leifertlaw August 15, 2012 Battery
A 79-year-old man is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in Fort Lauderdale after allegedly shooting a boy, NBC Miami reports.
This is a serious charge levied against an older man. And he, and others like him, must have an experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney who will examine all aspects of the case and scrutinize all evidence the state intends to use at trial.
Battery charges in Florida can be charged as a felony and can lead to years or decades in prison, depending on the circumstances. Some people can get confused about the difference between battery and assault. Assault is threatening to do harm to a person, whereas battery is committing the physical abuse. Therefore, battery charges typically carry tougher penalties.
For instance, felony battery is punishable as a third-degree felony under Florida Statutes 784.03. That means a person can spend up to five years in prison, if convicted.
But Florida Statutes 784.045 defines aggravated battery, which is punishable as a second-degree felony and up to 15 years in a state prison. Aggravated battery means committing a battery while using a deadly weapon or intentionally causing disability, great bodily harm or disfigurement.
This particular case is a bit odd because, according to NBC News, the man was agitated at neighborhood boys knocking on his door. Police say boys were playing football in the street when the man came out of his house and fired a gun twice into the ground.
According to the news report, a bullet hit a 12-year-old boy who was outside playing. Police said the man intended to scare off the boys by firing the gun. Witnesses said the man allegedly came out of his house after a football hit the back yard. He was denied bond and was required to spend an extra day in jail before reappearing in court.
Along with base penalties that are laid out under Florida law, prosecutors can sometimes enhance the penalties against the defendant based on the use of a weapon, including a gun, knife, baseball bat and even a vehicle.
In cases of battery, an aggressive Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney must examine all the evidence, including eyewitness statements, if there are any, the victim’s statement and what police officers write up in reports. Sometimes, the statements of witnesses contradict each other and can create doubt in the state’s case. In this case, whether the defendant is suffering from dementia or other health issues could also come into play.
There is also physical evidence that must be examined. State crime laboratories may very well be used to examine bullets and other physical evidence at the scene. Scrutinizing their work and questioning whether or not there are matches and physical probabilities that the defendant committed the crime are essential elements to a strong defense.
Perhaps most importantly is attacking whether or not evidence in the case should be used against the defendant. Filing motions to suppress evidence and statements can be crucial in eliminating evidence from trial if it was obtained improperly by police.
If you are arrested on gun charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Florida Man Arrested for Battery After Viagra Dispute: July 21, 2010
79-Year-Old Denied Bond After Shooting Boy, by Brian Hamacher and Hank Tester, NBC Miami
Florida Criminal Lawyers