According to the Florida Statutes, s. 784.03, battery occurs if a person;
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
- Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Aggravated Battery Definition
Under s. 784.045 of the Florida Statutes, a person commits aggravated battery occurs when they:
- Intentionally or knowingly cause great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement; or
- Use a deadly weapon; or
- Knew, or should have known, that the victim was pregnant
Aggravated Battery Penalties in Florida
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison with a mandatory sentence of 21 months and as much as a $10,000 fine. The penalties can increase substantially if the offense included a possession or discharge of a firearm. Because of Florida’s 10-20-Life Law, additional penalties can range from a minimum of 10 years in prison to 25 years in prison.
This comes with the life-long stigma of having a criminal record of aggravated battery which may make it difficult to find employment. A conviction for aggravated battery can never be expunged from your record nor can you ever have the records of that conviction sealed.
Possible Defenses to Aggravated Battery Charges
1. Self-defense, stand your ground, or defense of others can be asserted if the facts support it. A person is allowed to defend their own life or the lives of others against another person’s unlawful attack.
2. The alleged “weapon” was not a “deadly weapon.” For example, in Nguyen v. State of Florida, the court held that a stun gun was not a deadly weapon.
3. The person alleged to have been battered did not suffer great bodily harm. In the case of Nguyen v. State of Florida, the court held that great bodily harm “requires more than slight, trivial, minor, moderate, or some harm.” In that case, a police officer said he saw “burn marks on the victim” but the court said that is not enough. The victim never sought medical treatment for her injuries so she could not meet the standard of “great bodily harm.”
4. Mutual combat can be seen as another version of self-defense. This is most commonly used when the victim is proven to be the the aggressor of the confrontation.
If you are concerned about being charged with aggravated battery in the state of Florida, or have already been charged with the crime, you need to seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney. The penalties for conviction of this crime are severe, including a hefty fine and prison time. It is considered a violent crime and, if convicted, the consequences will affect your life forever.
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We handle all types of Criminal Defense cases in the New Port Richey, Holiday and Hudson, Florida area from traffic citations through and including the most serious of felonies, including aggravated assault.
Free consultations are always available for new clients. During that time the nature of the charge(s) and the complexity of the case(s) will be discussed. You will only owe us a fee if you decide to retain us to represent you. The amount of the fee is dependent on many facts and circumstances in your criminal defense case, but you will be quoted a reasonable fee during the free consultation. You can then decide if you wish us to handle your matter or not.
The attorneys at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., are dedicated to helping their clients achieve the desired outcome for their criminal defense case.