Battery is the intentional touching of another person without consent, even if that person isn’t harmed. In Florida, this is known as a simple battery, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
But where the touching results in injury, it is an aggravated battery, a second-degree felony that carries serious penalties. Aggravated battery requires the intent to do serious bodily harm or the use of a deadly weapon and carries a sentence of up to five years in state prison and a $5,000 fine. The minimum sentence is 10 years in prison if the accused was carrying a firearm.
Defense of a battery case requires skilled criminal defense attorney. For either type of battery, prosecutors must prove that the defendant intended to touch the victim. For a simple battery, your attorney could argue that the touching was an accident, such as bumping into someone in a crowded bar.
Aggravated battery has an added burden of proof. The prosecution must show not only intent to make physical contact but also intent to do bodily harm. In one bizarre case, a Key West wedding ended early when a groomsman was showing off his knife skills after a round of drinks at the bar and accidentally stabbed the groom in the thigh. Because witnesses and even the groom agreed that the groomsman didn’t intend harm, he was charged not with aggravated battery but only with criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon.
If you have been charged with battery, retaining a skilled defense attorney who has successfully handled battery cases can make all the difference. Even if a deadly weapon is involved, as in the Key West wedding case, your lawyer could argue that you didn’t intend to hurt anyone or that it was an accident. Other potential defenses against aggravated battery charges include arguing accidental harm, self-defense, mutual combat or alibi.
Not matter how serious you perceive your case to be, contact a lawyer right away.
Alan Fowler and his law firm, Key West Criminal Defense, are a team of attorneys and paralegals who have successfully defended clients in aggravated battery cases in Key West, the Florida Keys, and Monroe County, Florida. Call (305) 417-9378 or contact us online for a free consultation.