Battery and Aggravated Battery
Battery is not as common as assault, but battery does rank among the most frequent crimes committed across the U.S., in Florida, and in Miami-Dade County, Florida's largest county by population with about 2.7 million residents.
Under the Florida Statutes, Chapter 784, Section 784.03(1)(a), "battery" occurs when a person "actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person." Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
(The similar but separate offense of "assault" [F.S. § 784.011] is an act of hostility or aggression against another person, including a verbal or physical threat and is a second-degree misdemeanor.) Assault and battery are both considered to be violent crimes.
"Aggravated battery" (F.S. § 784.045) occurs when a person commits battery and "intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement, or uses a deadly weapon in committing a battery."
A person may also be charged with aggravated battery if the alleged victim was pregnant at the time of the alleged offense and the alleged offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant, whether or not a permanent disability, permanent disfigurement occurred or a deadly weapon was used in committing the battery.
Aggravated Battery is a second-degree felony in Florida, with much more severe penalties than "simple" battery.
Attorney for Battery and Aggravated Battery Charges in Miami, FL
If you were arrested for Battery under F.S. § 784.03 or Aggravated Battery under F.S. § 784.045, then you should speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case. A qualified attorney will be able to explain the charges against you and the potential penalties you face and can help you defend yourself. There may be possible defenses to the charge or other evidence may be available that leads to a reduction or dismissal of the charges.
Hubbs Law is experienced in defending against battery and aggravated battery charges in the Miami area. E.J. Hubbs represents people throughout Miami-Dade County, including Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Kendall, Homestead, Doral, Pinecrest, North Miami and South Miami, as well as other communities all over the Miami area.
E.J. Hubbs has been "Board Certified" by the Florida Bar in the practice of criminal trial law. Board certification is one of the highest accolades bestowed by the Bar, and it indicates competency and experience within an area of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.
Contact Hubbs Law at (305) 615-5945
today to schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable attorney, who will explain all the aspects of your battery case, including possible defenses that may apply. Your initial consultation is free. Call Hubbs Law today at (305) 615-5945
to begin your aggressive criminal defense.
Definitions of Battery and Aggravated Battery in Miami, Florida
Depending on the circumstances of an alleged battery, the crime may be charged as "simple" battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, or aggravated battery, a much more serious second-degree felony.
An intermediate charge is "felony battery," which occurs if the defendant commits a battery which unintentionally causes great bodily harm. Felony battery is classified as a third-degree felony.
The Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, Chapter 784, § 784.03 defines "battery" as when a person:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
- Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person
The Florida Supreme Court's Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases § 8.3 specify that either of the following elements must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction of the crime of battery:
- Defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will; or
- Defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to the victim
A person who commits a second or subsequent battery after a prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery will be charged with a third-degree felony.
Note: Under F.S. § 777.04(1), attempting to commit a battery but failing or being prevented from carrying out the battery is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor.
Section 784.045 of the Florida Statutes and the Florida Supreme Court's Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases § 8.4 define "aggravated battery" as:
- The battery was committed while using a deadly weapon; or
- The person who allegedly committed the battery intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement
A "deadly weapon" is defined as a weapon that "is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm."
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony in Florida.
Note: Under F.S. § 777.04(1), attempting to commit an aggravated battery but failing or being prevented from carrying out the aggravated battery is punishable as a third-degree felony whether or not the battery was carried out, a lesser but nevertheless serious charge.
Other types of battery charges include:
- Domestic Battery (F.S. § 784.03), a first-degree misdemeanor
- Domestic Battery by Strangulation (F.S. § 784.041(2)(a)), a third-degree felony
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Penalties for Battery and Aggravated Battery in Miami, FL
Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Aggravated Battery is a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Felony battery (F.S. § 784.041) is a lesser offense than aggravated battery, but a more serious offense than "simple" battery. A violation of this law is charged as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, any type of battery conviction may result in your removal from the United States.
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Possible Legal Defenses for Battery Charges
A legitimate defense to battery exists if "consent" was granted. Boxing or other contact sports are examples of when consent is often granted.
A person accused of battery may also be able to successfully claim "self-defense" or the "defense of another or others." A person is legally permitted to defend himself or herself by using a reasonable amount of force against another person in order to prevent injury or to stop an imminent threat. Self-defense requires a showing of an immediate threat.
Florida's "Stand Your Ground" statute (F.S. § 776.013) may qualify as a defense to a charge of battery as a justifiable use of force — in certain situations.
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Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, Chapter 784, § 784.03 — Battery — Read the language of the Florida law related to battery and felony battery.
Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, Chapter 784, § 784.021 — Aggravated Battery — Read the language of the Florida law related to aggravated battery.
Florida Supreme Court Standard Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases 8.3 (Battery) and 8.4 (Aggravated Battery) — Find the exact jury instructions that are given to juries in cases of battery and aggravated battery in Florida.
Find an Attorney for Battery or Aggravated Battery Charges in Miami, FL
If you were charged with Battery or Aggravated Battery in Miami, Florida or Miami-Dade County, FL, then you should strongly consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case.
At Hubbs Law, we defend people charged with battery, aggravated battery, or similar crimes all over Miami-Dade County. Hubbs Law represents clients in Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, North Miami, South Miami, Homestead, Palmetto Bay and anywhere else in the county.
Our Board Certified attorney is aware of many possible defenses to battery charges, including self-defense. As your advocate, E.J. Hubbs will fight for your rights and pursue a reduction or outright dismissal of the charges you face, if possible. Call Hubbs Law today at (305) 615-5945
to schedule a free initial appointment to discuss your case.
This page was last updated on Thursday, February 11, 2016.