Aggravated battery is considered a grave felony offense in Florida, one that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and in some cases more.
The Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm have spent many years successfully defending clients staring down serious time. We know the law. We know the system. We protect your rights.
While an assault charge involves a credible threat of violence, a battery charge involves the infliction of actual violence. It’s the difference between saying, “I’m going to punch you!” and actually punching that person.
F.S. 784.03 defines “battery” as an actual or intentional touch or strike on another person against that individual’s will. Alternatively, it could be intentionally causing bodily harm to another human being.
Usually, a conviction on a charge of battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, which means one faces up to one year in jail. However, if someone already has a prior conviction for battery, it’s automatically considered “felony battery,” and is boosted to a third-degree felony charge, punishable by up to five years in prison. (It should be noted, “conviction” can mean not just a finding of guilt at a trial or in a plea, but also a plea of nolo contendere or adjudication withheld.)
Aggravated battery is an enhanced version of this charge that carries even more severe penalties.What is Aggravated Battery?
Aggravated battery, as defined in F.S. 784.045, is when a defendant commits battery, but with the enhancing qualifier of, in the course of doing so, intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement OR used a deadly weapon.
A person could also be convicted of aggravated battery if he or she commits simple battery one someone they knew or should have known was pregnant at the time of the attack.What Must Prosecutors Prove?
In order to prove an aggravated battery charge in Florida, prosecutors will need to show:
The term “deadly weapon” most often means a firearm. However, it could be anything used in a threatening manner in way that could be used in a manner likely to result in serious bodily harm or death. For example, a hammer is not normally considered a weapon, but if you swing it toward someone’s face intentionally, it can be considered a deadly weapon.What are the Penalties?
In Florida, aggravated battery is considered a Level 7 offense in terms of severity ranking. Unless there is good cause for a downward departure in sentencing, the minimum one will probably receive under this charge 21 months in prison.
Maximum penalties are:
Although the statutory maximum penalty is 15 years under the statute, Florida’s 10-20-Life Law created stiff mandatory minimum sentences for those who had prior convictions for violent crimes involving firearms.
In 2016, the 10-20-Life Law, also known as a “firearm enhancement,” was repealed with the enactment of Senate Bill 228, a bipartisan effort to give judges greater flexibility and move away from the late 1990s rigid “tough on crime” legislative approach. Under the new law, judges now have more discretion and consider mitigating circumstances. Your attorney’s ability to be persuasive on these matters will be key.Fighting an Aggravated Battery Charge
Every criminal case is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to defense in Florida aggravated battery cases. What we can say is that there are a number of defenses that are more common in these types of cases. Those include:
Because aggravated battery is such a serious crime, it’s imperative anyone charged seek out a qualified defense lawyer who can help to protect their rights and raise any and all viable defenses.
If you have been charged with a violent crime in South Florida, contact the Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (877) 277-3780.