Aggravated Battery

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert have represented numerous individuals fighting criminal charges of a wide variety, including and especially charges of aggravated battery, outlined by Florida State Statute 784.045.

The statute details that someone is guilty of having committed aggravated battery if they have, in committing battery (i.e., in actually or intentionally touching or striking another person against the will of said person or intentionally causing bodily harm to said person) intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, or if they have used a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime. Furthermore, according to the statute, a person is thought to have committed aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was present.

So, as explained by the statute, there are basically three general criteria for this crime, each of which is, by itself, sufficient for the declaration of aggravated battery. As for the first, according to the law, someone has committed aggravated battery if, during the commission of the crime of battery, they intentionally or knowingly caused the victim to sustained great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. If in committing battery someone strikes the victim’s back with such force that they will remain permanently disabled, the attacker has committed aggravated battery.

As for the second criterion, let’s say that in committing battery, someone uses a deadly weapon (such as a knife, firearm, or any other object that can reasonably cause the victim in the attack to die). In this case, the charge would likely be elevated to that of aggravated battery rather than simply battery, given the use of the deadly weapon. Keep in mind that if someone has used a firearm in the commission of the crime of aggravated battery, they face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

The third criterion is a bit trickier. If someone batters a pregnant woman, is such battery in fact aggravated battery simply because the woman was pregnant at the time? The law states that in order for the charge to be that of aggravated battery, the defendant had to have (or should have) known that the victim was pregnant. How does one decide whether someone should have known that someone else was pregnant? For example, as our Palm beach and Broward criminal lawyers know, if a man batters his pregnant sister, with whom he lives, it’s unreasonable to think that he would not have known that she was pregnant. Likewise, if someone batters a clearly pregnant woman outside of a maternity store, the defense argument that said person did not know the victim was pregnant is unlikely to hold up in court.

In terms of penalties, if you’re charged with aggravated battery, a second-degree felony, you face up 15 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines if convicted. However, if you’re charged with another felony in conjunction with aggravated battery, and you committed aggravated battery during the commission of the other felony, the other felony shall be reclassified (i.e., if it was a third-degree felony, it will become a second-degree felony; if it was a second-degree felony, it will become a first-degree felony; and if it was a first-degree felony, it will become a life felony.)

Having practiced criminal defense law for decades, and having served as local prosecutors for years before that, our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys have learned the skills necessary to successfully defend individuals against charges of aggravated battery. We know what to look for in the case and what to highlight; we know what strategies work and which don’t. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with aggravated battery in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).

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