With cocktails on the beach at sunset and endless dining options, nightlife on the Keys is a big draw to locals and tourists alike. It can also lead to trouble when a night out ends in an altercation.
If you’re involved in altercation and the police respond, you could also be charged with battery. The crime does not require the alleged victim to have been injured. Simply touching someone without their consent or touching something close to their body, such as grabbing a woman’s purse while she’s holding it, is enough to result in a battery charge.
Simple battery is a misdemeanor in Florida and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail or 12 months’ probation and a $1,000 fine. 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.
But a battery charge doesn’t necessarily end in a conviction. You can raise such defenses as:
- You tripped and or knocked into someone accidentally without intent to touch or harm them.
- You were acting in self-defense, defense of someone else or defense of your property.
- You engaged in mutual combat, such as a bar fight, in which each person essentially consented to escalate a dispute to physical contact.
If you’ve been arrested for or charged with battery, contact a lawyer immediately. An attorney with experience handling criminal defense matters may choose from several strong defenses, which are essential considering the seriousness of this charge.
Alan Fowler and his law firm, Key West Criminal Defense, have extensive experience successfully defending clients in battery cases in Key West, the Florida Keys, and Monroe County, Florida. Call (305) 417-9378 or contact us online for a free consultation.