addition, self-defense and consent of the victim are strategies to consider. Still, in cases where a defense is impractical, there may be opportunities for plea bargaining. You face reduced penalties by pleading guilty, and could even reach an agreement to take the charges from a felony to misdemeanor battery.
Trust a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help Fighting Battery Charges
This overview provides useful background information on penalties for a battery conviction, but legal representation is essential for fighting the charges. Our team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. is experienced in defending these cases, so please contact us to set up a case analysis. You can reach our offices in Jupiter, FL by calling 561-626-8880 or checking out our website. After reviewing your situation, we can discuss defense options.