In Florida, aggravated battery is considered a Felony and a crime of violence. A conviction can result in fines of up to $10,000, and up to 15 years in prison, as well as long periods of probation, and a felony conviction on your record. This will depend on many factors, including the facts of your case, available defenses, and past history if any.
If you have been charged with this offense, contact a West Palm Beach aggravated battery lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced assault attorney can review your situation and determine what legal defenses might be available to you.
Defining Aggravated Offenses
Florida considers aggravated battery a second-degree felony, which can result in up to 15 years in prison (with a mandatory sentence of 21 months in certain situations) and paying up to a $10,000 fine. Subsequent aggravated battery offenses can result in up to 25 years in prison and additional fines and penalties.
Someone can be found guilty of this type of assault when they:
- Intentionally or knowingly cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement
- Use a deadly weapon
- Knew, or should have known, that the victim of a simple battery was pregnant at the time
Since aggravated battery is considered a crime of violence, it can never be expunged from someone’s criminal record. That means having to report the offense on criminal background checks which are often required for employment, housing, educational loans, and more. A lawyer in West Palm Beach could explain to someone what they should expect if they are facing aggravated battery charges.
Common Defenses for Aggravated Battery Charges
While the penalties for aggravated battery are severe, it is important to keep in mind that there are many defenses to the charge, including self-defense, non-weapons used as weapons, lack of bodily harm. Self-defense is a very common argument, as Florida allows someone to defend themselves, stand their ground – and defend their own life and the lives of others against someone else’s unlawful attack. Mutual combat can be seen as another version of self-defense and is most commonly used when the victim is proven to be the aggressor in the confrontation.
According to the Florida Statutes Sec. 784.03, battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. Simple battery charges are considered a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail, or one year of probation, and paying a $1,000 fine.
Use of a Deadly Weapon
Use of a deadly weapon is a key element in the crime of aggravated battery. If it can be shown that the weapon used was non-deadly in nature, then the charges cannot stand. A lesser included offense of simple battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, may apply instead. Another key element in the crime of aggravated battery is if the accuser did not suffer great bodily harm. If it can be shown that the alleged victim did not suffer great bodily harm, then the charges cannot stand. A lesser included offense of simple battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, may apply instead.
An experienced West Palm Beach lawyer can review the facts and circumstances of someone’s aggravated battery case and determine whether it is possible to have the charges dismissed or mitigated through a plea bargain. In some situations, attorneys may be able to have charges reduced to simple battery.
Contacting a West Palm Beach Aggravated Battery Attorney
If you have been charged with this form of assault, contact an experienced West Palm Beach aggravated battery lawyer who can review the charges against you and do everything possible to have those charges dismissed, or mitigated through a plea bargain.
Do not risk having a felony conviction on your record, as it will seriously affect the rest of your professional and personal life. Our skilled legal team could immediately to explore every course of action available to you.