West Palm Beach Battery, Aggravated Battery and Felony Battery Attorney David W. Olson
There are several classifications of battery under Florida law, including misdemeanor battery, felony battery and aggravated battery. A conviction for aggravated battery can potentially result in a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you were charged with battery it is crucial to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Early intervention is strategically advantageous and will allow your attorney to communicate with the prosecutor and pursue a favorable outcome such as a dismissal, a reduction of charges or a pretrial diversion program. Attorney Olson will always aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible.
For more than three decades, Attorney David W. Olson has defended thousands of clients faced with serious crimes, including misdemeanor battery, felony battery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, drug offenses, DUI, vehicular manslaughter, juvenile crimes, internet crimes, sex crimes and many others. Attorney Olson offers a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
Understanding Misdemeanor Battery
Misdemeanor battery is also referred to as simple battery or battery.
Battery is the offense of:
- Intentionally touching or striking another person without their consent, or,
- Intentionally causing bodily harm to another.
To be charged with misdemeanor battery, the accused does not have to physically injure or harm the victim. Battery simply requires touching another without consent.
Example of Misdemeanor Battery
Jack and Sam get into an argument and Jack pushes Sam. Sam falls and skins his knee. Jack can potentially be charged with misdemeanor battery because:
- Jack physically pushed Sam without Sam’s consent, thereby intentionally making physical contact, and
- Intentionally causing bodily harm to Sam.
Even if Sam didn’t fall and skin his knee, Jack’s push would be enough for a simple battery charge.
Possible Defenses to Battery and Aggravated Battery
An experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney may assert defenses to battery and aggravated battery. Examples potentially include:
- Self defense – individuals have the right to defend against unlawful attacks. In this case, for example, it may potentially be asserted that Jack was justifiably defending himself against Sam. It is also possible that Sam struck first and Jack was protecting himself by fighting back.
- Defense of others – circumstances may support the fact that Jack was defending his wife, who was sitting right next to him and who was about to be harmed by Sam’s punch.
- Mutual combat – if circumstances support mutual combat, it may potentially be argued that Sam and Jack frequently engaged in fighting, and Jack believed Sam consented in this instance.
- Lack of intent – touching might have occurred without the intent or knowledge of the accused (does not necessarily apply to this scenario).
- There are numerous procedural and substantive defenses to battery and all other offenses. Discuss your case with Attorney Olson.
Potential Penalties for Misdemeanor Battery
A conviction for misdemeanor/simple battery has the following maximum penalties:
- 12 months in jail
- 12 months probation
- $1000 fine
- A combination of jail, probation and/or fine as specified by the court.
Misdemeanor Battery Elevated to Felony Battery:
In the example above, if Jack had a previous misdemeanor battery conviction, he could be convicted of a felony of the third degree, with the following maximum penalties:
- Up to 5 years prison, or
- Up to 5 years probation, and/or
- Up to $10,000 fine, or
- Any combination of jail, probation, and fine, as decided by the court.
Misdemeanor – Simple Battery Statute
784.03 Battery; felony battery
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
- Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
Florida Aggravated Battery Statute
784.045 – Aggravated battery.
(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
- 1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
- 2. Uses a deadly weapon.
- A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Understanding Aggravated Battery
Aggravated battery is a serious violent crime that may be charged when the accused:
- Intentionally causes great bodily harm, or Permanent disability, or Permanent disfigurement, or Uses a deadly weapon
A key to aggravated battery is the seriousness and extent of the injury or injuries imposed upon the victim. A mild injury is insufficient for aggravated battery. If medical treatment was unnecessary and/or unsought, the seriousness (and generally, the permanence) of the injury is questionable.
Aggravated Battery – Pregnant Victim:
Florida Statute Sec. 784.045, above, details the circumstances in which an individual commits aggravated battery upon a pregnant victim. In addition to intentionally causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement, or using a deadly weapon, an individual commits aggravated battery when the victim was pregnant at the time of the offensive conduct – if the offender knew or should have known the victim was pregnant.
Of course, no one should ever intentionally harm a pregnant victim, but the reality is that an offender simply may not have known – or may not have been able to know that the victim was pregnant. For example, if the victim was only a month pregnant and there was no overt change to her body, and if the offender had no way of otherwise knowing of the pregnancy, this may fall within the exception. Discuss your case with Attorney Olson.
Aggravated Battery Potential Penalties
A conviction for aggravated battery, punishable as a second degree felony, can potentially result in the following maximum penalties:
- Up to 15 years prison, or
- Up to 15 years probation, and/or
- Up to $10,000 fine
- Or any combination of prison, probation and fine, as per the court
What is a Deadly Weapon?
- “A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.” (Fl. Std. Jury Instructions)
Any item can theoretically qualify as a deadly weapon if it is capable of resulting in serious physical harm, disability or disfigurement. Commonly known deadly weapons include guns, rifles, pointed objects, knives and explosive devices. Depending on their use and resulting injury, other deadly weapons may include a lug wrench, a bottle, a rock, a bat, a golf club, a torch, an electrical device, and so on.
West Palm Beach and South Florida Criminal Defense and Battery Attorney David W. Olson
Attorney David Olson is a recipient of numerous professional awards and accolades, including:
- “Nation’s Top One Percent” – National Trial Association of Distinguished Counsel
- AV Preeminent – 5.0 out of a possible 5.0 – the highest rating available, for legal ability and ethical conduct
- “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” – National Trial Lawyers
- “Ten Best Member” – American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
Attorney Olson represents adult and juvenile clients charged with all felonies and misdemeanors. Attorney Olson represents clients throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and throughout the state. For a free case review, call 561-833-8866.
Sec. 784.03, Battery; felony battery, Fla. Stat. (2015)
Sec. 784.045, Aggravated battery, Fla. Stat. (2015)
Florida Standard Jury Instructions, Sec. 8.4 Aggravated Battery
Florida Standard Jury Instructions, Sec. 8.5 Felony Battery
Florida Standard Jury Instructions, Sec. 8.4(a) Pregnant Victim