A commonly charged violent offense is the crime of simple battery. You can be charged with the crime of battery for conduct that might seem very minor to you because of the way the law is worded. In Florida, if a you “intentionally touches or strikes another person” against his or her will or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person, you could be charged and convicted of criminal battery. Police in this State have arrested people for battery for actions as minor as splashing water on another person. However, the charge of simple battery encompasses many other factual scenarios, and it is important that you discuss your case with an experienced Clearwater battery attorney.
Often when multiple people are involved in a physical fight, the person who decides to contact the police first will be labeled a “victim” and the other party may be charged with battery. If you have been charged with battery arising from a situation like this, it is important that you get an experienced lawyer involved who can collect and preserve evidence to present to the prosecution or to the Court. Cases like these often occur outside of the presence of law enforcement, so the facts can be twisted and fabricated by witnesses against you. A skilled battery defense attorney by your side can prevent this from happening.Penalties
If you are charged with first offense battery, you could be facing up to one year in jail. Depending on the facts of the case and your history, prosecutors might seek to place you on probation, have you pay restitution for damages, or require you to attend intensive anger management classes. Aside from the penalties you might face, having a criminal battery on your criminal record can be a serious blemish and may cause you hardship with employers and housing.
If you are charged with battery and are accused of using a weapon or causing serious bodily harm, you may be charged with the enhanced offense of Aggravated Battery, a third degree felony that is punishable by up to three years in prison.
If you are charged with battery and have been convicted of another battery charge in the past, prosecutors can charge you with Felony Battery, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, probation and hefty fines. The fact that the charge of Felony Battery depends entirely on your past criminal record demonstrates the importance of retaining an experienced Clearwater battery attorney to protect your rights no matter the seriousness of the case.Defenses
Multiple defenses may be available to you if you are charged with battery. If you were involved in a fight, your attorney may be able to argue that you were engaged in “mutual combat,” and that both participants willingly participated in the fight. If you caused injury to someone accidentally, your attorney may be able to argue that the prosecution lacks evidence to prove that you “intentionally,” caused bodily harm. Even in a case where you touch someone causing serious injuries, if you did not intend to make contact, battery charges against you should be dismissed.
Self defense is one of the most common defenses asserted in battery cases and can be an effective part of your defense. In Florida, you can assert self-defense under the “Stand Your Ground” statute in a motion before trial and the Judge may dismiss your case. If that option is unavailable or unsuccessful you always have the option to assert self-defense at trial.
You are permitted to use or threaten to use force against a person if you reasonably believe that force is necessary to protect yourself from that person’s use of force against you. You are also permitted to use force to defend a friend, family member, or even a stranger if you believe it necessary to defend that person from another’s imminent use of illegal force. Self-defense can be a powerful tool in your defense and it is critical that you consult a Clearwater battery attorney with experience presenting self-defense arguments.The Attorneys at Hanlon Law in Clearwater Are the Battery Attorneys for You
We take our client’s cases seriously and understand how to defend battery cases arising from many different factual circumstances. The attorneys at Hanlon Law will investigate and vigorously defend you if you are charged with battery or any other criminal offense. Call us now at 727.897.5413 for a consultation so that we can develop the best defense for you.