Battery, also called Simple Battery or Misdemeanor Battery, is when one person intentionally makes physical contact with another person against the will of the other person; or when one person intentionally inflicts bodily harm on another person. This is different than Aggravated Battery, which is far more serious, and can be charged based on the seriousness of the victim's injuries.
Felony Battery is a Battery that occurs when the defendant has a previous conviction for any Battery offense.Definition of Battery in Florida
The crime of Battery as defined by § 784.03, Florida Statutes, involves intentional physical contact with another person against the will of the other person, or when intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.
The State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime of Battery by establishing that one of the following elements of the crime occurred:
Penalties for Battery in Florida
(1) The defendant actually and intentionally touched or struck another person against his/her will.
This means the State of Florida must prove that the defendant intended to touch or strike the alleged victim or was engaging in a behavior where a strike or touch was highly likely to occur.
(2) The defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to another person.
This means the State of Florida must prove that the defendant intended to cause bodily harm to the alleged victim. While nobody can read minds, intent can be inferred by evidence surrounding the crime.
Battery is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year and a fine of $1000, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, Florida Statutes.
Felony Battery is a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of $5000, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, Florida Statutes.
Habitual felony offenders, habitual violent felony offenders, three time violent felony offenders, and violent career criminals are subject to extended terms of imprisonment, as provided in § 775.084, Florida Statutes.Defenses to Battery in Florida
Battery is a violent crime and a serious criminal offense. Under Florida law, the defense for Battery depends on the specific circumstances, and may include:
- Unintentional harmful contact
- Self defense or defense of other(s)
- Consent by the other party, such as a fight or match in which both parties consented to the fight and consented to the possibility of bodily harm
- Stand Your Ground
- Intentionally striking another person with your fist
- Intentionally slapping another person in the face
- Intentionally kicking another person in the groin
- Intentionally grabbing a purse held by another person
- Intentionally slapping a cell phone out of another person’s hand
- Intentionally chest bumping another person
If you have been charged with the crime of Battery in Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade County, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.