Felony Battery Pursuant to Florida Statute 784.03

Clearwater Attorney Representing Defendants Charged with Violent Crimes

Battery involves any actual or intentional touching or striking of another person without their consent. For a first misdemeanor battery charge, it may be possible to avoid jail time. However, felony battery pursuant to Florida Statute 784.03 is a serious violent crime charge. At Hanlon Law, our Clearwater battery defense lawyer provides a tough defense to felony battery and aggravated battery charges, and he is dedicated to protecting his clients' rights.

Felony Battery Pursuant to Florida Statute 784.03

Under Section 784.03, you can be convicted of battery if the prosecutor can prove that you actually and intentionally touched or struck someone else against his or her will. Alternatively, you can be convicted of battery if the prosecutor can show that you intentionally caused bodily harm to someone else. Ordinarily, battery is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor.

Even so, it is important to retain an experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney for a battery charge. Also under section 784.03, if you have one previous conviction for battery, felony battery, or aggravated battery, and you commit another battery, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. It is likely that you will face at least some period of incarceration for a third-degree felony charge. Thus, even if you previously were charged with battery for a very minor touching or striking and pled guilty as part of a deal, and then you are charged again with battery for another minor touching or striking, you can be charged with felony battery and sentenced for a third-degree felony.

If you are convicted, you can be sentenced to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment or probation, and assessed a fine of up to $5,000. You may also be sentenced to community service, counseling, psychological evaluations, and substance abuse evaluation or treatment. A judge may order you to pay restitution for the victim's medical bills and any other losses. This is separate from a potential civil claim by the victim to recover damages. If the felony battery is also domestic violence involving battery on an intimate partner, you may need to complete a weeks-long batterers' program. In situations in which the felony battery charge is coupled with a sex crime, such as rape or lewd and lascivious battery, you may need to register as a sex offender.

Each case is unique. We will look at the individual circumstances of your case to determine an appropriate strategy to fight a charge of felony battery. Any defense strategy is complicated by multiple charges. For example, if the battery occurs in the context of rape or lewd and lascivious battery, there may be multiple charges, and it is important to retain an attorney who understands how to address all of the charges and pursue the best possible outcome.

Self-defense or defense of others is a commonly raised defense in response to battery. Suppose that, for example, an intimate partner gets angry with you in a bar and throws a punch, and in response you punch back. Perhaps you were previously convicted of misdemeanor battery. The prosecutor might charge you with felony battery pursuant to Florida Statute 784.03. It may be possible to argue self-defense or even mutual combat in this situation, but the force that you use should be proportional. If you are approached with force, and you respond with deadly force or by taking out a gun at some point, a self-defense argument would not be likely to be successful.

In some cases, there are factual disputes about what happened, such that we can raise a reasonable doubt about one or more elements or impeach the purported victim. For example, there are victims who may lie about what happened, and it can be important to catch inconsistencies in their accounts of what happened in order to discredit their story.

Retain a Tenacious Battery Defense Attorney in Clearwater

Battery is a serious crime that may be vigorously prosecuted and punished when it is charged as a felony. You should secure counsel as soon as possible. If you have been charged with felony battery pursuant to Florida Statute 784.03, you should retain a tough and experienced lawyer. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has aggressively and knowledgeably represented the accused in the Clearwater area since 1994. You can contact Hanlon Law at (727) 897-5413 or via our online form.