Violent crimes such as battery are prosecuted vigorously in Florida, and a conviction may result in harsh penalties, including possible jail time. If you have been arrested for battery, you may seek representation from qualified legal counsel to fight the charges on your behalf. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg assault and battery defense lawyers are committed to pursuing strong defenses for people charged with battery, aggravated assault, and other violent crimes. We strive to help you protect your rights and address any concerns you may have regarding a battery charge.Florida Battery Offenses
In Florida, a simple or misdemeanor battery is committed when a person intends to and actually strikes or touches someone else against their will. Acts such as hitting, punching, slapping, or kicking someone are common in a simple battery case, but a physical injury is not required under the first category of simple battery. The second category of simple battery occurs when a person intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. This includes indirect contact that results in bodily harm to the victim. For example, intentionally throwing an object that strikes and injures another person may constitute a battery. Simple battery is usually charged as a first degree misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a jail sentence or probation for up to one year and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Felony battery may be charged in cases where the alleged victim suffers a serious injury. More specifically, felony battery is committed when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. Felony battery is a third degree felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000
In some battery cases, the defendant may be subject to enhanced penalties and/or a greater charge. For example, a simple battery may be charged as a third degree felony if the defendant has been convicted previously of one or more misdemeanor or felony battery offenses. The consequences may also be more serious if the battery allegedly involved a deadly weapon, great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement, or domestic violence. An experienced assault and battery defense attorney can help you fight these serious felony charges.Defending Against a Battery Charge
In a simple battery case, the prosecution must prove one of two categories of battery beyond a reasonable doubt. Under the first category, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intentionally and actually touched or struck the victim against their will. Alternatively, the prosecution must establish that the defendant intended to cause bodily harm to the victim. A major element in a battery case is proving that the defendant had the intent necessary to commit a battery. Accidental contact is not sufficient to commit a battery, unless the contact or touch was intended against another person but accidentally carried out upon the victim. In some battery cases, therefore, the defense may argue that the defendant did not have the requisite intent to commit the crime.
Consent may be argued by the defense in battery cases where the alleged victim agreed to be touched or struck by the defendant. Consent may be shown through the victim’s behavior or words, or other evidence that demonstrates that the victim agreed to the contact. Self-defense is another defense that may be asserted in some battery cases. Generally, if you or another person are under attack from someone else, you have the right to use force to defend yourself or another.Retain a St. Petersburg Lawyer to Help You Defend Against Battery Charges
If you have been charged with a battery offense, the assistance of a criminal defense attorney may be crucial. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg attorneys can provide dedicated representation in felony and misdemeanor battery cases, as well as many other criminal matters. We serve residents of Tampa Bay and Clearwater, in addition to locations throughout Pinellas County. To request a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call 727-286-6141 or contact us online.