Aggravated Battery Defense Lawyers in Orlando, FL
Being charged with aggravated battery can dramatically shift the future of your life. That is why you need a seasoned Orlando aggravated battery defense attorney to protect your rights.
At Moses and Rooth, we understand the profound impact a criminal accusation can have on your life, and we are committed to providing you with strategic and unwavering representation throughout the legal process. With our extensive knowledge of Florida’s criminal laws and our dedication to justice, we strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients, ensuring their voices are heard and their rights are vigorously defended.
What is Aggravated Battery in Florida?
Aggravated Battery is basically defined as intentionally striking another with a weapon, or causing great bodily harm, or if the battery was to a pregnant person.
What is the legal definition of Battery?
Battery or simple battery is defined by Florida Statutes 784.03:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
- Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
What is the legal definition of Aggravated Battery?
Aggravated battery (Florida Statutes 784.045) occurs when the conditions for simple battery are met and:
- Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
- Uses a deadly weapon.
It is also considered aggravated battery when the individual who was the victim of battery is pregnant at the time of the battery.
Penalties for Aggravated Battery
While simple battery is considered a misdemeanor under the law, aggravated battery is considered a second-degree felony which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years probation, or a $10,000 fine.
While firearms are considered deadly weapons for the sake of the statute defining aggravated battery, the presence of a firearm during an aggravated battery triggers mandatory minimum sentences under Florida’s 10-20-Life Statute. These are:
- 10-year minimum for possession of a firearm during a battery
- 20-year minimum for the discharge of a firearm during a battery
- 25-year minimum if anyone is injured or killed with the firearm
Additionally, a charge of aggravated battery can be amplified to a first-degree felony if they committed aggravated battery on:
- A law enforcement officer (LEO)
- Some 65 years of age or older
- A public official
- A corrections officer
What Should You Do After You Are Arrested?
First and foremost, you must remain silent to avoid saying something that might be incriminating.
But don’t interpret that to mean that you should be uncooperative. Always cooperate with the police and do not resist arrest. However, you can calmly inform the officers that you choose to remain silent and ask to speak with an attorney immediately. After asking for an attorney, continue to remain silent until speaking with an experienced aggravated battery attorney.
Gather any evidence that could be helpful to your defense, and do not discard any you believe could be harmful. You could end up in more trouble later if you try to obstruct the investigation.
Do not contact the alleged victim under any circumstances. There is likely a protective order in place, and any violation could lead to additional charges and bail revocation.
If you are facing an aggravated battery charge and are unsure of the steps to take following your arrest, contact us immediately.
Elements of an Aggravated Battery Prosecution
For the prosecutor to successfully convict on a battery charge, they must be able to prove that the defendant:
- Intended to harm the person on whom they touched or struck
- The battery was against the will of the victim
- The Battery intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement or used a deadly weapon
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations spells out the time a party has for bringing specific legal actions. In a criminal matter, the statute of limitations is the timeframe by which the State has to file charges against a defendant.
Generally, in Florida, aggravated battery has a statute of limitations of three years. However, there are circumstances in which the statute of limitations can be extended. If the aggravated battery is charged as a first-degree felony, the statute of limitations is extended to four years. If a deadly weapon injures the battery victim, the statute of limitations is 10 years. Finally, offenders identified and found through DNA evidence will have no statute of limitations, and prosecutors can bring charges at any time.
Defenses to Aggravated Battery
There are several defenses to aggravated battery charges. Which defense applies to your case will depend on the specific circumstances involved.
Consent is one of the main points of contention in an aggravated battery charge. The prosecution must prove that the Battery was not consensual. Mutual combat is a type of consent defense since the victim is technically agreeing to the fight.
In order to raise a “mutual combat” defense against a battery or aggravated battery charge, the defendant must be able to show that they did not instigate the fight or that they were not the primary aggressor.
There is an implied intent to harm, annoy, or otherwise cause distress in an Aggravated battery charge. This cannot be a simple act of negligence. If someone attempts to help someone else, but that individual does not consent to the help, that cannot be charged as battery. Hence, insufficient intent is a defense to battery.
The police could have wrongly identified you as the perpetrator of the crime. If you believe you are falsely accused as the perpetrator, contact an aggravated battery lawyer at Moses and Rooth today.
Lastly, someone charged with aggravated battery can raise self-defense as a defense to the charges. Florida Statute 776.012 indicates that “a person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.”
Talk to an Orlando Aggravated Battery Attorney
If you have been charged with aggravated battery, you can face up to 30 years in prison. Call Moses & Rooth today and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.
Aggravated Battery Resources:
Florida Statutes 784.03 – defines Battery
Florida Statutes 784.045 – defines Aggravated Battery
Jury Instructions for Battery related Offenses (Aggravated Battery 8.4)
Florida Statute 776.012 – Justifiable Use of Force
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you could still be charged with aggravated battery even if you did not use a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. According to the Florida aggravated battery statute, using a deadly weapon is only one of the few ways you could face an aggravated battery charge. Suppose you intentionally or knowingly cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the alleged victim. In that case, you can be charged with aggravated battery, even if you did not use a deadly weapon. Typically, the prosecutor will assess the severity of the victim’s injuries to determine how to charge the crime.
In Florida, the main difference between assault and battery is that battery involves an unwanted touching of the victim’s person that causes harm. In assault, there is only the threat of harm that causes fear in the victim. That is why battery is generally considered a more severe crime in Florida.
Generally, you cannot erase or seal an aggravated battery conviction in Florida. There are a few crimes that cannot be expunged under Florida law, and aggravated battery is one of them. You must hire an aggravated battery attorney to combat the charges and avoid a conviction on your record.