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Violent Crimes: Battery Charges

There are a vast array of battery offenses that can be charged in the State of Florida. The Miami criminal defense law firm of DMT has years of experience defending clients charged with simple battery, felony battery and aggravated battery. Battery is the intentionally touching or striking of another against his or her will with the intent to cause bodily harm. While simple battery is a first degree misdemeanor, other forms of battery can be charged as third and second degree felonies. In certain circumstances, depending on the alleged status of certain victims, simple battery charges can be elevated to felonies. In a large number of cases, battery charges accompany an alleging of domestic violence.

Simple Battery is the lowest level of battery that can be charged in the State of Florida. A simple battery is committed when an individual intentionally strikes or touches individual with the intent to cause bodily harm. Simple battery charges can be upgraded to felonies if the purported victims include law enforcement officers, emergency health care providers or firefighters. The State of Florida provides these individuals protected status. Even if the harm caused to these individuals is minor, felony charges will be levied due to the status of the victim.

Felony battery is a third degree felony punishable up to 5 years in state prison. The charge of felony battery has the same elements as simple battery, but adds the elements of causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. Aggravated battery is a second degree felony that carries up to 15 years in prison. Aggravated battery carries the same elements as felony battery, but the defendant must have intentionally caused the great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. Therefore, the distinction between felony battery and aggravated battery is the intent or lack of intent with which the serious injuries were caused by the defendant. Other types of aggravated battery do not have an intent element. For example if an individual caused great bodily harm using a deadly weapon, the element of intent is not required to prove the allegation of aggravated battery.

Aggravated battery on a pregnant victim and aggravated battery on an elderly person older than 65 do not carry the element of great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. As long as the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant or over the age of 65, and intentionally touched or struck the victim, the defendant can be charged with the crime of aggravated battery. Despite the severity of felony and aggravated battery charges, skilled criminal defense lawyers can usually present valid defense that prevent defendants from doing any jail, prison time or even probation in certain instances..

There are defenses to the crimes of battery, felony battery and aggravated battery. The main defenses to those crimes are self–defense and consent. Self–defense which is also called the justifiable use of force allows a person to defend themselves using non–deadly force. Individuals are also permitted to use non–deadly force to defend other individuals. Consent to a battery is another defense. When mutual combatants engage in a physical altercation, they are obviously consenting to contact and therefore no crime was committed.

If you are under investigation for, or have been arrested and charged with any battery offense, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your situation. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend you case and you will not be disappointed. You can call our office at (305) 340-2197 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e–mail.