Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm, Permanent Disfigurement, or Permanent Disability

Violent Crime Lawyer Helping Defendants in Clearwater

Prosecutors and judges take seriously facts that give rise to charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability. There is a very real risk of going to prison upon conviction. If you are being investigated for or charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, you should consult a Clearwater battery defense attorney. At Hanlon Law, we fight for the rights of people accused of violent crimes.

Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm, Permanent Disfigurement, or Permanent Disability

Aggravated battery occurs in several different situations set forth under Florida Statute section 784.045. One of these situations is when the aggravated battery causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. The prosecutor will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally touched or struck someone else, and in striking or touching, you knowingly or intentionally caused permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or great bodily harm. For example, if you got into a fight with a neighbor and shoved him into traffic, such that he was run over and paralyzed from the waist down, it is likely that you would be charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.

What counts as "great bodily harm?" Whether a defendant has caused great bodily harm is usually a question for the jury. Great bodily harm is harm that is distinct from trivial, minor, moderate, or slight harms of the sort associated with simple assault and battery. Courts take this requirement seriously. In one case, great bodily harm was not established when a victim testified that she had burn marks and was in pain from being shot by a stun gun. This was not considered great bodily injury because the prosecutor did not show evidence that the victim needed to be treated for her burns or that they had a long-lasting impact. In another case, there was no great bodily harm found when the defendant had stabbed someone two or three times with a fork, such that she had puncture marks, swelling, and scratches, but she also did not need medical treatment.

In another case, a child victim lost a baby tooth as a result of the defendant's attack. However, his adult tooth grew in, and he testified that he could not remember which baby tooth had been knocked out. He did not see a dentist or doctor in response to the incident, and there was no evidence of lasting disfigurement or other harm. The court reasoned that the loss of the baby tooth that was replaced by an adult tooth, when the child was not disfigured or disabled, did not count as great bodily harm.

Usually, aggravated battery is a second-degree felony. This means that you could face a maximum of 15 years in prison or on probation and a maximum fine of $10,000. However, you should not assume that a conviction is inevitable. An experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney raising strategic defenses can make a difference to your situation, whether this means securing a dismissal, arranging a good plea bargain, winning at trial, or successfully arguing for a lighter sentence.

Defenses that we may be able to raise include self-defense, defense of others, Stand Your Ground, mutual combat, or an alibi. In some cases, it is appropriate to challenge the intent requirement. For example, we may argue that you lacked the requisite intent to strike or touch the victim. Alternatively, we may be able to argue that you did not have the required intent to cause great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability. The defense raised can be complicated by the addition of other charges. For example, if you are charged with aggravated battery as well as rape, you should retain an attorney who can develop a strong strategy to address all of these charges appropriately.

Vigorous Criminal Defense Attorney in Clearwater

If you have been charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability in Clearwater, you should retain a tough and experienced lawyer right away. Will Hanlon has knowledgeably represented the accused in aggravated battery cases since 1994, including situations involving a deadly weapon. You can call Hanlon Law at (727) 897-5413 or complete our online form.