Aggravated Battery Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with or is suspected of committing aggravated battery, it is imperative to contact our office to begin formulating a defense. The State of Florida labels an aggravated battery as a felony level charge that carries a penalty of 15 years or more. The sentencing can be influenced by Florida’s “10-20-Life” law.
What Is Considered An Aggravated Battery?
Florida details the crime of aggravated battery under Section 784.045 of the Florida Statutes. Under this law, aggravated battery is defined as intentionally touching or striking another person with the sole intent to cause great bodily harm.
A crime is also considered to be aggravated battery if a deadly weapon was used or if the battered individual was known to be pregnant.
Defining Great Bodily Harm
“Great Bodily Harm” is the highest level of harm that can befall a victim. It consists of an injury that
- could result in death,
- causes a permanent loss or impairment of a limb or organ,
- causes permanent disabling, or
- leads to permanent disfiguring of the battered individual.
Defining Deadly Weapon
For most crimes, including aggravated battery, a deadly weapon is any weapon that is used in a manner that would cause great bodily harm or death.
Touching or striking a pregnant woman, even if it does not cause great bodily harm or a deadly weapon was not use, automatically makes a regular battery charge an aggravated charge due to the special victim. This includes if the defendant was aware of the pregnancy or should have been aware of the pregnancy – either from personal knowledge or relationship, or obvious physical appearance of the victim.
Proving Aggravated Battery
For all crimes committed in the United States, the defendant is considered to innocent until proven guilty. The burden to prove your guilt falls on the prosecution; they must establish to the jury or judge that, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you did:
- Intentionally touch or strike the alleged victim.
- The contact was not consensual.
- The contact did cause (a)great bodily harm, physical disability or impairment, (b)a deadly weapon was used, or (c) was against a pregnant woman.
- The defendant had the intent to cause great bodily harm or use an item as a deadly weapon.
Penalties For Aggravated Battery
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony which means that the punishment for this crime is a maximum of 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation. There is also up to $10,000 in fines. However, certain aspects of the case may call for a punishment greater than the maximum sentence.
Florida has a law, simply deemed “10-20-Life”, to describe the increasing level of punishments when a firearm is used during the course of a crime. If convicted, these mandatory minimum sentences are imposed upon the defendant, even if greater than the designated punishment for that crime.
- Possession Of Firearm During Crime: Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison
- Possession Of A Semiautomatic Or Machine Gun During Crime: Mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison
- Discharge Of A Firearm During Crime: Mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison
- Discharge Of A Firearm Resulting In Great Bodily Harm Or Death: Mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison
So, if a firearm was discharged during an aggravated battery, then the mandatory minimum punishment would be 20 years rather than 15.
Hire An Aggravated Battery Criminal Defense Attorney
Felony charges are no joke and aggravated charges carry a very lengthy prison sentence if you are unable to provide a viable defense for your alleged actions. Hiring a private criminal defense attorney can help to ensure that your rights are not violated and that you receive a fair trial.
Our firm will help you to determine the best course of action for your particular aggravated battery case, including forming a defense. There are several legal defenses to an aggravated battery such as:
- Self Defense Of Yourself Or Others
- Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law
- Lack Of Intent:
- To Touch/Strike
- To Cause Great Bodily Harm
- Unaware Of Pregnancy
- Did Not Use A “Deadly Weapon”